What It takes to create a great class or workshop – YOU!
As most of you know, in addition to the curriculum for both the Amma and Wholistic Nutrition programs, we offer classes and workshops for continuing education, elective classes and general public enrichment.
There is actually quite a lot that goes into the “behind the scenes” of putting together a class and nothing disappoints us more than when we have to cancel a class.
What does it take to offer a class or special workshop?
Topic Assessment: We spend a lot of time evaluating what types of content and subject matter should comprise elective, continuing ed, and public classes that align with our program and school philosophy.
Calendar: We typically work at least a year in advance to see where these classes can fit into an already packed program schedule.
Instructor Selection: We look for the best instructors to teach these classes and often bring teachers in from outside Portland. Once selected, there are numerous contract details to work through with each individual instructor.
Class Details: Once the class topic, date and instructor are selected, a lot of time is dedicated to developing the actual class and all corresponding details, e.g. outline, presentations, handouts, etc.
Marketing: We always market our classes and put a lot of $’s and energy into getting the word out, especially when we have big names or visiting instructors. The reality is these folks cost more to bring in to teach.
And then we wait for students to register…
When should students register for classes?
As soon as possible! Portland is a unique market and folks here have a tendency to wait until the very last minute to register for classes. We have found the majority of registrations happen (if and when they do) within the last week before a class is offered. This is a very difficult paradigm in which to succeed from a business perspective.
So, why do we cancel classes?
Simple math. When we don’t have enough students registered for a class, we can’t justify the expenditure of moving forward, especially when we are bringing instructors in from out of state.
Typically, we evaluate registration 3-4 weeks before the class is being offered. It it’s close to our minimum, we may move forward. However, if we are still a long way from reaching our minimum, we will likely send out a “last chance blast” to all of our students and followers letting them know the class may be cancelled if we don’t get enough registrants. That is really a call for students interested to sign up ASAP.
We hear the grumbles of disappointment all of the time when we cancel classes. We are disappointed too! However, it is always a challenge to hear “Oh, no, I wanted to sign up for that class,” right after a cancellation. If you want to sign up, sign up! Don’t wait!
We really just want folks to understand that we want to continue to offer a wide variety of affordable, quality classes and workshops. However, we can’t do this without the active engagement of the class participants.
In general, we’d love to hear from you. What gets you to a class? Topic? Instructor? Timing? Price points? Please let us know!