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What it takes to host a 3 day SFG symposium!!

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What it takes to host a 3 day SFG symposium!!

Post  middlemamma on 4/5/2011, 12:50 pm

SquareFoot wrote:People have been asking about what it takes to host a 3 day symposium. Here are the basic Requirements.

A host needs to do the following:
Find a hotel that would give us a block of rooms at a good price: $69-89/night.
It would be good if the rooms came with a continental breakfast.
Also need a couple of conference rooms - if conference rooms were available at the hotel, that would be ideal.
If the conference rooms were free because of the block of rooms, that would be a plus.
Some hotels offer a couple of free rooms based on how many are booked. Some universities will allow us to use university housing for free.
Need a catered lunch each day of the symposium (cost is an issue; must be economical)
Need an actual Square Foot Garden to visit - if in a large enough area to do a workshop, so much the better.

The host would need to check the conference rooms to be sure there are enough seats, a podium, a projector for Power Points, microphone, etc.
We would make use of several teachers from the area who would be paid $100 for helping teach at the symposium.

TRAVEL EXPENSES: All parties, including teachers and lecturers, host as well as students, will make their own schedule and payment for all travel and accommodation expenses. A food allowance will be collected by the host from those wanting meals with a schedule of $5, $10, $15 for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and if meals are taken outside at local restaurants, each individual will take care of their own meals.

BOOK SALES: The SFGF requests a book table and one or two of your volunteers to help sell our books, videos and other products at the lecture location during the event dates. In order to simplify accounting, buyers should make their checks and credit cards out to the hosting organization, which may also collect cash, and will keep an accurate accounting of all sales. At the end, they can deposit all of these monies in their own account, and write one check to the SFGF. In order to help cover costs, they may deduct 5% from the check totals and the credit card totals. All proceeds from the book table sales, except for the 5% just mentioned, should be sent to the SFGF.

REGISTRATION: All student registrations will be made through the SFGF website, who will also collect the class tuition fee, and all student contact information will be kept in a chart and forwarded to the host coordinator periodically before the event. The host will then make and distribute name tags, lesson plans, and all handout copies and information prepared from masters given to them by the SFGF. They may also take registration information and monies at the beginning of the event from late comer’s, then passing those on to the SFGF at the conclusion.

CLASSROOM: The host organization will seek out and provide classroom space sufficient for the size of the anticipated class, including all equipment necessary for video and PowerPoint presentations. The instructors and teachers will bring with them their own CDs, DVDs, and PowerPoint to be used in the host equipment, which should include computer, projector, screen, and someone experienced and expert in using that equipment. Sound equipment should also be provided. Mel will need a wireless microphone and there should also be a podium provided with hand held microphone in the lecture room. We usually have from 20 to 30 people (sometimes up to 50) and the room needs to be large enough for tables and chairs.

FIELD TRIP: A field trip to an actual Square Foot Garden should be included. The best way for teachers to understand and teach is to get their hands dirty in an actual SFG.

WORKSHOP: If a workshop is included in the presentation, the SFGF will provide the host with a list of materials and money for them to be purchased by the host. If the host would like to have a demonstration garden that will be left and become their property, they should indicate here________ and decide what type and size they would like. The SFGF will provide a list of materials for that display, and those can be acquired with the host funds when they do the shopping, and the students will put that together as part of their workshop and it will remain as the property of the host.

OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS: The host team will search out and interview local hotels that would be appropriate in price and location for the incoming class students, and hopefully negotiate a special price so every student can stay in the same place.. It’s desirable to find a hotel that has a complementary breakfast and quite often, if they have bookings of 10 or more rooms, they will throw in a classroom or conference room at no charge. Also, the location should be picked so that it is easy to get to from the airport and other driving locations. If the host is using classrooms that they already have in their operation, then transportation should be provided between hotel and classrooms each day. With 20+ students and several people from the Foundation, a minimum of 10 rooms is easily doable.

REMEMBER: The Square Foot Gardening Foundation is a non-profit foundation. That means that at the very minimum, the Foundation MUST break even. Even better would be the situation where the Foundation and the Host Organization make some money.

A typical class is between 20-30 future teachers. As long as we have that, we should be able to break even, Barely. So it's better if we could get local organizations to help with either food, or lodging, etc.

Remember that this class is to train future teachers, NOT teach Square Foot Gardening.We expect every participant to already understand the basic concepts of SFG already.

Items that are needed for the symposium includes things like:
tables,folders, order forms, a screen and laptop to show videos and presentations, supplies of Mel's mix ingredients(for workshop) and things like that.

The topics that we cover in the symposium include:
*How to teach SFG
*Humanitarian efforts
*How to turn your hobby into a money making business
*Cutting edge stuff we are working on


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