Can Broadcast be Personal? Exploring New Ways to Connect with Others

broadcast personal We prize personal moments of connection, moments when we are moved. But today, broadcast messages bombard us. This leads to the question: Can broadcast be personal?

Occasionally, the answer is “yes”.

  • A paragraph in a novel unexpectedly hooks your heart.
  • An inspirational speaker says something that totally resonates with an audience member.
  • The meditation teacher on Zoom looks right at you as they deliver a perfect piece of wisdom.
  • A political slogan captures your imagination at the right moment.

And yet, broadcast being personal happens relatively rarely.

  • As George Orwell remarked, “In much more than nine cases out of ten the only objectively truthful criticism would be ‘This book is worthless …'”.
  • I once heard a motivational speaker whom I found inspirational at the time. Three months later, I couldn’t remember a thing he said.
  • The meditation teacher was looking at their camera, not you—and there were 500 other people listening too.
  • Millions of people heard the slogan that high-priced consultants crafted to appeal to them.

When people come together at a meeting, an event, or a social, we usually default to broadcast-style experiences. We listen to speakers. We’re assigned to large tables where we can’t quite hear the individuals three chairs away from us. We use formats like theater seating that minimize interpersonal contact. Broadcast modalities like these breed a passive experience. And they are so engrained that we default to them unconsciously.

Which leads to a better question.

Are there better ways of creating personal moments of connection?

Yes, there are. We can gently steer people into opportunities to connect one-to-one, or in small groups. And it’s easy to do. Here are three examples:

David Adler’s Jeffersonian dinner

David Adler, the founder of BizBash, loves to connect people. One of his favorite approaches is to host a Jeffersonian dinner, where guests take turns sharing their answers to a question the host offers.

David often uses the question: What was your first job, and what did you learn from it? Each participant broadcasts their answer to everyone, but only for a few minutes, and the sharing moves around the group. Each story provides opportunities for personal connection, as many of the stories involve common threads and learnings.

Pair share

Pair share (or trio share) is such a simple and effective way to create personal moments of connection I don’t understand why it’s not more widely used. Announce a topic or question to a group, ask people to find a partner, provide a little time for everyone to think of their response, and then give each pair member a minute or so to broadcast/share their thoughts with their partner. Maybe add another minute for the pairs to talk to each other about what they just shared.

Voila! You’ve created an opportunity for everyone in the room to have a short, focused conversation, and maybe a moment of connection with another person (whom they may have never met before). Pair share is quick, so you can run it multiple times while people are together, each time with different partners to create new connections.

The Three Questions

I often use The Three Questions to open a peer conference. (See Chapter 18 of my Event Crowdsourcing book for a full description of this core meeting format.) Like the Jeffersonian dinner, each participant has a short-broadcast time to share their answer to a question—in this case three questions—with an entire group.

There are three things meeting participants really want to know about each other. These three questions allow each person to share their past, present, and future in a way that is appropriate and safe for them with everyone in the group. This sharing provides the foundation for connections to deepen during the conference that follows.

Can broadcast be personal?

Traditional broadcast formats are rarely personal because one person dominates the time. But by breaking broadcast into small segments where many people get to talk, broadcast can become personal, while also fostering multiple moments of new connection.

Try it, you—and the people in the room—will like it!

An alternative to Twitter for #eventprofs

#eventprofs alternative to Twitter Last week I wrote about alternatives to Twitter, sparked by the rapid changes to the platform under its new billionaire owner. Focusing on our own professional community—the meeting (and hospitality) industry—I’d like to make a modest proposal for a social media platform that might meet our needs better. In other words: an alternative to Twitter. (And LinkedIn and Meta, too.)

Mastodon

Mastodon turns out to be an excellent social media platform that can connect you with your tribe while still giving you full access to posts and conversations over the entire network.

“[Mastodon’s] free and open-source software enables anyone to run a social media platform entirely on their own infrastructure, entirely under their own control, while connecting to a global decentralized social network.”
from a Mastodon blog post

Think of Mastodon as a “galaxy of interconnected social networks based on a common platform”. To recap key points from my recent post:

  • No one owns Mastodon, it runs on free, open-source software. There are no ads. The platform has currently about 8 million members, with more arriving daily.
  • Anyone can set up a Mastodon server (aka instance) that focuses on a specific community of any kind. (For example, as I write this, journalists are flocking to Mastodon after Musk banned some, apparently for writing critically about him. Already, people have set up a number of instances for journalists.)
  • Mastodon works like Twitter but with longer posts (up to 500 characters) and important design differences that discourage those who are trying to build their followers and influence by any means possible.
  • Each Mastodon server has its own community, rules, admins, and moderation. Mastodon’s structure and moderation tools permit a series of efficient and immediate actions against “bad” accounts or instances, where “bad” is defined by the instance administrators and community.
  • Running a Mastodon instance requires some work and a fairly modest amount of money. The cost rises with the number of users, so you can start small and see how popular your instance becomes. A server with five thousand users currently costs ~$150/month for hosting and bandwidth. Many Mastodon servers are crowdfunded, though server admins are free to come up with other ways to cover costs. Some organizations set up their own instances for their employees and associated community.

