Take Your Workshop Online!

Part 1 of a Two-Part Series

Looking for a way to expand your reach in these uncertain times?
Hosting an online workshop has a lot going for it!

Jill Law
Jill Law demonstrating abstract painting techniques in her studio

Why Take Your Workshop Online?

1. You can expand the size of your class, because you are not limited by the size of your studio.

2. You can expand your geographic reach, because people don’t have to live near enough to drive to your studio.

3. More people are interested in online classes right now, because more people are turning to the virtual world while they are unable to travel and resume their normal activities.

4. It is an excellent tool for promoting your art business

Choosing Your Workshop Platform

A pre-recorded workshop can be as simple as a demonstration recorded with your cellphone and posted to social media. But if you’re looking for more polish, there are platforms and software that are more professional, such as: Learnworlds, Captivate(Adobe), and Camtasia.

A live presentation is another option, though it does require a little more skill and confidence. There are no do-overs. No chance to edit out flubs. But there is a sense of immediacy and a chance to ask for responses from your students.

By now you are probably familiar with Zoom, the leading platform for online presentations. It has a free trial option, which is a great way to figure out if this is the platform for you. If you go for Zoom’s Pro Plan the cost is $14.99 a month, and includes easy group messaging features, admin control features like muting your students, plus the easy option to record your webinar for future use.

Google Hangouts is another option. It is a free platform that works best for small groups. It doesn’t have the options of Zoom, and all participants are required to have G-mail accounts, so it may limit your audience.

GoogleMeet has many more features than Hangouts, such as file and image sharing and users don’t need a G-mail account. Costs start at $6 a month.

GoToMeeting is an online meeting and video conference platform that has been around for a long time. It allows you to easily share documents, like materials lists, with all your attendees. It is easy to record and share your webinar. It is a robust and professional platform, but it works best on up-to-date computers. The cost is about $12 a month for their professional plan.

Next week we will bring you presentation tips for better online workshops.

Share Your Process and Earn a Stipend!

MARV, the Medford Arts Resource Vehicle, is looking for artists to present online art events during this time of social distancing. Possible events could include a demo/tutorial about your work process, an interactive art process workshop, a “behind the scenes” look at your studio or introduction to some of your art, or a talk on an art-related topic of interest to you. The event can either be held live or can be recorded to be shown at a future date. Since in-person shows, fairs and events are cancelled for the foreseeable future, this could be a fun way for you to share what you do with a larger audience, while also showing people a potentially new art medium or technique. Accepted artists will earn a small stipend. If you’re interested, fill out this form, and they will get in touch with you soon.