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Facilitating an online conference


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Lessons and tips for running online conferences.

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Facilitating an online conference

  1. 1. Knowledge Bite: online conferences Planning, running and capturing the benefits of online conferences Strategy and Development Unit, IDeA
  2. 2. Who are we? What’s our story? <ul><li>Strategy and Development Unit - turning Policy into Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate largest community of practice Policy and Performance, over 1600 members </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who are we? What’s our story? <ul><li>Have organised five online conferences using simple, free, available tools </li></ul><ul><li>Have advised on others, completed and planned </li></ul>
  4. 4. Advantages of online conferences <ul><li>“Cheap to run” </li></ul><ul><li>Can be organised and launched quickly </li></ul><ul><li>People can dip in and out </li></ul><ul><li>Conversations “pre-captured” </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to disseminate proceedings and distil knowledge for other products </li></ul><ul><li>Green </li></ul><ul><li>No curly sandwiches! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Disadvantages <ul><li>It’s a lot more work than you think </li></ul><ul><li>Not everyone gets it </li></ul><ul><li>People don’t make time for online the same way as face-to-face (for now) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be tempted to use it to replace an under-subscribed face-to-face event </li></ul>Flex* by teepole on Flickr
  6. 6. Planning an online conference
  7. 7. Getting started <ul><li>Scoping your event </li></ul><ul><ul><li>subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>demand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>purpose </li></ul></ul>We demand donutz by cobalt 123 on Flickr
  8. 8. Team building <ul><li>Identify roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organisers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>facilitators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>champions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>support </li></ul></ul>red team by atomic shed on Flickr
  9. 9. Almost the same as a face-to-face <ul><li>Venue </li></ul><ul><li>Speakers </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda programme </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion </li></ul><ul><li>Registration </li></ul>The Venue, After by Stewart on Flickr
  10. 10. Where it differs <ul><li>“ Speakers” are actually writers, it’s a different skill </li></ul><ul><li>May have to explain “speaker” and other roles </li></ul><ul><li>Currently, need to do a lot more explaining about what it is and how it will work </li></ul>Helping Hands by darkmatter on Flickr
  11. 11. A continuous workstream <ul><li>Promote via IDeA Knowledge, other Communities of Practice and existing networks </li></ul><ul><li>Tie in to other face-to-face events, newly published guidance, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan ahead about using proceedings </li></ul>Colourful Ribbons , by PieterMusterd on Flickr
  12. 12. More than just text? <ul><li>Video </li></ul><ul><li>Audio </li></ul><ul><li>Photos </li></ul><ul><li>Slideshare </li></ul>
  13. 13. More than just presentations <ul><li>“ Hot seat” approach, present and come back for questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Expert panels </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage new topics from participants </li></ul>Expert spotting by pbo31on Flickr
  14. 14. Facilitating an online conference
  15. 15. Aims of facilitation <ul><li>Bring in lots of different views </li></ul><ul><li>Promote a lively conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Buzz - Make it feel spontaneous and fresh </li></ul><ul><li>Share knowledge about real practice among practitioners. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep the “graft” backstage </li></ul>In the hive, 1 by Max xx on Flickr
  16. 16. An example
  17. 17. The ideal facilitator <ul><li>Good writer </li></ul><ul><li>Just enough to tech savvy to work the CoP </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Some knowledge of the topic </li></ul>Flexible by Lhoretse on Flickr
  18. 18. The role <ul><li>Keep an eye on proceedings </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to step back </li></ul><ul><li>Be ready to step in </li></ul>
  19. 19. The role <ul><li>Prompt for more detail </li></ul><ul><li>You have an opinion, too! </li></ul><ul><li>Hand holding </li></ul>
  20. 20. If you build it, they will come <ul><li>Right topic, right time, decent promotion - they will come, but maybe not til late </li></ul><ul><li>Switch on those alerts! </li></ul><ul><li>Drive traffic with email updates </li></ul><ul><li>Back channel </li></ul><ul><li>Not too proud to beg </li></ul>Venice channel by Ipiepiora on Flickr
  21. 21. Using all the features of the CoP <ul><li>Forums </li></ul><ul><ul><li>main activity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>flag the programme ahead </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>drive that traffic through daily email updates </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Using all the features of the CoP <ul><li>Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>use to build navigation, store updates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>why stop promoting? News and views. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Document library? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Store supplementary information </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Ups and downs <ul><li>What’s great </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible, fun approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can do it in your jim-jams </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What’s not so great </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ On” for the period of the conference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Colleagues may not respect that you’re facilitating an event </li></ul></ul>Simplicity pjs 2019 , by carbonated on Flickr
  24. 24. Capturing the benefits
  25. 25. Key benefits <ul><li>Written outcomes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>plan ahead to capture proceedings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>disseminate through CoPs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>get more emerging practice and “hard lessons” </li></ul></ul>Wishes away by davebluedevil on Flickr
  26. 26. Case study: customer insight Face-to-face event March Online conference June Long standing IDeA/LGA role Place Survey & CAA Further CI guidance commissioned Online consultation Conference report published to Knowledge Guidance promoted A real CoP! LGCIF
  27. 27. Case study: Performance Management <ul><li>PMMI project - Audit Commission & IDeA </li></ul><ul><li>Three online conferences, took place in closed discussion forum </li></ul><ul><li>Engaged real Members online! - through CfPS - open discussion forum </li></ul><ul><li>Lead to conference reports, material for guidance, tools and presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated with action research </li></ul>
  28. 28. Benefits of the conference itself <ul><li>New members to your main conference platform and old members energised. </li></ul><ul><li>For CI conference </li></ul><ul><ul><li>80% satisfied </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>100% would recommend another conference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>90% liked the email updates </li></ul></ul>Adrian with sparklers by Craig Anderson on Flickr
  29. 29. Additional materials to share <ul><li>FAQ </li></ul><ul><li>Project plan </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback survey </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation reports </li></ul><ul><li>All to be found in the CoP Facilitators CoP </li></ul>