The last bullet point leads me to my modest proposal. What if an industry leader like Freeman, RX, Cvent, PCMA, or MPI, to name a few, set up a Mastodon server for the event and hospitality industry?

Mastodon: An #eventprofs alternative to Twitter?

“Mastodon is my favorite alternative to Twitter, and I’m spending more and more time on it. It feels like the early days of Twitter: a fresh, relatively uncrowded, environment where I’m continually meeting new interesting folks. I’ve had many more personal interactions on Mastodon than any of the other alternatives I’ve tried. If the future of Twitter worries you, I think Mastodon is the place to go.”
—Adrian Segar, Alternatives to Twitter

Up to now, the event and hospitality community has no single logical place to exist online. Communities are fragmented over Twitter, LinkedIn, Meta, and thousands of niche platforms and spaces. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have our own instance (or a few perhaps) where industry members could meet, connect, post, and converse?

The beauty of implementing such a community on Mastodon is the platform’s flexibility. Mastodon doesn’t lock you into one instance once you’ve joined it. For example, in the future people might decide to have separate servers for events and hospitality folks. Users are free to move their accounts, with all their posts and followers, to a new instance. Or even join both instances if they want.

That’s my case for creating an alternative to Twitter. I think that Mastodon offers just the right balance of a place for our tribe together with natural connections to a much larger Fediverse of communities. I hope this short post stimulates people and organizations to build a better place than Twitter, LinkedIn, and Meta for the community to meet, convene, and converse online.

Connection, attachment, and meetings

connection attachment
A teacher recently advised our daily meditation group to seek “connection free from attachment”. This is a wise practice for me. But what does it mean in the context of meetings? Surely we sometimes become attached to people we meet? Isn’t creating and strengthening attachments one of the desirable functions of meetings? So what is the relationship between connection and attachment when people come together?

Read the rest of this entry »

Stop networking at meetings

networking at meetings It’s time to stop networking at meetings. No, I’m not saying we should only listen to lectures at meetings. Rather, I’m going to explain why using the term “networking” for all occasions when attendees get to talk with one another subtly directs attention away from can be the most valuable outcome of well-designed meetings: connecting with others.

This post was inspired when Victoria Matey shared the following thought about networking at meetings:

Random thought.

We talk about virtual networking not working as if the in-person networking has been fixed.

I agree with Victoria’s observation, but think it’s important to consider a wider perspective. Here’s an expanded version of my brief comment on the ensuing LinkedIn conversation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings

Someone to tell it to

“Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings.”
—Miles Franklin, Childhood At Brindabella: My First Ten Years, 1954

Miles Franklin , the Australian writer and feminist best known for her novel My Brilliant Career, wrote the above words in her autobiography. Like Miles, I believe that all people want and need opportunities to share how they’re thinking and feeling.

Meetings of every kind offer these opportunities. When I walk into our tiny town rural post office, I sometimes see folks for whom a conversation about almost anything with the sole postal worker is clearly important. Perhaps that customer will have little or no other human contact that day. What is talked about is far less important than the act of telling.

Personal meetings like these, whether brief or extended, between good friends or strangers, are fundamental. Many of us are lucky enough to have “someone to tell it to”, though some do not.

Someone to tell it to at conferences

Conferences, whether in-person or online, are also potential arenas for conversations. They are places for participants — who have something in common with each other — to find someone to tell it to. Even if the teller believes that they weren’t fully heard, the act of telling is valuable. (Otherwise, people wouldn’t journal and practice self-affirmations.)

But some conferences offer better opportunities than others. Traditional events relegate conversations to the hallways, to breaks and socials. No conversations occur during lectures. Even post-presentation Q&As rarely evolve into a conversation, which is always between the presenter and a succession of audience members.

Given the fundamental human need to tell, meeting stakeholders owe it to participants to create opportunities and environments for rich conversations in the sessions, rather than just the gaps between them. I have been doing this for 31 years, and it’s clear that meeting designs that integrate meaningful conversations into sessions have a transformational effect on almost all participants. (Read any of my books to learn specific techniques and designs that create meaningful and valuable conversations during meeting sessions.)

