Convention Idea – Leverage local workshops

The roundup of convention ideas is here.

Most conventions that have pro-fan panels have workshops, from cosplay, to writing, to graphics.  These are well-loved and well-recieved and a great way to impart serious knowledge in a fun situation.

Stocking a good workshop is hard as, simply, you have to find people that know how to run them and know what they're talking about.  For small conventions, or ones adding more pro-fan panels you may want to add more workshops, but you're not sure how to get the people to do them.

Workshops are running all the time because people are interested ingraining new skills.  If you don't have the people for your workshop, want a new one, or just want fresh blood, start looking at workshops already going on elsewhere and ask them to help.

Try some of these ideas:

  • You can find workshop groups in social media like,, or professional associations.
  • Related businesses often sponsor workshops – bookstores have writing workshops, art supply stores may have art workshops.  Check their newsletters, websites, and in-store advertising.  If they do have workshops, approach them and/or the people doing them about being at your convention  Cross-promotion may be possible.
  • Check newspapers and local news to find out about workshop events.  See if those doing them would be interested at being at your convention.
  • Many organizations, from churches to colleges do free public events that involve workshops.  Research into these may help you find those with the skills you need for your convention.

You've probably got a wealth of possible workshop hosts in the immediate vicinity of your convention.  Go see just what you have available.

– Steven Savage