Adison is a club leader from Texas. In this meeting, she runs the Splatter Paint workshop—and she does some pretty incredible things along the way.
What Adison does right
In this meeting, Adison takes the guiding philosophy of Hack Club Workshops and runs with it. Out of the 61 minutes of her meeting, only 14 minutes are spent on the workshop itself; the rest is spent entirely on guided, collaborative hacking. This approach is different from most clubs, which spend 50-75% of their meeting time on the workshop and 25-50% on hacking. Both approaches are valid, but Adison's focus on collaborative hacking creates some pretty interesting results: nearly all of her club members end up demoing a project by the end of the meeting, each project is very unique and interesting, and every club member is actively participating with their cameras on—something that many clubs struggle to achieve.
Here are a few things Adison does to create a fantastic club meeting:
Throughout the meeting, she is incredibly time-efficient without leaving anyone behind.
At , she stops to make sure everyone on the same page, and asks everyone to let her know if they need her to slow down.
At , she reaches the point of the workshop during which she explains the HSB color system, and she switches to a tab containing an image of the HSB color wheel that she's had ready to go the whole time.
At she seamlessly transitions to a mini hacking section where she encourages her club members to play around with the colors. This mini hacking section ends at around , when she seamlessly transitions back to the workshop.
She fills many gaps of silence with conversation starters.
At , near the beginning of the hacking section, she asks "While we're here, how was everyone's weekend?" Nearly everyone chimes in with lively responses, which lead into a conversation about AP tests.
She creates an atmosphere that feels super inclusive, low-pressure, and fun by subtly "guiding" her club members through the hacking section.
She constantly shares her own cool hacks, but keeps them easily accessible to her club members.
While her club members are talking about AP tests, she chimes in at to share her screen and demo a hack she made, and she briefly explains how she made it.
She frequently thinks out loud, which makes her cool hacks feel a lot less intimidating.
At : "I think I'm...going to see if I can get them to be stars instead of circles.""
From to : "Ooh, I got the stars to work out...I just guessed the angle because I'm really bad at degrees and rotations, but it worked out."
At : "I'm going to try putting a star inside of a star and see how that looks". laughs from her club members "Why not, right?"
The language she uses when she shares her hacks is very non-intimidating and accessible.
At , after she suggests an idea for a hack: "I have to pull up the documentation for it though, because I totally forgot how to do that."
At , she shares her screen and asks her club members to help her debug an error she's having. This lasts until .
At : "Ok, I'm going to google my error. Maybe somebody will have an answer for me."
Every hack she makes leads directly into another hack.
At , she shares an update on her progress and thinks out loud before , when she goes right back to conversation as she continues hacking.
From to : she quickly demos a new thing she added to her project, before immediately noticing something that can be better at .
She constantly suggests ideas for hacks that her club members could make, and shares resources that help make those hacks.
At : "I'm going to drop the link to some examples you can make with Paper.js in the Zoom chat."
From to , she suggests playing around with different shapes, random shapes, mouse interactions, etc. "Could you figure out how to make a heart?"
From to , a club member shares what they're trying to make, and Adison makes a suggestion to help them out.
The atmosphere she creates rubs off on her club members: almost everyone casually demos a project, and her club members start asking her for help without being prompted to do so.
At , a club member starts sharing their screen and demoing their hack, completely unprompted. They do this multiple times throughout the meeting.
At , another club member demos a cool hack that they've been working on for a while.
At , another club member, who had been fairly quiet up until that point, shares a super cool demo.
At , a club member asks Adison about how she did one of her hacks from earlier in the meeting.
Adison engages with all of her club members' demos: praising them for their work, asking follow-up questions, and offering suggestions.
You'll want to lead your club members by example during the hacking section by constantly hacking on your project and adding new things to it. If you struggle to come up with things like this on the spot, take some time at least a day before your club meeting to think of a bunch of examples and write them down so that you don't blank during the meeting.
If you want to be extra prepared, you could even build your hacks before the meeting and use them as a reference during the meeting.
Wait for people to come in. Play music in the background, make conversation with people as they arrive. Have the workshop pulled up on a separate device. Also have the HSB color wheel asset, and any other assets you want, pulled up on another tab.
Once everyone arrives, show the workshop's final demo.
Go through the workshop
Start walking your club members through the workshop. If you're running your meeting online, share your screen; if you're running your meeting in person, have your computer connected to a projector.
Stop frequently to make sure everyone is on the same page.
After you finish the workshop, you should have a little bit of time left in your meeting (usually somewhere between 20-35 minutes). Turn your club members loose and ask them to spend the rest of the meeting making their own hacks of the project. Show them the three demos at the bottom of the workshop, or show your own demos, for some inspiration.
This section should make up a good chunk of your club meeting. Try to leave at least 20 minutes for hacking.
Share your own demos as you make them, and think out loud to your club members as you're making your demos. Fill silence with conversation starters.
Encourage your club members to share! They shouldn't feel pressured to share, but they also shouldn't feel intimidated by sharing. If nobody wants to share, ask your coleads (if you have coleads) to share first.
Keep this going until the meeting ends.
Casually wrap up the meeting once time runs out or people run out of steam. Make conversation with people as they trickle out.
If it's possible to stay longer and keep hacking, invite your club members to do it. It's okay if nobody wants to though.
See for an example of a great ending.
One thing Hack Club used to promote was splitting your meeting into 2 days: a workshop day and a hacking day. If you want to leave lots of time for hacking, but you're not confident that you can make it through the workshop quick enough, it may be worth considering saving the hacking section for a second meeting.