With regard to promotional events, I can tailor packages to a specific organisation's needs.
These will be highly interactive and lively events rather than straightforward lectures and will be targeted at a particular age or skills and knowledge level.
Themes can be wide-ranging, including:
- comics around the world
- British perspectives on the comic
- gender and comics
- manga and anime
A day may encompass a number of short talks. Such talks, usually lasting about an hour and a half, can incorporate questions and an opportunity to read and borrow from the collections that have been 'booktalked'. As reading is usually part of the sessions there needs to be enough books to allow the audience (however big it is) to have a selection to choose from and rummage through.
This is an ideal format for a school's book week event, for instance. In that context, these sessions can also be used to allow the groups involved an opportunity to build a list of 'wants' for their school library, as a first stage towards setting up a collection.
These talks, then, can be used to help create collections, promote new collections or breathe life into old ones, so the organization involved needs to send me a list of what they can have available on the day. I will bring along some additional titles where necessary to complement existing collections, but need to know what is already in stock to ensure I bring different materials.
However, events do not just take place in schools. I have run events in range of venues with a number of different audiences.
For instance, recent months have seen me working in schools, school libraries, public libraries, colleges and universities with audiences aged between 12 and 50+.
I have also been involved in a number of open public events, attracting both adults and children into art galleries, libraries and youth clubs. I have also participated in literature festivals and worked with prison libraries.
Longer sessions spent with smaller groups can also be incorporated. For instance, a number of events for younger audiences have included a follow-up activity, typically something along the lines of 'Design a cover for a comic you'd like to see'. On other occasions I have done an introductory talk that acts as a lead into a day of artists' workshops. What I'll do depends on the time available, as well as on the age of the participants.
In terms of the number of participants, I have worked with groups as small as 5 and as large as 80, but work best with groups of 15-35.
During a day up to four separate groups can be worked with, depending on timetabling and transport.
These events typically take a half or whole day, depending on the brief. My basic needs for equipment are enough tables behind me when I stand and speak to allow all the books I bring to be spread out and a flip chart and pens.
If I can have access to the internet and a large screen, then great, but I can design sessions that work when that is not possible.
As these events largely involve small group work, flexible seating is needed.
Costs depend on the nature and length of the event. Expenses will typically need to cover a rail fare to the venue, and possibly an overnight stay.