Tips for Hosting a Successful Crochet or Knit Along Event
Jessica Hough a member of the Yarn: Behind the Business Community recently asked:
How can I increase the interaction and take up of my next CAL?
To answer this question I have turned things around a little and come up with the following tips for you all to improve the likelihood of a successful next Knit or Crochet along event.
Firstly treat this event as you wold any other real world party
You need to send invitations or no one will attend. There are lots of ways to get the message out about your online ‘party’ try some of these:
- CAL/KAL promotion and sharing groups on Facebook these do exist. Its worth joining to see what others are offering and how they provide their content as research.
- Send an invite to your mailing list. You really NEED a mailing list if you haven’t set one up yet put it on your to do list, near the top!
- Let your existing community group know about the upcoming event, change your group header to show the signup information
- Post it into Ravelry and a new pattern
- Check out the CAL and KAL groups on Ravelry too. Again joining some will be excellent research for you.
- Pop an invite into your Instagram feed, Twitter, Snapchat and any other social media that you regularly use
- Record a video to promote the event if you feel confident in front of a camera. For those of you with a You Tube channel this is an excellent way of spreading the message.
Set up a mailing list for the event
As I mentioned before you really need a mailing list to track all those lovely folk who want to take part in your event. Once you have gathered their information you can keep them updated on progress of the CAL/KAL. Let them know the requirements, start date, and special offers for kits, patterns etc.
When your CAL is some time in the future make sure to keep interacting regularly so participants don’t loose interest while they wait to get started.
Getting the Group Ready
You need to setup a group to host your KAL. During the live stream Karen Moffett asked:
Why pick a group over an event in Facebook?
The main reason is that Facebook Events are created for a real world event that lasts a day or so. If longer than this you would need to create a new event every two weeks and participants would need to jump between groups for your CAL. This is not exactly conducive to building a community spirit which is why I always opt for a Facebook Group.
Once the group is setup the following steps will help you run things smoothly:
- Set some rules, simple to follow and to ensure no group grabbing or sales nonsense
- Set the header graphics to promote the KAL so everyone knows they have arrived in the right group
- Find a moderator to help you out with running the group. It’s a great way to ensure that you can answer questions in your sleep if you find a moderator in a different time zone.
Once the CAL/KAL goes Live
All the best hosts of a party ensure no one is left feeling lonely in the corner, make sure that people feel welcome and that there are plenty of refreshments. Conversation is key so most of the tips below relate to stimulating conversation that doesn’t rely on you. Translating this to our online party world the following steps will really help you out.
- Welcome all the new group members and invite them to introduce themselves to the group
- Make sure that people are happy to chat among themselves and are not reliant on you the host to keep things going.
- Encourage people to share their thoughts on the CAL
- Encourage and share your own photos of work in progress, making the project alongside everyone else can be really inspiring
- Encourage people to share their tips for the project
- Try to have some tips and hints to share during the project
- A great idea is to save up some goodies to giveaway when the membership hits significant numbers. Encourage existing members to share the KAL information with their yarny chums or other Facebook or Ravelry groups.
A Word About Size…
I know its said in jest a LOT but truly Size Doesn’t matter. The scope will vary for each CAL out there. For some folk 5 participants will be significant for others 50, 500 or even 5,000.
Don’t compare your KAL to others. They may have a yarn company promoting them, or a huge history of running CALs behind them.
Make sure you Focus on making your KAL the best it can be right now.
Then next time around you will have more people talking about how great the last one was. You can use quotes from previous participants for the next time around.
I hope that these tips will be of benefit for your next CAL/KAL and I look forward to hearing about it. I will soon be adding a CAL/KAL/Challenge Calendar to this site. So please make sure you have signed up the the Yarn:BTB mailing list so you can add your next events to the calendar for free.
Bye for now,