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Author Topic: Is there any value in photography workshops?  (Read 2993 times)
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2010, 09:54:28 PM »
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"For such advice to make sense, there would be a need for the teacher to understand the history and goals of the photographer, it would require an ability to find ways to grow a person along its own path (not the path of the teacher) which does IMHO take continued education over the course of months or years."

Just being able to make a client understand how valuable this is.. would be a great start.  No matter how many times or how many ways I try to get this message across I still often get the "okay, now come on and tell me which buttons to push to get great pictures.."

"Now, our world is such that people who can afford good WS are typically busy professionals serious about their hobby or looking for a possible escape path away from their current field of activity. For these people, dedicated time without an iPhone connection might in itself be good value. Smiley"

This probably describes a good 70% of my clients..
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2010, 10:00:10 PM »
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This probably describes a good 70% of my clients..

+1, maybe 90%.
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Nick Rains
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feppe
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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2010, 11:44:53 AM »
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"I understand business quite well, I ran a very successful computer business for over 20 years."

These are different businesses with different requirements, but you seem more interested in trying to push your point across than trying to understand where the differences may be.

As you know "rights" are derived from contracts which hold up and can be enforced through local/state laws.  They are not what you personally feel is right.  Contracts and laws work both ways.  Buyer (and seller) beware with such things.

Yes, there can be additional advertising costs to fill an unexpected vacancy in a workshop.  Short term advertising often costs more than your regular long term advertising.  This is a legitimate cost.

You didn't address commissions paid to booking agents, administration fees, or other possible expenses you must be familiar with having run a business for 20 years.  Depending on the individual business model the expenses can be significant.  I would doubt they comprise the 'entire' fee, but isn't the business owners time worth something as well?

Anyone booking a workshop and paying money upfront, would do well to understand the local laws and read the contract carefully.  If they don't match perhaps that should tell you something about the instructor?  If they do match and you decide to book anyway, then accept the terms of the contract you signed and don't whine about it later.

In a high-volume service business cost of cancellations can be included as part of cost of doing business, and built into the fees - ie. every customer pays 5% more for the 5% who do cancel. I understand this is probably not an attractive option for workshops due to low volume, and as another businessman I appreciate there are real costs involved even if they do manage to fill the spot. But having to forfeit 100% of the trip cost if I cancel 30 days in advance for any reason is entirely unacceptable to me, insurance or not - and those terms are not uncommon at least in several workshops held in Central America (ran mostly by Americans). I'll take (took) my money elsewhere.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2010, 09:41:40 PM »
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In a high-volume service business cost of cancellations can be included as part of cost of doing business, and built into the fees - ie. every customer pays 5% more for the 5% who do cancel. I understand this is probably not an attractive option for workshops due to low volume, and as another businessman I appreciate there are real costs involved even if they do manage to fill the spot. But having to forfeit 100% of the trip cost if I cancel 30 days in advance for any reason is entirely unacceptable to me, insurance or not - and those terms are not uncommon at least in several workshops held in Central America (ran mostly by Americans). I'll take (took) my money elsewhere.

I'd agree 100% would not only be unreasonable, but as you demonstrated a poor business model because negative feedback is never good for business.

As a business owner you need to look at what the law allows, your actual expenses if/if not able to fill the vacancy, and then decide your own personal business ethics within the limit of the law.  Finally the contract and advertising must reflect all of this.  Business owners often make bad decisions.

This is why "buyer beware" is so important.  As a customer you need to look for these things and don't sign anything or submit fees you're not comfortable with.  Or if you are uncomfortable with them buy insurance.

I think transparency is key.  If you're 100% transparent it doesn't leave anyone much room to complain (though some will).  Again, my personal policy is I don't keep a single baht if someone cancels.  To me its much more rewarding to work long term repeat customers who are really learning.
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