On Sunday, I hosted a circuit bending workshop called "Haywire" with Dorkdbot Portland at PNCA.
Overall, things went really well! There was a sizable turnout (35 or 40ish benders) and most seemed to really be enjoying the workshop. We encountered a hitch at the start involving lack of power and fire marshals, but things got rolling and people got into it. Although I forgot to start the recorder for my 30 minute introduction talk, I did record a couple hours of silly and chaotic ambient audio from the event. I hope to convert it to mp3 sometime soon and make it available online.
This was my first time putting on a workshop, and I certainly stood to learn a few things. Like:
- Arrive earlier than you want to. I showed up about 15 minutes early, which was right around the time everybody else showed up. It was nice to have the help carrying equipment, but I would have been less overwhelmed with more time.
- Check power before the workshop starts.
- Set clear ground rules about taking toys to hack. That is -- if you take it from the bin, you take it out of the building. I ended up hauling away a seizable tote full of half hacked or otherwise busted items. Ug!
- Have dedicated helpers on-hand to answer questions and run errands. If 40 or so people want to pick your brain, you're going to have a hard time...helpers can, uh, help!
- Try not to span a mealtime or schedule a break or provide food. If people leave, it can break up the momentum and worse, they might not come back.
I also probably should have prepared a few simple diagrams/tutorials that showed some basics, such as adding a line-out. Hopefully there will be a next time, and hopefully lessons learned will lead to a smoother workshop! Thanks again to everybody who signed!