Google Calendar for Workshop Attendee Communication

Managing communication with workshop attendees can be a tough task. Ensuring information doesn't get lost among other emails is crucial to maintain smooth operation. A Google Calendar event is a great tool to keep attendees in sync without the information getting overshadowed by other emails.

The first step is creating a Google Calendar event for the workshop, especially when dealing with a large number of attendees, like sixty or more.

After setting the event, the next move is to add your attendees to the guest list. The guest list can be obtained from a ticketing system or other sources. But ensure the attendees neither have the ability to modify the event, see the guest list nor invite others, to protect their privacy.

The third step involves adding the location. The location can be a link to the venue, be it a physical or virtual one like a Zoom call or a gather room. Make sure you also set the time for the event properly.

In addition, it's crucial to provide notes for the attendees that contain comprehensive information about the event. This could be an agenda or could contain things they must know or do before the workshop. Make it as readable as possible, maybe even use bullet points or bold text.

If there are changes or updates, the event description is the best place to put them. Once the changes are saved, an update can be sent out so attendees always have the most recent information in their calendar.

The information to be provided will vary depending on the workshop topic, prerequisites, and available learning resources. It might also include joining instructions for a Discord server or other pertinent information.

As an alternate communication method, Google Calendar also gives the option to email guests if there is any information that does not need to be updated in the description.

Using Google Calendar events for managing attendee communication proves to be efficient and effective.


[00:00] Keeping coordinated with your attendees at your workshops is really important. You don't want to send an email and have that email compete with all the other stuff in that person's inbox of nonsense. Not everybody is very good at keeping up on their email. And if they do have a problem with that, they're going to blame you. They're going to say, oh, I never saw the email or whatever.

[00:21] So you don't want that to be you. You want to be forefront in their mind. And most people have a digital calendar. If somebody doesn't know how to manage their digital calendar, then that's on them. There's only so much we can do.

[00:35] But there's a lot we can do with a Google Calendar event in inviting people to those and using those as our mechanism for communicating with people. So I want to show you how I manage this. So this is back in July of 23, when I was doing the four weeks of two workshops a week. It was really, really helpful to have a calendar event with all the attendees. We had 60, well 62 people.

[01:02] I invited a couple of the library authors of libraries that we were using so that they could come and just listen to how I'm teaching that and give feedback and stuff. But yeah, so 62 people on this guest list. Just a lot of people that you want to keep coordinated with. And inside, well, first let's actually talk about getting those guests in here. I don't want to show you their emails for privacy reasons, of course.

[01:26] So here we've got the Epic Web Dev private events. This is for me. We'll have a calendar for each Epic web instructor. It'll say, here's my KCD workshop and the title of the workshop, React Hooks. You stick all of the guests in there, in the guest list.

[01:47] Typically you'll get this from whatever, you know, Tito or our own ticketing system, wherever. So you'll just get that from, however we do that in the future. In fact, in the future, we very possibly will be automating lots of this process of the guest list. But in any case, you get them on here, and you make sure that they cannot modify the event, they cannot invite others, and they cannot see the guest list. They're not giving us permission to share their email with everybody, so we want to avoid doing that if we can.

[02:16] And then you'll put the location. I set the location to be the link to the gather room. If you decide you want to do Zoom, then you'll put together a Zoom call and stick it there. I really like gather, but you know, wherever they need to go for the workshop at the time. Definitely, of course, set the time and everything, and then you do your notes.

[02:38] So let me show you the way that I have done my notes. It's pretty much just whatever information you think they need to have. You wanna make it as consumable as possible though, that's why I have these lists and I have it bolded and different things like that. Like here's what you need to know about the workshop, this is where the repo is, here's what you should do right now, this very instant to do these things. And actually it might be instructive to go to this one.

[03:02] This is the first of the series and then I kind of took it easy on some of the instructions. But yeah, so you give them all the prerequisites. You need to do these things right now. This is what you need to know about doing workshops with me and that sort of thing. So as I made changes to expectations or whatever, I would just edit this description, and then when you save it, it will ask if you wanna send an update, and you send an update.

[03:28] And so people don't have to shuffle through all the different email updates that you sent them to find the information, the latest information will always be in their calendar. And so at any time, they're like, okay, I need to know about what I'm supposed to do. I'm sitting down at my computer, I'm ready to get ready for this workshop that's happening next week. So they just go to their calendar and they look at the description. And whatever the latest update was is what they get, and so that's quite handy there.

[03:57] And honestly, that's actually it. What you actually include in the description is gonna vary based on what your topic is and the prerequisites and learning resources that you have available to them and stuff like that. Some of that stuff also can go in the repo. So we've got our setup instructions. We have like system requirements and prerequisites with some links and stuff like that.

[04:23] So I think it's best to actually put as much of that sort of information in there. But yeah, make sure that they know that they need to join the Discord or whatever. And that's another thing. So, and I'll talk about that a little bit later in a different video. But as far as the calendar is concerned, this is the best way to keep in sync with your attendees.

[04:45] If you do need to send them a message, you can just click email guests and type up a message and that'll just shoot them a one-off email if you need to tell them about something that you don't wanna update the description for. And yeah, calendar events, They're really good.