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How to organize an online art workshop

Even with the lockdown eased in many places around the world Nigeria inclusive, several individuals are still being very careful about stepping out of the house for meetings and any other form of public gatherings. 

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However, you are probably starting to worry about this constant theme of social distancing because it is hindering your plans to execute the paid workshops you have had people register for. Also, as an artist looking to make money from workshops at this time, you should not feel discouraged. 

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Workshops can be online and be as successful as the ones you have done or will do at physical locations. 

Besides, there are lots of individuals who are staying at home and are looking to learn such unique creative skills that you possess. 

Forms of Online Workshop: 

There is the video, audio, and another form where video, audio, and text are combined to create relevant content for participants of your workshop. 

So, your video online workshop can take place on YouTube or have a combination of texts, video, and audio on WordPress and WhatsApp groups. Some of these platforms like WordPress allow organizers to have passwords they would share with participants of the workshops.

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However, the following could determine the kind of technology that you would use as a medium for your online workshop: 

The number of participants

This largely determines the type of tech platform you will use to conduct the online art workshop. 

For example, there are tech platforms that are not free or would require you to subscribe for a particular package to have certain numbers added to the platform or enjoy certain specifications on the tech platform. 

Therefore, you shouldn’t make announcements of hosting the workshop on a particular tech platform only to discover that you can’t add everyone who registered to such platforms unless you subscribe with fees you can’t afford. 

So it’s important to decide on how many participants, note how many have registered, and make preparations for the number of participants that you didn’t plan before concluding to use a particular tech platform. 

Internet Connection & Location

Your participants might be in a location with an efficient internet network. 

However, if you are locked down in a village far off on Mars you need to get a reliable network and test the internet connection before commencing the online Art workshop. 

You need to ensure that the digital platform selected can work (smoothly) in the different locations your audience are bound to register from. 

A participant has an excuse if their network is bad. But the host or organiser is never permitted to have excuses. Since you had control over most of the decisions made. Your audience might forgive and forget but you might not be able to forgive yourself because that kind of failure lasts forever in your memory. Moreover, it is something you could have avoided if you had done all that was required. 

Your Technological wisdom and that of the audience 

How tech-aware are you? Are your participants also digitally smart? 

If it’s low, then you must find a way to teach or update their knowledge about the tech platform you plan to use. 

If the workshop is for kids, you should consider their level of understanding in line with using the internet or the selected platform. Even when the workshop has teenagers, youths, and young adults as participants you should ensure they can fully grasp the tech platform if they are not familiar with it. 

Again, you must be a master of the selected platform you plan to utilise. How do you mute, share your screen, share documents, add instructors, share links, etc. 

How savvy are you with the platform you have selected? 

Do your participants have the gadgets to partake in the online art workshop? 

Obviously, you should have the gadgets you need to be an impactful tutor. Your Bluetooth earphones so you can move around easily if you have to, and your swivel chair for comfort. 

However, successful teaching or learning is not one-sided. You need to be sure your audience has the kind of gadgets you have for the workshop to be effective. 

If they need VR, can they get one or would you provide it? 

Some of the meeting platforms do not work very well with outdated gadgets or software. So, before you decide on the platform to use, consider the gadgets and your audience. 

There are platforms that work better on laptops and work less efficiently on smartphones. There are others who are only compatible with Android phones and less effective on Apple gadgets. 

All of the above and more should be considered for you to have an effective online art workshop. Generally, it is important that you are able to convince your participants to learn how to use and accept the online art workshop. 

It’s not easy to let go of money at a time like this. Your work is to ensure that they get to learn relevant content in a suitable online learning environment. 

Even if most of these things are out of your control, you still have to be able to control most of them so your audience can have a great experience. That is the only way they can register for another workshop you organize. 

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