Learn How To Price Your In-Person Creative Workshops. Creative workshops are definitely on trend these days and learning how to price your in-person workshop is key to ensuring that the workshop is successful and helps you earn a profit for your business. If you are new to teaching in-person workshops there is definitely a learning curve in knowing what you should charge your students that’s both affordable to them but still allow you to make a profit.
I have over 30 years of experience coordinating both small and large special events, conferences and workshops with attendees ranging from 10 to 2,500 including local and international guest speakers, logistics, catering, materials and more. I have learned so much over the years on how to set up, prepare and price workshops and events that I wanted to share this information with you today.
In this post we will mainly discuss how to price a one day single workshop. If you want to learn more about an extended day creative workshop retreats, for instance a 2-3 day retreat you may be interested in my post “How To Price Your In-Person Creative Weekend Retreat” you can find that here. Below are 5 things to help you in determining a price to charge for your workshop.
- Who’s Your Ideal Customer
- Cost of Materials and Seller’s Permit
- Determine Your Hourly Rate To Teach The Workshop
- Venue Fees
- Price Formula
Who’s Your Ideal Customer
In the beginning it can easily become very overwhelming, buying supplies, preparing for the class, booking the event venue, and finally teaching the class. One of the first things you should consider is “who is your ideal customer”? Will this be a beginner’s class, intermediate, or a seasoned maker wanting to brush up on their skills or learn some new techniques you may be offering? Once you know who your ideal customer is you will be better able to determine the materials needed, timeframe to complete the class, and will better help you determine your workshop fee schedule.
For example, a beginner with no skills will take longer to teach than an intermediate or seasoned maker. With beginner’s the supplies should be kept at a minimum so as to not overwhelm them with all the bells and whistles and techniques, where as the intermediate and seasoned makers already have the basics down and just want to learn new techniques therefore you will adjust your workshop curriculum to match the skill level of your students.
Remember beginner’s are eager to learn, so they maybe willing to take that first class, but can often get discouraged easily in the beginning. There is a 50/50 chance that you will have a one time student or possibly a future student willing to learn more and level up for the intermediate and seasoned workshop offerings. My best advice I can give you is to encourage confidence with practice.
Cost of Materials and Seller’s Permit
Knowing what the cost of your supplies for the workshop is the next step you will need to know in order calculate the overall cost of your workshop. Purchasing all of your supplies at wholesale is a must when it comes to calculating your workshop fees and getting the best price for your supplies which increases your profit margin.
Paying retail prices will leave you with very little profit margin. You can order supplies wholesale online or at a local supplier who accepts your wholesale seller’s permit. I must make a point here about buying wholesale online or wholesale thru a local supplier. Be sure to research your online prices and include the cost of shipping and minimum purchase requirements when ordering versus buying from a local wholesale supplier. Some retail stores allow you use your Seller’s Permit to purchase product so always ask the “store manager” or “customer service representative”. I never ask the sales clerk as generally they are not as familiar with the stores business management polices.
For example, I teach a variety of home decor creative workshops, including but not limited to floral design, painting, and the art of wreath and bow making and when it comes to supplies, I often buy from a local supplier that offers ribbons and wreath making materials that equal those I can find online. They allow me to use my wholesale seller’s permit so I get a wholesale discount on the product, there’s generally no shipping or minimum purchase requirement. So for me, often I come out paying less for the same product than ordering on line. I still purchase some items that I cannot find locally or a focal ribbon or material that I want to feature in my workshop on line but when I do I try to plan ahead I make sure I meet the minimum purchase requirements or if they offer a free shipping option with a minimum purchase.
You will need a “Seller’s Permit” sometimes called a “Wholesale License” in order to buy wholesale. A “seller’s permit” is usually issued via your State Department of Revenue. Each state is different so you need to check with your state for the instructions on how to apply for your sales permit. Many wholesalers will ask for a copy of this document both locally and online. So it’s a good idea to keep a copy of it with you if your shopping at local supplier.
Determine Your Hourly Rate for Teaching A Workshop
Determining your hourly rate for teaching involves several factors. First you need to consider how long will it take to teach this class, include the time it takes to plan and write out the course outline, marketing the course (social media, email, your blog if you have one), time that you spend purchasing the materials and preparing them for the workshop and travel and gas getting to and from the venue.
It’s hard to put a price tag on your time, but it’s an essential part of pricing the workshop. Ask yourself what would I like to get paid per hour for teaching this workshop? That question is always evolving as the more you teach the better you become, you expand your audience, and your reputation grows and your number of workshops should increase. So at some point you will increase your hourly rate once your established as an expert in the subject your teaching. That increase partly depends on your own level expertise in the beginning, and the popularity of your workshop subject, however you still need to take into consideration the economy of your specific area. Once you have accounted for your time, your ready to calculate your hourly rate.
Generally most venues will charge a fee to use their facilities. It can be a flat rate fee or a percentage of the total cost of the workshop. Always add this in your pricing formula, if it’s a percentage fee be sure to determine a workshop fee that includes taking the percentage out so you do not lose out on your profit margin.
You are going to find a variety of vendor fee prices depending on the venue you choose. If you are new and just staring to teach, I have a post here that gives you some alternate ideas on where to look for more economically friendly venues that I have found helpful when I first started teaching and I continue to update my venue lists. I always keep these in mind especially if your booked venue ends up canceling or closing for unexpected reasons, you may be able to source a new venue in time to notify your students and still teach the workshop on time.
Let’s Use An Example Workshop to calculate the price formula: “How to Master Bow Making” this workshop will be limited to 10 students.
Cost of Materials: ($15 per person/wholesale) = $24 (marked up by 60% to equal retail price) x 10 Students = $240 + (Venue Fee Flat Rate of $50) Total = $290
Hourly Rate: Total of about 10 hours at $25 per hour (this includes teaching the class) = $250
Total The Cost: Add up the all costs (materials, hourly rate) and divide by the number of students ( we are using 10 students) $240 + $250 = $490 (this is with out a venue fee) divide $490 x 10 students to find your your cost per student = $49 per student.
Let’s add in a venue fee. So say your venue wants to charge you 40% commission per student, so now multiply $49 x 40% = $19.60, now add $49 (per student price) and the $19.60 (40% per student venue fee). Your Total = $68.60 per student for the workshop. I would round either up or down preferably up to $70 per student, but if your area’s economy won’t withstand that price then round down to $65/per student.
Lastly, really take the time to consider all the information above when working on calculating a price formula for your workshop. Keep in mind that prices will vary regarding the workshop subject matter, the venue you decide to partner with, and the location where you choose to host the workshop and even the time of year the workshop will be held. Take in any other considerations, like paying an assistant to help you setup and during the workshop. If you use an assistant. You will need to calculate any costs into the formula above.
A side note regarding seasonal workshops, for instance if you are teaching a bow making workshop for the upcoming Christmas Holiday, generally this would be a very popular seasonal workshop and your likely to have a higher demand for bow making workshops than say in the summer months. I know in my area I have a lot of venue locations to choose from within a reasonable driving distance and the population of my area is relatively good, I’m highly skilled in what I teach, and my workshops are popular nearly year round so I can charge a higher price for my workshops. Whereas, if your in a small town, with little venue options and a lower population you may have to decrease your total workshop price to accommodate what the market price in your area would allow.
I hope this pricing guide is helpful to you in calculating your workshop fee. Let me know in the comments below if you choose to use this formula and if you have any additional questions. I have several other blog posts related to Creative Workshops and Retreats you may be interested in learning more here.
Best Wishes for a Successful Workshop! Peggy