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[personal profile] raffaellasworld
One of the lessons out of this year (possibly the biggest) was that we need bigger, and different spaces. We need at least 2 modern kitchens, and bigger teaching spaces, in addition to optimally having enough heated sleeping spaces. I learned that I need to have a better concept of true capacity, just because something is rated for X number of people, it dosen't nessisarily mean that many can fit comfortably, much less your average Scadian vs. cubscout. The logisitics of using one kitchen for both classes and meals was difficult enough, and a lot of kitchens aren't set up to work well as teaching spaces. Once I have a firm and clear idea of what the more realistic maximum headcount is, I need to set a cap at or just below that point advertise it, and stick to it no matter what. This may require more prodding of the teachers and staff specifically so we dont reach our cap with half our teachers unregistered. I think ACCEPTS next time will help things along as well.

The site we were at the first year had better teaching spaces but only 60 heated sleeping spaces, and another 20 or so unheated. The good thing about this year's site was that it can sleep up to 200 people in heated  cabins with bunks off the floor. Unfortunately this isn't enough to make up for the lack of additional modern kitchens, and adequate teaching spaces. The cabins worked alright for smaller classes but the more popular ones were beyond standing room only. Sadly for all it's highlights I believe this event has already outgrown this site, although I believe Brighid mentioned that it might be just the thing for an administrative retreat.

Back to searching for viable sites. The other question remains, if we find a site that has  everything we need but is twice the price, what will people be willing to pay for this event and the accomodation of having heated cabins and a food option? It may be a question of waiting to see how well Art of War does this weekend. It may be a slightly different focus, but it's about twice the price and uses the site we had the first year.  Will people pay $80 for a site fee? 

The site they used last in Oregon was fantastic for this! I hope it's used for a Symposium again. I'll volunteer to do their electronic PR if they'd like and we'll fill it to the rafters with foodies! :) 

I think the pre-registrations for classed helped address some teacher concerns from the first year, but there's still more tweaking to be done there as well when reality meets concept. I recieved feedback from one of the students who had registered early that she was frustraited that the teacher's didn't call roll and offer the seating to those who were registered for the class and any leftover seating and standing room to those who were on the wait list or just dropping in.  I think perhaps a quick training session like they do for judges at Kingdom Arts & Sciences might be helpful? This might also help address some potential issues with class fees and reimbursements to help keep the overall costs down and that the event can support itself. It's not as big a deal if a class has a minimal class fee, and it's just a question of additional handouts. If the classes are more supply and labor intensive, the teacher naturally only plans supplies and handouts for those who are registered. In additon to supplies this may well create additional logistical challenges and potentially a change in how the actual hands on aspect of a class goes, if people drop in without registration &/or payment. 

Overall, I'm really happy with how everyone performed, and how things went. All the success I attribute  to others, any issues I take responsibility for, and will attempt to avoid in the future. 
I'm really, really looking forward to next year, being able to take classes and help instead of being on the event steward team.

Some of the class information has already been posted! I so wish I had been able to enjoy more classes, but I'm still thrilled that we had  so many fantastic ones.
information posted online about classes or by teachers:
Renaissance Spain/ Chocolate: http://renaissancespain.blogspot.com/
Katharine's fantastic German studies: http://jillwheezul.livejournal.com/tag/culinary%20symposium
Master Ref's awesome viking food stuff.
Bread without  commercial yeast: http://vikingfoodguy.com/wordpress/papers/baking-bread-without-commercial-yeast/
Fermentation in theory and practice http://vikingfoodguy.com/wordpress/papers/fermentation-in-theory-and-practice/

Hmmm, I've sent out a request that anyone who wants to share their contact information let me know as I won't share without permission. I wonder if it would be possible to create some kind of website where those who want to share their contact information and perhaps website or other documents could add the information themselves so they would be in complete control of exactly what is posted? 
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