NWS Event Hosting Process
Designing an accessible, relationship-forward operations process for people to host custom events
Time Frame: Iterative Process - 2 years
My Role: Service Designer
How might we create a space where women, queer, trans and gender nonconforming event hosts and instructors feel comfortable and supported to build their communities and businesses?
Anyone who wants to host an event at NWS could submit an event inquiry and move through our event hosting flow which onboards them into the NWS community.
The event hosting flow includes a half hour phone call, a space visit, and a dedicated NWS volunteer to help host events day of.
We first began programming by meeting with each interested event host for an hour in person meeting, and quickly learned that this would not scale with only two founders to conduct meetings.
We moved to an “instructor orientation” model where we could onboard groups of interested hosts at the same time. We thought this would also lead to new connections between attendees, creating more reasons for people to attend other events and stay updated on NWS events.
We were also experimenting with different compensation models. We were empathetic to the fact that many new hosts were concerned about paying space rental fees for an event that was not well attended.
After a few months of hosting events with a shared revenue model (60% to the event host and 40% to NWS) we saw that the revenue going to NWS was not going to be financially sustainable for the space to continue to cover operating costs.
We finally moved to an event rental process with sliding scale rental fees. This was our way to ensure that we were receiving a minimum amount of revenue per event but also to accommodate people with less resources.
Results and Reflections
Being a lean team of two founders with the ability to change up a process quickly, we were able to take an iterative approach to design the best process for both NWS’ sustainability and our event host’s needs.
NWS continues to receive event rental requests as people are desirous to host their event at a space that has worked to build a reputation as inclusive and accessible.
As the team expands to more volunteers and paid stewards, there will be more NWS staff to ensure that the rental process remains personable and provides an above and beyond service.