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I've been interested in the comments regarding the ticketed Hands-On
Workshops at the conference. Having taken many, and presented two, and
planning to offer one next year, I have a lot of concerns about the
quality of them.
This year the quality seemed quite low. There was an astounding lack of
preparation for some, too many slides and too little hands-on for others,
and few materials to work with. The Computer Jewelry one sounds
appalling; you attendees really should complain. For two of the ones I
went to, there were materials galore, but the presenters made us return a
lot of it (and I know they weren't the materials they brought from their
own studios or classrooms). When I've presented, I let whoever's still
there the last 30 minutes take whatever they like--they paid for it, and
I don't want to lug it back! I can't imagine someone seeing this as an
opportunity to buy supplies for themselves.
Some of you may not be aware of how the presenters are funded. The
presenter has a $200 budget. This pays for supplies, photocopying, and
also shipping expenses to send two boxes to the conference site ahead of
time (what a blessing, not having to lug that stuff ourselves!). Neither
time did I use the whole $200; there comes a point where you have to
figure two people will have to share a box of markers, rather than
blowing a lot on markers for everyone and scrimping on something else.
Perhaps what's needed is some accountability by the presenter to the
participants about how much was spent and on what. Maybe we could all
write that in our evaluations of the conference.
I was in the same workshop as Sidnie where a few people who did not have
tickets paid the presenter. This raises some ethical questions. As a
past and future presenter, I would like to hear some of your opinions
regarding this practice. Look at it from the standpoint of a lucky
ticketholder and someone who didn't fax her registration fast enough:
Assuming the presenter has enough supplies:
A. Should the presenter allow the slow person to participate, or just
watch from the sidelines? Or not be allowed in at all?
B. Should the presenter allow the slow person to pay half price, since
obviously not all the $20 fee goes to the presenter for supplies?
C. Should the slow person pay the $20 like the fast faxers? Obviously,
this is pure profit for the presenter.
Personally, I don't mind giving away an extra handout, but I can't in
good concience allow someone who hasn't paid to use the supplies. And I
don't think I could bring myself to have the slow faxer pay me directly.