In 2006, Cory Doctorow wrote: “Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.” Content is everywhere, but conversations require tellers and listeners. While telling something to ourselves is better than nothing, it doesn’t compare to telling to and being heard by another human.

Let’s give attendees the priceless gift of someone to tell it to at our events.

Children listening to each other image (cropped) by J. Verkuilen, licensed under (CC BY 2.0)

The hallway of learning

hallway learning Image attribution Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Have you attended in-person meetings where your hallway conversations were the highlight of the event? I’ve certainly experienced my fair share, and I bet you have too. Don’t get me wrong. Hallway learning and the connections made through conversations struck up between sessions are often valuable and important. But I see meetings where hallway learning trumps a majority of, if not all, conference sessions as failures of design, rather than a fact of life.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could improve the quantity and quality of hallway learning, conversations, and connections throughout an event?

Well, we can. Here are two ways.

1—How to improve conventional hallway conversations

We can increase the quality of conventional hallway conversations by designing a physical meeting environment that encourages and supports them. Create an architecture of assembly: spaces outside the session rooms where people can talk comfortably. Provide a range of spaces. For example, chair pairings, small group furniture arrangements, standing areas with places to park food and beverage, covered outdoor spaces, etc.

“…people, even very smart people, are unable to anticipate the benefits of in-depth interaction with colleagues until they have experienced it for themselves”
Nancy Dixon, The Hallways of Learning

Read Nancy’s article to learn how an office redesign strengthened connections amongst a group of formerly loosely connected peers. [And she gets a hat tip for inspiring this post!] Similarly, your design layout will affect the likelihood and value of hallway learning conversations. And participants most likely won’t even be aware of it!

In addition, be sure to schedule enough time for hallway learning to occur. Give your attendees plenty of breaks. Then they can rest and recuperate, consolidate what they have learned, and have time to engage in conversations that matter.

2—How to significantly improve hallway learning and connection throughout events

By far the best way to significantly improve hallway learning and connection is to build it into our meeting sessions.

Why should we do this? Here’s Nancy again:

“Typically, a presenter offers what happened in his or her own situation, but that is not what learners need to hear. Learners are interested in knowing how to adapt the lessons to their situation and for that they need to have a conversation so that the other person can understand their context, and they also can understand the context of the other.”

The trick is to use session designs that blend short useful pieces of content with conversations amongst participants. In effect, you’re providing structured hallway conversations about the content that’s just been delivered. There are many different formats you can use for such conversations (described in detail in my books): pair and trio share, facilitated small group breakouts, fishbowls, etc. You can create conversational groupings at random (“pair up with someone you haven’t met yet”) or use human spectrograms to assign attendees to like-minded folks.

Building hallway learning opportunities into our meeting sessions has additional advantages. Once a session is over, and traditional hallway conversations are about to begin, attendees are ready to continue or start new conversations with the people who were in their session. They are primed to continue to explore and deepen their hallway learning.

Conclusion

I’ll close with a final Nancy Dixon quote from a different post:

“Before people can learn from each other or collaborate on issues, they need to build connections – that is, gain some understanding of who the other person is, including their skills, depth of knowledge, experience, and attitude toward others. People are unlikely to ask each other questions or ask for assistance, until they have built a connection that allows them to learn that the other person is knowledgeable enough and respectful enough to engage.”
—Nancy Dixon, Connection before Content

To maximize useful connection and learning at our meetings, optimizing hallway learning throughout the event is the way to go!

[Cropped] image attribution Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Mediate connection in the Age of Entanglement

mediate connection What do we need to understand to mediate connection effectively today? Inventor and computer scientist Danny Hillis gives us some helpful context:

“We humans are changing. We have become so intertwined with what we have created that we are no longer separate from it. We have outgrown the distinction between the natural and the artificial. We are what we make. We are our thoughts, whether they are created by our neurons, by our electronically augmented minds, by our technologically mediated social interactions, or by our machines themselves…

…We are our perceptions, whether they are through our eyes and ears or our sensory-fused hyper-spectral sensors, processed as much by computers as by our own cortex. We are our institutions, cooperating super-organisms, entangled amalgams of people and machines with super-human intelligence, processing, sensing, deciding, acting…

…Our networks of commerce, power and communications are becoming as richly interconnected as ecologies and nervous systems. Empowered by the tools of the Enlightenment, connected by networked flows of freight and fuel and finance, by information and ideas, we are becoming something new. We are at the dawn of the Age of Entanglement.”
Danny Hillis, The Enlightenment is Dead, Long Live the Entanglement

Mediating connection via technology

People usually think of technology as “anything that was invented after you were born”, as Alan Kay put it. But it’s much more useful to think of technology as anything made to solve a problem. Defining technology in this way opens our eyes to technologies that we all unthinkingly use every day, technologies that are essentially invisible because they have always been part of our lives.

