November 5, 2021

Three Tips on How to Host a Successful and Profitable Workshop

Hey there, photographer!


If you’ve ever caught yourself scrolling through Pinterest dreaming of hosting your own in-person workshop or event for other creatives, you’re not alone. 


I know what it feels like to imagine your dream get-together of like-minded entrepreneurs getting creative and connecting with each other–– all while you get paid to be their host and maybe even plan exquisitely beautiful styled shoots.


But, I also know what it’s like to hit big obstacles that quickly douse water all over the fire of your vision. 


Maybe the biggest obstacle that you’ve hit is the same one that I did when I first started hosting Rever Workshop  years ago: How to not just host an event, but make PROFIT.


Figuring out how to execute all the tasks needed to host an event is one thing, but does all of that hard work matter if you aren’t able to pay yourself for the 100+ hours that you put into it? (Or worse, if you lost money and actually had to pay out of pocket to cover some costs!)


In today’s post, we’re going to go over three tips on how to host a successful and profitable workshop! I am sharing all of my knowledge (ahem, mistakes that I learned from) so that you can get started thinking about how to host your first event… AND make money from it.


If this is something you’ve ever considered doing to diversify your revenue, I encourage you to read on! Oh, and make sure to sign up for the WAITLIST for the workshop course that will be launching late this fall! 




If you’re thinking this seems like a weird first pointer because it has nothing to do with money, you’re wrong! This has everything to do with your projected revenue for your event.




When you know what your attendees want in a workshop, shootout, etc., you’re able to create an event around real demand and need


When you create an event based on those things, you have the assurance that you WILL sell tickets–– because you already know you’re creating something that people are DYING to sign up for!

Here’s how to figure out what your attendees want:


Ask them! (Groundbreaking, I know!)


This is the step of “Survey & Serve” (if you take my course this coming fall, you’ll hear more about this!) We want to survey our audience or anyone who we think may be interested in this event to get their feedback so that we have a blueprint of how to serve them. 


A few ideas on how to survey your ideal attendees:

  • Email out a Google Form or SurveyMonkey survey (keep it under 5 questions, no one has time for a long survey!)
  • Do a poll on your Instagram stories
  • Take a few fellow entrepreneurs out for coffee, tell them your idea, and see if they’d be willing to answer a few questions 


Not sure what questions you need to ask? Try some of these to get started!

  • Would you/have you ever attended a (insert type of event you’re planning here)
  • What would you want to see at that type of event if you signed up?
  • Would it be helpful to you/your business if this event included (insert activity here – this could be styled shoots, speakers, lodging, etc.) 
  • What things have you not seen at events/workshops/shootouts that you would like to see?


Loaded up with this information, you are setting yourself up for success!




Budgets–– ew, right? I don’t always love crunching numbers either, but we HAVE to have to when it comes to hosting events. 


To keep this pointer brief, we’re just talking about having a revenue goal and a budget (don’t worry, the course has an entire module on all the numbers you need to know to host an event and even has done-for-you-plug-and-play spreadsheets!) 


Your revenue goal = how many tickets you need to sell in order to 1) pay yourself and 2) pay for your expenses. 


Your expenses? Those all fall into your budget. Think of your budget as the boundary line that allows all the wonderful things that you’re dreaming of to happen, not something that holds you back!


Without getting into the financial nitty gritty, I will say that what’s important here is at least to set yourself up a budget…


And stick to it! 


Not having a budget (or making a budget but totally blowing it) is a very easy and the most common way for photographers to not make any profit on their event. 




By this pointer, what I essentially mean is: give your attendees an experience they’re going to tell all their friends about!


Strategize ways for the day to go smoothly and deliver a great experience–– in doing so, you’re going to create a reputation for yourself and your event brand that is going to keep attendees coming back… and bringing their friends with them!


A few things details that we’ve been told give our attendees a stand-out experience:

  • Seamless rotations during styled shoots
  • Small/intimate groups where no one gets stepped over
  • A quick and easy way to ask questions or get information before the event
  • Little helpful things! Like lanyards with a schedule on it, name tags, or water bottles upon arrival 


It’s the little details that make attendees feel cared for, seen, and like things are running seamlessly at your event. 


Sure, you can have the coolest styled shoots in the nation or offer 100 speakers at your event, but if you’re not detail-focused and your attendees are confused about the schedule, don’t know where to go, and don’t have access to what they need to enjoy themselves–– it doesn’t matter! 


I hope these three tips are helpful as you start to dream up a successful and profitable event! If your heart starts to race excitedly at the thought of hosting your own shootout, workshop, or event–– I’d love to come alongside you and make that dream a reality! My upcoming workshop course will teach you everything you need to know to host a successful and profitable event. 

Want to sign up? CLICK HERE! 

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We're Shelby & Jared, Springfield MO wedding photographers passionate about meaningful living. We document timeless moments for free-spirited, elegant couples across the Midwest and beyond. As fine art photographers, we strive to create work that will leave a legacy of love for years to come.



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