Checklist for Organizers
Things you have to take into account when you are going to organize a workshop.
√ Decide who your target group is. How large is the group, how can you reach them, what is their background?
√ Check what your target group wants to learn, or needs to learn. What can you do, with the (limited?) time/resources that you have?
√ Find one or several trainers for the workshop. If the workshop is for sign language users, then your trainer(s) will have to be fluent signers.
√ If possible, find trainers who can be role-models for the participants. If the workshop is for entrepreneurs: try and find deaf entrepreneurs who have (some) experience in training groups. If the workshop is for job-seekers: try and find a trainer who knows about the job-market for deaf people.
√ Check your resources. Resources include time, money, people, materials.
√ Make a budget: what are the costs, what revenues (income) can you expect?
√ Decide if participants have to pay. If they have to pay: how much? Does this include tea, coffee, lunch?
√ Check if you can you apply for funding. Find out the procedures, the requirements, and the deadlines for the application(s).
√ Check if you can find sponsors who are willing to pay for some of the costs, or who can supply some of the materials, in return for publicity? For instance: their name on the programme, or on your website.
√ Make a programme for the workshop. Be as specific as possible about the objectives, times, location, trainers, participants. Decide on a name for the workshop.
√ Together with the trainers, select modules/activities from the Deaf Enterprise curriculum, to make a first draft of the programme for your workshop.
√ Together with the trainers: decide on the requirements that the participants will have to meet:
- If the workshop is going to be presented in sign language, participants will have to have good sign language skills.
- If the workshop is going to be about setting up your own business, you may want participants who are already thinking about setting up a business.
- If the workshop is to teach people about finding a job, you may want people just out of school.
√ Choose the date(s) for the workshop. Don't forget to check national holidays, conflicting events that participants may want to go to.
√ Choose the venue for the workshop. When you select a venue, make sure that it is easily accessible for your target group. Make sure that it meets the requirements of the trainers. Participants must be able to be seated in a U- or C-arrangement of tables and chairs. For some activities, trainers may need 'break out' rooms so that participants can work in several small groups. Some participants may have special requirements, e.g. a wheelchair accessible building and rooms, including all meeting rooms, bathrooms, lunch- or tearooms, etc.
√ Contract the trainers.
√ Book the venue.
√ Organize the equipment that you will need, for instance, computers, internet access, video cameras.
√ Plan for refreshments, decide what to do about meals. Do they participants bring their own sandwiches? Will you have lunch delivered (included in the costs?). Will there be a long lunch break so that participants can go to a lunchroom/restaurant?
√ Together with the trainers: translate and adapt the activities that you have chosen for the workshop. Find relevant national websites, organisations, experts.
√ If you plan to go on an excursion with the participants: start organizing the excursion. Where, who, how are you going to get there, will you need interpreters?
√ If you plan to invite ‘experts’: make a list of interesting experts, contact them, plan for their visit.
√ Book interpreters if necessary (for instance, for excursions, or to interpret for hearing experts).
NB: If you need a minimum number of participants to cover the costs of the workshop, make sure that you include this in all your contracts: you must be allowed to cancel if you don’t have the required number of participants at a certain date!
√ Start advertising: make a video and/or text, set up a Facebook page or group, use social media, contact your networks, make presentations at schools, and/or at events where you expect to find your target groups.
√ Make your advertising interesting for the target group. Make sure that people can find the details about dates, locations, costs, requirements etc. on the Facebook page or on a website.
√ Set up a contact person or point for people who have questions. Make sure that the contact person responds within 24 hours to any questions that people have.
√ Set up a registration system and/or a system to collect relevant background information about (potential) participants. Can anyone register? Do interested persons have to pass a test or pay a registration fee?
√ In the registration form, don't forget to ask about special requirements. For instance: a special diet, visual impairments, or a wheelchair accessible venue.
√ An (online) questionnaire will help you find out more about the participants and will help you select persons who meet your requirements.
√ A registration fee will help you select participants who are truly motivated, and who will actually attend the workshop because they will lose their registration fee if they don’t show up. On the other hand: asking participants to pay for the workshop may make it difficult for some, to attend.
NB: If you need a minimum number of participants to cover the costs of the workshop, make sure that you include this in the information in all your publications: the workshop will be cancelled if you don’t have the required number of participants at a certain date.