Next week I have a meeting with an organization to kick off planning for a 5 day international scientific symposium for about 200-250 people. They hired me as they want the agenda to be more participatory, innovative and engaging than a typical scientific symposium which generally means powerpoint presentations all day interspersed with some poster sessions and possibly a couple excursions to the local sites. We will still include the presentations/posters, etc but I will embed them into a more engaging structure that includes different types of knowledge sharing, networking and general engagement.
The planning meeting will have about 10 people from the organization and is my first opportunity to get all ideas on the table as well as key information that I can take away and use to design the first draft of an agenda. I have two hours to get the information I need with the people in the room.
Here are the questions I’m planning to ask:
- What are the 3-5 key objectives of the symposium? (as specific as possible)
- What are your desired outcomes for:
- Field of study
- What learning, knowledge products and/or artifacts do you want to document during and after the end of the symposium?
- What are the big questions that all scientists attending are interested in? What big questions are emerging in the field?
- Who are potential audiences/groups that you would like the visiting scientists to engage with?
- Are there other organizations that you could partner with to offer community engagement opportunities? If so, who?
- What are potential excursions that could be offered?
- What capacity exists within your organization to help deliver the conference on the ground? What additional capacity might be needed?
- Anything else to consider or take note of in the design and planning process?
Am I missing any key questions to get this started? Do you have any suggestions for how to structure the meeting of 10 people to ensure I get through all the material using all knowledge in the room? I am always happy to use visuals as well….
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!