How to host successful workshops

How to host successful workshops

Do you think about organizing workshops but are not quite sure how to go about it? Or do you offer workshops already but wonder how to improve them? We had the great pleasure to interview Bart Heesen, owner and founder of Karakterprints, a stamp and print shop from Helden, Netherlands. He kindly shares what he learned since he offers letterpress and stamp workshops. Maybe his tips can help you as well...

1) Bart, since when do you offer workshops?
I started with workshops 1,5 years ago. First with kids at junior college 7/12 years old and since a year also with ‘older’ kids. Recently I rebuild an old bakers bike. It is now a mobile letterpress studio. It’s got an old proofing press and Adana 8x5 on it. I attend festivals and markets where people can print their own work.

2) What kind of workshops do you offer?
Most of my workshops are on demand. The workshop is more fun than educational most of the time. We made posters with groups of friends for bachelor partys or colleagues, made woodtype poster with people who fell in love with the old stuff visiting my shop etcetera. Because my main business is making stamps, I also give quite a lot stamp workshops.
For people who want to get started with letterpress printing, I give starter courses. They can learn making polymer plates, setting up the press and get to know which material to use.

3) Do you have a tip regarding length and number of participants?
There can work max 4 people at a time in my shop at the moment. My passion for collecting (to much) stuff limits the working space. I also give workshops on location up till 30 people.

4) How often do you offer workshops?
All my workshops are on demand at this point.

5) Through which channels do you promote your workshops?
Instagram, Facebook and my own website (www.karakterprints.nl) are the most used promo channels. Lately mouth to mouth promo is doing its work.

6) Who typically attends your workshops?
That’s quite diverse. Most people got an interest in graphic design or any other creative form of expression. Lots of them work daily behind computers and never came in contact with analog printing and design. I also gave workshops to people who find themselves not creative at all. Needless to say that the coolest work often was made by this last group of people.

7) Any other tips?
Come in blank! Combine and have fun!

Thank you very much for offering your insights, Bart!

Do you have feedback on the tips above or would like to share your experience with the we ♥ letterpress community? We would love to hear from you! So, if you have something to share please mail us.