I am currently chair of the workshop committee. In fact I am and have been for a few years the entire committee. Because we now host our own workshops two major changes that affect the committee’s work have occurred. We no longer register or need to interact with members who participate, or who simply download the lessons for independent study. This means we have no way to determine how many members are actually taking advantage of the free workshops. Since my workload has decreased substantially, I usually moderate the workshops myself. So I have a general idea about the numbers and I have found them to be surprisingly small. I do my best to recruit a variety of useful and interesting workshop presenters. I have not instituted a survey of participants to rate or comment on their experience. Because I’m pretty sure that many people are simply downloading the pdf’s I’m not sure that a survey would be useful.
My feeling about the free workshop is that we might do what at least one other chapter does, offer ONE free workshop per member. The fee would equal the fee to join. I haven’t consulted Merien on this to determine how much and what kind of technical changes or work this would involve. I would certainly be willing to monitor the registrations if that is practical.