Happy Friday Friends!
A favorite pastime of mine is hosting crafting events for my friends and small community. I love sharing my ideas with others and helping people along as they get creative. For the past 3 1/2 years I have been hosting regular crafting events in my small town. I started with a small group and then my idea quickly gain momentum with regular attendance being 20 or more people. I even had a couple of events with over 40 in attendance at one time. Those were busy, busy evenings.
I love gathering women together and creating an atmosphere where they can take some time to themselves, meet new people, and get creative. I thought it would be fun to share some of my tips for hosting a monthly crafting event in hopes of inspiring you to gather your friends on a regular basis to craft too.
1.) Decide on a project…
To be honest this may seem simple, but sometimes it is the hardest part for me. I love offering crafts that are useful and worth taking the time away from your family for. So I quite often put a lot of thought into what I offer as a project. I also need to factor in the number of supplies it takes to create the item, any prep I may need to do beforehand, and the number of steps I can easily instruct my attendees for making the item. A few days ago I shared some of my most recent projects for the Fall events I hosted. I also need to be able to instruct and complete the project in 2 hours… 3 hours is the maximum time I have ever allotted for an event.
2.) Create the project a head of time…
As I said earlier some of the things I take into consideration before choosing a project are the number of supplies needed and the number of steps it takes to instruct or make the project. Most often those who attend aren’t used to being creative and see themselves as a non creative type. I like to show them that they can in fact be creative by making the project and even sometimes putting their own spin on the project. I feel like I do this best when I have created the same project ahead of time to use as a demo at the event. This process also helps me determine any extra supplies I may need to have on hand to make the project easier. I will be honest there have been some projects I have hosted that I either felt confident enough in helping make the project that I haven’t made a demo or I knew I would use the item in my own home so I didn’t create a demo.
3.) Set cost & decide how to charge for the supplies…
I have had the most trial and error learning in this area of hosting my events. I now take prepaid registration for all my events thru Eventbrite. When I first started hosting I took people at their word for attending, bought the supplies and figured on that reimbursement when they attended the event. I learned very quickly that even the most well intended people have things that come up very quickly and without the prepaid registration they are more likely to put the crafting event aside. I, in most instances, did not fault the person for this happening, but learned that I wasn’t going to put forth the money for it to happen on a regular basis. Setting the cost can also be tricky… Tricky because in the type of events I often host I do because I love doing it, but I also need to be reimbursed for the supplies and for a portion of the time that goes into planning and hosting. On the other hand if you are hosting for friends and family, you can be more lenient by either having your attendees bring part of the supplies or just have the cost of the project be the reimbursement for supplies.
4.) Pick a location
If you have the space you can host in your home which is what I currently do. I have had a variety locations from a community meeting room, church, other ladies homes who hosted the event, a local business & community organization. All are great location options for a variety of reasons.
My most favorite are hosting in my home because I don’t have to carry supplies out of my home and because I can set up on any day at any time. My second favorite location is at a local business because if it is the right business it can add to the whole experience of hosting. I have hosted at a local coffee shop where the attendees could grab a yummy drink and I have hosted at a local women’s clothing boutique where the store stayed open for the attendees to shop before and after. I also love hosting in others homes, I did this for a number of months, but haven’t offered it in quite some time simply because of how popular it was in my small community. I didn’t have the time needed to meet the number of requests I was getting for hosting so I stopped offering it up.
5.) Invite friends, family and friends of friends…
When I hosted my first event this part was the scariest for me… I knew I loved getting together with others and meeting new people… I also knew my community didn’t have any community offerings making space for ladies to come together creatively, but the fear of what others would think or want made me nervous… at first!
I eventually got over the initial fear and just put the information out there and you know what… other people saw a need for it too and were excited to attend. I let the power of social media carry the message for attending and the events quickly grew.
All of the events I host gain attendees through a Facebook event. I create the event, include photos and description of the project and a registration link for the event. I also allow through Eventbrite for friends to register up to 3 or 4 friends at one time to ensure that they can come as a group to the event.
6.) Keep the lines of communication open…
I often get a variety of questions once I post my Facebook event. I try to leave time within my schedule directly following the event posting so that I can quickly answer any questions before moving onto something else.
7.) Create a welcoming atmosphere…
This is one of my favorite parts of hosting regular crafting events. I love creating an atmosphere where everyone feels welcomed and comfortable. If I have the time then I enjoy adding special or seasonal touches to the event when setting up. It is the part of hosting that is creative for me.
8.) Offer a couple creative options for the project…
When coming up with a project I try to include ways that each participant can tweak it to their own taste if possible. I may be as easy as including a couple different paint options or as in the photos below a variety of cabinet knobs for the jewelry organizers we were making or lots of bead options for the wine bottle wind chimes we made at a Spring event.
By doing this it really encourages participants to use their own creativity while still staying within the steps of completing the project.
9.) Have fun & get to know each other…
One of the best parts of hosting this type of monthly event are the people you will come in contact with. I have met a ton of new people doing this and some of those people have become very special to me. That was one of the initial reasons I began hosting… I wanted to connect with others. It has definitely opened that door for me. There have been other instances where the ladies have either strengthened their relationships by scheduling the special time together or have had the chance to meet new friends too. Mothers and daughters attend together as a special time for them too. Offering that opportunity for them is another important reason I love doing the events.
10.) Be open to improvement and suggestions…
Sometimes criticism even the most constructive can be hard to hear… that is why it is important to stay open to improvements and suggestions. I love hearing project suggestions from those that attend, but I also know that due to my family commitments or “real” work commitments I may not be able to improve on every suggestions, but I am still open to hearing them.
Remember those events that I mentioned having over 40 participants… it was very exciting to see everyone’s enthusiasm for attending, but those nights were also crazy busy and left me feeling like I was not able to connect or help each individual as much as I would have liked to. It was after that I realized what my limit was for participants so I could maximize my enjoyment while still feeling like I could share the individual attention.
I hope I was able to inspire you to gather together your friends and family for a special creative event!
Thank you for stopping by!
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