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SiS Event Hosting Guide


Volunteer-hosted events are at the heart of what makes Songwriters in Seattle run strongly. Without volunteers who cared enough to put the time and energy into helping organize and run events, we wouldn’t have much to build a community around. Even with the size of our membership, new events spring up very organically at the grass roots level, with one member of the community who is passionate about a particular area contacting someone on the leadership team and working out details.

We love our event hosts and want to help make your event a great experience! This guide was made to help you understand what it takes to host an event, provide some examples of typical types of events we have and what is generally involved with each one, and give you a few tips to help you be successful if you’d be interested in hosting.

The Basics

There are a few things common to all events that if you are considering hosting, you will need this information up front:

  • Date and time
  • Location (w/street address)
  • Event description
  • How many people can be accommodated
  • (optional) Special notes about parking or where the host may be found at the location
  • We can sometimes help you find a venue for your event, but that is often the most difficult part of getting something going. If you want to host at your house/apartment but don’t want your address publicized, we can offer the general area of Seattle in the public information and then include a note that “Yes” RSVP’s will be notified via Meetup message with the address before the event. This can be a little tricky as not all members have their profiles connected to an up-to-date e-mail address. This also takes us to our last general requirement of being a host:

    You need to monitor the Meetup calendar item for your event, respond to comments in a timely manner, and send out appropriate information as needed. You need to be aware, receiving notifications (which should be automatic), and actively involved with the calendar item so that attending members have the info they need and potential attendees understand what they would be signing up for.

    Needs and Tips for Hosting Specific Types of Events

    Networking/Creativity/Collaboration Event
    – Welcome introduction and sponsor mentions, as appropriate
    – Introductory questions
    – Lead discussion topic/activity
    – Introductory song performance or recorded audio play
    – Networking time and biz card swap
    – (optional) Facilitate collaboration
    – (optional) Time to learn parts

    Song Circle
    – Have songs to perform
    – Be able to improv along with others, if desired
    – Time to network

    Jam Session
    – Prepare a list of cover songs to jam on with both chord and lyric charts
    – Determine who plays which instruments and who’s bringing which instruments
    – Time to learn covers
    – Time to network

    Open Mic
    – Provide sign up list
    – Announce performers previous, up next, and now up after monitor sound check
    – Provide functioning PA, audio engineer service, stage, backdrop, and lighting
    – Setup & tear down of equipment.

    – Book date, venue, sound person, door person, and performers
    – Promote event and confirm attendance
    – Prepare songs and set lists
    – (optional) Provide photo, video, audio services

    Workshop or Seminar
    – Setup the room (podium, projector, table, and chairs)
    – Bring snacks (costs are re-imbursable by SiS – save your receipts and contact Chris)
    – Prepare host introduction
    – Presenter prepares presentation
    – (optional) Video and or just audio recording

    Casual Critique
    – Listen to and perform or play recording at event
    – Write out critiques while listening
    – Lead critique discussion
    – Time to network

    In-Depth Critique
    – Recording and posting rough drafts
    – Listen to each song 3-5 times
    – Provide structured review format for all attendees to use in advance
    – Write critiques for each song to bring to event
    – Lead critique discussion