One way to diversify your yoga teaching, avoid group class burnout, and dive deeper into some of your favorite passion subjects is to organize and teach yoga workshops.
If you’ve never organized and hosted a yoga workshop before, it may seem like a daunting endeavor. Where do you begin? How long should it be? What topic should you teach? How do you know what to charge?
All valid questions.
Organizing and teaching your first (or tenth) yoga workshop takes time, patience, and some attention to details.
👉I’ve spent 20+ years organizing and hosting yoga workshops and training events. Five of those years was as a professional event planner for a major corporation in Dallas.
Planning an event involves multiple moving parts, so over the next few weeks, I’ll share my tips and expertise in organizing a yoga workshop. The posts are divided into the three main tasks you’ll need to complete for your own successful event:
1. Research & Secure Your Venue
A. Cost of the Venue
👉 The space you choose to use to host your yoga workshop will be your largest expenditure, and set the tone for your event.
Each venue–yoga studio, community center, hotel, retreat center, Airbnb, etc.–will have their own pricing structure. Frustrating, for sure, but this is why initial research is crucial. You’ll quickly learn which venues aren’t financially feasible for your event.
Some venues charge a percentage.
Yoga studios tend to charge workshop organizers a percentage split with the higher percentage going to the host/instructor and the lower end to the venue.
For example, if you bring in $1000 for your event and you’ve agreed to a 70%/30% split, the space earns $300 and you take home $700 (before other expenses).
Percentage split totals fluctuate based on the number of participants in your workshop and you may not know until the day of the event how much you owe the venue.
Some spaces charge by the hour.
With an hourly fee, you’ll know upfront what you owe the venue. If you’re organizing a 2-3 hour or half-day workshop, this might be the better pricing structure. Low end tends to be around $25/hour and rates go up from there.
Some locations charge a flat rate.
If you plan to use the venue the entire day, you may be charged a flat rate versus hourly. In many cases, the flat rate is often less than a full-day, hourly charge.
Some charge a commission.
In this case, the studio/space pays you a set amount per person who attends the workshop. This is an uncommon rental structure, and in my 20+ years, I’ve never been paid this way. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur. Just not my personal experience.
Some might comp the space.
Depending on your networking and relationships, you might be able to secure a venue for free. Beware of hotels that comp the space in exchange for meeting the food and beverage minimum. The F&B minimum often runs 2-3 times what the space rents for.
B. Understand the Fine Print
Regardless of what venue you choose for your event, you’ll want to have an agreement or contract that clearly states what each party is responsible for the duration of your event.
Some items usually covered in an agreement/contract:
- Day and time of your event
- Agreed upon cost/fee structure
- Required deposit and/or security deposit
- Does the agreed upon cost cover set-up and clean-up time or will you need to pay extra for that time?
- When is payment due? Are you collecting the money and cutting a check to the venue? Some studios prefer to collect all the money for the workshop and then pay out to the organizer.
- Cancellation policy. Is there a fee or penalty for cancelling the workshop? How far in advance?
- Does the venue owner get a “free” or discounted spot in the workshop? This occurs more with studio owners than other facilities.
Plus, be familiar with the dos and don’ts for the facility:
- Are outside food & beverage allowed, or is it provided by the venue?
- Can you light candles, burn incense, diffuse oils, etc.? Some locations have strict policies in place regarding no open fire.
- Are you responsible for full clean-up of the facility? Sweep the floors, clean the mirrors, wipe down the mats.
- Does the facility provide any supplies and/or materials or do you have to bring it all in? Pens/pencils, easel and pad, dry erase board and markers.
- What, if any and how many, props does they facility have?
- If you want to play music, is the facility set up for that or will you need to bring in your own? Does your device work with what they have (such as a Wifi or Bluetooth connection)?
- Do you have access to, and control of, the thermostat?
- Will there be someone on site if something goes wrong? Do you have a telephone number for your point of contact?
C. Visit the Venues in Person
Once you’ve done some initial research into venues for your yoga workshop. you’ll want to physically tour the spaces.
Photographs can be misleading or don’t provide details such as electrical outlet placement, where the bathrooms are located, or if there’s an odd angle or column in the middle of the space.
Walk the floor, roll out mats if you need to in order to determine how many people you can realistically fit in the space.
Think about the topic of your workshop. If you’re conducting a restorative yoga workshop, you’ll want extra space to accommodate props. Based on the activities you’ve planned, or are thinking about, does the space support them?
Make note of the drive and parking at the venue. You’ll want to be able to communicate clearly how to get to the workshop. (And participants always ask about this.)
PRO TIP 👉 If the venue isn’t local, or close enough to drive to (in the case of a yoga retreat), have your contact person walk the space while you FaceTime or Skype with them.
Once you’ve identified the ideal location for your yoga workshop and read the fine print, you’re ready to sign the agreement/contract and pay the deposit (if one is required).
Congratulations, you just secured your venue. Now you’re ready to outline and flesh out your workshop topic!
More in this series
Part 2 Outlining Your Yoga Workshop