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Jot four: To host, or not to host?

Laura Thomson is Creative Content Strategist at Front Page. As founder, she hosted Jot one – talking about what the community is, who it's for, and where it's going.

Jot four

To host, or not to host?

Lead, take part or listen. That’s what we say in our manifesto. Like we said at Jot four, hosting’s not for everyone – we know that. There’s no pressure on anyone in the community to host, but it is the only way Jot can continue. If it’s something you’re interested in, here’s what you need to know.

What could I host about?

Anything you’re passionate about within the context of writing. It doesn’t have to be really obviously linked. You could give tips on creating content for social media, host a session on tone of voice, arrange a workshop for writing captivating headlines, or talk about how you maximise freelance business. You could even speak about your career, moderate a Q&A session on overcoming obstacles during the creative process, or spark a discussion about writing for design (and the other way around).

What type of event? 

This will be steered by the topic and what you’d like attendees to get out of it. If you want a lot of audience participation and engagement, you might want to host a workshop. If there’s an interesting topic you’re keen to speak about, you could prepare a presentation. Maybe there’s a group of you looking to host a series of talks, or you’d like to arrange a networking event to meet other writers. You could even set up a round table discussion to generate ideas, or use a mixture of workshop, presentation, and discussion for your event.

How will it work?

One. Book in. We’ll agree a date with you around two months before the event (at least).

Two. Theme. Roughly seven weeks before the event, we’ll confirm the theme and title.

Three. Type. So we know how many tickets to release, we’ll agree the type of event you want to host around five or six weeks before it takes place.

Four. Content. Any time between then and up to two weeks before the event, you’ll be planning the content. In that time, we can meet up or message as much as you like. Two weeks before the event, we’ll get you into the Front Page studio to go over the content and suss out the best setup for your event.

Five. Design. If you need help with any presentations or printouts, we can help. Your content doesn’t have to be Jot-branded, but we can provide you with a presentation template if you’d find that easier. We’d start this about a week or two before the event.

Six. Setup. On the week leading up to your Jot, we’ll get you familiar with the equipment and make sure you’re comfortable with everything in the space. We’ll do a quick tech run, go over housekeeping, and make sure we’ve got everything you’ll need on the night. If you’ve got a space you’d rather host in, we can set up there instead.

Seven. Host. If you’re hosting in the Front Page studio, we’ll provide snacks and refreshments and set them up beforehand. All you have to do is turn up around 5:30/6pm and host!

Tips from other hosts

Clare Hanlon 

I chose to host a part presentation, part workshop about using analytics to write great copy. As a digital strategy manager, I know the analytics side of that inside out – but I’m not a writer. So I was worried there’d be people there who’d know much more and would’ve heard everything I had to say! It wasn’t like that at all. There was a lot of really great and positive discussion, where everyone shared their ideas, tips, and experiences in an open, informal environment.

My advice is this: just do it! I was a bit nervous but I didn’t die. You arean expert in your area and you’ve got plenty to share that others can gain from. Go for it.

Martin Boath

The purpose of my Jot was to highlight the importance of good copy, and get designers relying less on lorem ipsum. Everything I spoke about was according to me – using tips and experiences I’d collected throughout my career. I didn’t pitch myself as an expert, just someone who’s learned how to notrely on lorem ipsum and why I think it’s a valuable thing for designers to work towards. My top tips are to plan, prepare, keep it informal, make jokes, and always add some sort of interactive element to your event.

This is all very new, so you might have some questions. Ask them! You can email hello@thisisjot.com or send us a message on social media.

Learn more about Jot, discuss hosting an event or find out what we’re up to.

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A collective from Front Page, a creative agency based in Glasgow.

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