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Topic: Meet our New Featured Organizer - Samsara!  (Read 6278 times)
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« on: January 03, 2012 12:53:09 PM »

Many of you have seen (and contributed!) to the "Great Organizers I have Known" thread.  We love hearing about what makes a swap run smoothly for you and we love all the positive energy that the thread has created. 

In that spirit, we've created this feature to highlight some of our special and outstanding organizer from the swap boards.  We'll meet some of our amazing organizers and pick their brains about how they keep on top of everything organizing requires.

Without further delay, let's give a warm, hearty Craftster congrats to Samsara, our newest featured organizer!

What is your favourite thing about organizing?
My favourite thing is getting to know a bunch of amazing crafty people, of all different skills, abilities and personalities, all with two things in common; a passion for arts and crafts, and overwhelming generosity. I also like that there is no boundaries on age, gender or sexuality; everyone is welcome.

Do you prefer a huge swap, or a small one? Why?
I like both for different reasons; a huge swap can have this great energy going on, while a small swap can be totally intimate and friendly.

Do you like using a co-organizer?
Its totally essential to have a co-organiser. Even if the swap is a small one I generally like to have someone there as back-up; you just never know what might happen. You might never actually need them, but there might be that one time when you do I was once rushed to hospital mid-swap and was out of action for a couple of weeks. I managed to get a message to my co-organiser and she was able to step in and hold the fort till I got back. I think you owe it to your swap participants to cover any eventuality. There is nothing worse than having a problem and your organiser is m.i.a. Also because Im in the UK, its difficult to get my head around some of the ways that things are done in the US so its good to have a native on hand in case I need to pick their brain!

If so, how do you split up organizing responsibilities?   
I usually check with my co-organiser to see what theyre comfortable with. Sometimes people volunteer when the swap is still in the sign-up period, or they approach me because they want to cut their organising teeth as a co-organiser before taking the plunge themselves as an organiser. If theyre experienced, I normally see what level of involvement they want; if theyre inexperienced, I give them an organisers tutorial and talk them through different steps of the process, I let them have a go at doing feedback, etc. 

How do you select a co-organizer?
Usually someone comes forward, either volunteering pre-swap, or if Ive mentioned on the sign-up thread about a co-organiser.

How do you match up partners in a swap?
Ahh, now theres a question! Okay, with me I usually sort people out into continents and whether people want to ship internationally or not. Then I look at peoples skills, and at the questionnaires of what theyd like to receive for the swap, and Id try and match them up that way. I generally try to match a first time swapper with an experienced one.

Any particular tricks or tips you'd be willing to share with other organizers? 
Good communication is the key to a relaxed swapI try to email all my participants on a regular basis, prompting them to check-in, asking for updates and generally making sure that everyone is okay. I also like to put peoples location on the sign-up list because as an international swapper myself, Im often reluctant to sign-up to a swap unless I can see if theres someone at least on the same continent as me to cut down postage costs. With this current economic climate, swapping internationally can be an expensive business. I do like to swap when works not so hectic, but I dont want to spend my entire budget on postage!!! 

What would you say is the most important element of making a swap fun for everyone?
 Well, I think you really have a responsibility to try and get the group to bond during the sign-up process. I try to get a conversation going on the thread and sort of prompt things if it slows down. Its great when the group just all immediately get on and chat, theres always a great energy when you have a really active thread, but we all have a real life as well and sometimes the thread goes a little quiet. Its good to inject a bit of excitement every now and again.

Where do you find your swapping AND organizing inspiration?
I find that if the swaps something youre passionate about, the rest comes easily. Of course there are a number of very experienced organizers out there, so sometimes I pick up ideas from organizers of swaps that Ive participated inthey do something and I thinkYep, thats a good idea or, maybe I think of ways that Id have done it differently. I think its good to be flexible about what you do. As for swapping inspiration, that always comes from other Craftsters, from looking through the boards, from looking at peoples Wists and wishlists, things like that. I see something and thinkYeah, I wanna have a go at that!

What was your favourite swap you organized, and what do you think made it a success?
My favourite swaps are always the Hippy Swaps that I organise in the summerRound 5 has almost completed and its yet another killer gallery!! People just seem to push the boat out for the Hippy Swap! 

Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Just that Im always grateful to the swap moderators who are there to help if its needed! No matter how trivial or obscure the question, theres always someone who can help. Its great to have expert back-up!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012 12:21:39 PM by alteredmommy » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2012 05:46:44 AM »

Congrats, Samsara!  The Hippy Swaps Rock!  Grin

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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2012 10:59:46 AM »

Thanks for being a great organizer, Samsara!  Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2012 12:49:21 PM »

Congrats, Samsara!! Kiss
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2012 02:51:31 PM »

Thank you!!  Grin

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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2012 12:29:05 PM »

 Grin Congratulations Samsara!  Grin Grin

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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012 01:06:23 PM »

I must say I love your ava! Maybe we can co host a fairy swap someday.  Cheesy

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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012 03:03:26 PM »

I must say I love your ava! Maybe we can co host a fairy swap someday.  Cheesy

Ooooh, lovely!! Cheesy I think that can be arranged! (And thank you by the way!)

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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2012 12:08:25 PM »

I loved reading your interview, Samsara. Congratulations, and thank you for being such a great organiser!

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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012 05:28:06 AM »

i have had the privelege of being in a couple of the hippy swaps and even being Samsara's partner for one, totally approve of this feature!
Samsara you rock! *makes the rock out hand shape* Cheesy

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