How to attend a workshop
Because we want the format to be highly interactive, we limit the size of each IWST workshop to between 15 and 20 seats based on the facility and the demand. More than 20 people and it becomes difficult to facilitate. We manage attendance and invites on our Meetup group. Go to Meetup if you'd like to attend.
A quick note, while IWST is generally attended by people in the Indianapolis area - people from outside the area are welcome to attend. To date we have had a handful of out-of-towners attend. If you are traveling in the area, drop us a line.
Frequently asked questions for attendance
Is preference given to certain attendees?
We have come close to the 20 person limit only a couple of times. If we have to be selective, we select according to the following biases:
- Preference is given to attendees who have an experience to share
- Preference is given to attendees who are willing to scribe
- Preference is given to attendees who have significant related experience
- Preference is given to attendees who offer a unique perspective
- Preference is given to attendees who have not attended a past workshop
- Preference is given to attendees from different companies
What does invitation only mean?
Invitation only means that you have to be placed on the attendee list by one of the organizers so we know who and how many people are attending. We need to make sure we have enough people sharing experience reports so we have enough content and we need to keep the total number of attendees under 20. On the rare occasion that we send an actual invitation to someone, most often they are unfamiliar with IWST and it's our way of trying to expand our workshop community. We are managing that list via to our Meetup group.
What if I don't have something to present?
That's ok, request to attend anyway. We need people to ask questions and challenge ideas. That could be you. We need experience reports for the workshop to take place, but once we have four or five, we typically have enough to carry a workshop for five hours. If you have an interest in the topic, request to attend and let us know why. Unless we run up against the attendee limit, you're more then likely going to get an invite.
Do I really have to write something to attend?
You don't have to write anything. We of course like it if you do (gives us content for this here nifty website), but it's not required. If you have an experience to share, come prepared to tell a story. Story telling is a great way to convey the context of the experience you are trying to share. It also makes your experience more memorable to the attendees. If you have the time to write it down, great. If not, don't worry about it.
Why do you say preference is given to people who haven't attended?
We are constantly trying to grow the workshop community. We can only do that if we invite new people to attend. Historically it hasn't been a problem, but (all other things being equal) if we get to the point where we have to choose between a regular attendee and someone new, we will select someone new.
Why do you say preference is given to people who have experience reports?
Mostly because we need experience reports for a workshop to take place. In 2005 and 2007 we canceled workshops because we didn't have enough experience reports. We don't want to have people give up their time on a weekend unless we have a great lineup of content for them. To make that happen, we need people willing to share their experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly). If you have an experience to share, you will almost always get invited.
Why do you say preference is given to people from different companies?
It's the last filter we apply, and the reasoning is to help us get diversity of experience. That's not to say that just because two people work together at the same company they have the same experience, but it's certainly more likely. It also helps up protect against the perception that we are showing favoritism towards a specific company (or companies) in the community.
What happens if I sign up to attend but then need to cancel?
If you need to cancel before the workshop, email the organizers and let them know. Life happens; we know that. If you need to cancel the day of the workshop, please call someone (you should get a phone number in the welcome email for that workshop event). Not only do we worry about you (during the winter months), but it also lets us know if we are going to have enough content to have to workshop go forward. We also want to be able to fill all the seats. If you know you can't make it, that may open your seat for someone else. Just a warning, if you always cancel you will quickly find yourself not getting invited back.
How do I cancel?
If it's before the workshop, email the organizers and let them know. If it's the day of the workshop, please call someone (you should get a phone number in the welcome email for that workshop event). If you can't find that email, call Sreekala Kalidindi (317-663-9458).