I have some adjustments I am interested in making at CLS this year. I wanted to share them and solicit some input. They are pretty simple adjustments, but I think they may help the event.
This is how I propose we will put the schedule together.
Before The Doors Open
Near the registration desk will be a big blank piece of paper on the way called “Hot Topics”. All attendees are encouraged to write topics or areas they are particularly interested in. This will provide a good snapshot of the overall areas that people want to explore this year.
Doors open and people will come and and get their name-badges ready, as usual.
We will already have the blank session cards (the bits of paper people write session ideas on) available on the registration desk and on the tables.
Our event staff will encourage people to start thinking about interesting sessions for the day. We will also have some instructions printed that people can refer to that explains how to consider and put together sessions.
In addition to the session cards, we will also have some colored dot stickers that can indicate the theme or type of a session. These will be the categories (colors yet to be defined):
- General Discussion - this is a general discussion session to discuss a given topic.
- Presentation/Tutorial - this session is intended to be a presentation to the group.
- Case Study - this session presents a problem and the group are encouraged to provide guidance and input on how to solve it.
- Technical Discussion - this session is intended to be technical in nature (eg. software/hardware configuration).
- Recommendations Wanted - the aim of this session is to provide a set of overall recommendations to the wider group. In other words, this session should end with concrete take-aways.
People can of course use multiple sticks on their session card.
We will also make it clear that it is OK for sessions to take up the full hour, but shorter sessions are fine too (e.g. 30m or 45m).
People hold onto their session idea cards until the plenary opens up.
At 10am I will kick off the opening plenary, introduce the event, and explain how it works.
When the plenary is over, we will form a line of people who want to give sessions. Many folks, of course, will have already filled out session cards. For those who haven’t the cards will be available so they can fill them right.
Each attendee comes up to the mic, announces their session and we file it on the board. We then find any duplicates and combine them and we are all set.
I believe this will be more efficient for a few reasons:
- The time from 9am - 10am people can discuss session ideas and collaborate around running sessions. This can be inspired by the Hot Topics board.
- The schedule part at 10am will be faster as a bunch of session cards will already be filled out.
- The stickers will make it easier to set expectations of the goal of the session.