We’ve been creating and using what I call human process technology — which includes language, writing, and science — for a very long time. Language, in all its forms, is the oldest human process technology:

“Every culture and tribe has its own language it has invented to solve the problem of real-time communication between its members. These technologies are so old that they are invisible to us. They are part of our culture, the human air we breathe. Language, writing, and science are tools outside our conventional, narrow-scope view of technology. We instantiate these tools using invented conventions: sounds, gestures, and symbols. These sounds, gestures, and symbols, however, are secondary features of these ancient technologies. Ultimately, language, writing, and science are primarily about human process.”
—Adrian Segar, Meetings are a mess—and how they got that way

Clearly, we are groping our way towards mediating connection with each other via technology. The COVID-19 pandemic provides a dramatic example. In a few months, we moved from meeting primarily in person to meeting online. Our connection became mediated by screens showing live video of others and speakers broadcasting their voices. Printing, telephones, fax machines, email, and messaging have all impacted how we connect, but nothing has been swifter than our switch to meeting in real time online.

In addition, technology is increasingly creating rich data that’s useful or necessary to mediate connection. Automatic speech technology (ASR) systems caption meetings and translate into other languages in real time. Software routinely writes news reports, and can now generate accurate summaries of articles for more efficient human review. All of these technologies have become feasible and commonplace in the last decade.

Mediating connection in an increasingly entangled future

If artificial intelligence systems can perform the above tasks now, it’s not fanciful to predict that they will progressively take over human activities that currently mediate connection.

For example, future systems might be able to moderate group meeting conversations. (Imagine a Zoom breakout where an intelligent virtual assistant facilitates a small group’s conversation on a topic.)

Or consider meeting curation: a task that is taxing, if even possible for humans. Perhaps it will eventually be possible that an IVA for real-time meeting curation could do a comparable job to the crowdsourcing human processes I’ve developed during the last 31 years.

Ten years ago, the idea of speaking to your phone to tell it to do something was laughable. Today, the development of deep feedforward networks for acoustic modeling has made such technology invisible to my grandchildren. They just use it—and it (nearly always) works.

So let’s keep in mind how Danny Hillis concludes his article:

“We can no longer see ourselves as separate from the natural world or our technology, but as a part of them, integrated, codependent, and entangled.”

As our technology advances, it will become, more and more, a normal and largely invisible contributor to how we mediate connection. Its benefits—and drawbacks—remain to be discovered.

 

When trio share works better than pair share

trio share pair share One of the best and simplest ways to build active learning and connection into any meeting is to regularly use pair share. (See Chapter 38 of The Power of Participation, or Chapter 27 of Event Crowdsourcing for full details.) I’ve recently noticed that in some circumstances, trio share — pair share but with three participants — works better.

Advantages of pair share

Pair share has a lot going for it. It’s the most efficient way to ensure that every participant periodically switches into active learning, which, as explained in The Power of Participation, provides:

Pair share duration is minimal. I commonly allow each partner a minute to share their response. Including instructions, a typical pair share might take around three minutes. Getting every participant to actively think and respond to a question or issue in this time pays rich dividends.

Comparing trio share with pair share

A trio share obviously takes longer than a pair share, given the same sharing time per participant. The example above would require at least an extra minute. I say “‘at least” because it generally takes longer (at least at in-person meetings) to create trios than pairs.

In addition, the conversational directness and intensity may be less in a trio share, since each participant is talking to two people instead of one.

On the other hand, each participant is connecting with two other people, rather than one.

None of these differences is a deal breaker. In the past, I have tended to use pair share, simply because my time with participants is limited and pair shares are quicker.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, however, I’ve noticed something new.

When trio share works better than pair share

Ultimately, you can’t force adult attendee participation. Nevertheless, at in-person meetings it’s rare to have people sit out pair sharing. The reason, of course, is unspoken social pressure. Anyone choosing not to participate is obvious to the people around them.

When the coronavirus pandemic forced meetings online, I began to see more people avoiding session pair shares. I’d allocate pairs into Zoom breakout rooms, and, quite often, one or two people didn’t join their allocated room but stayed in the Zoom lobby.

As the host, I’d gently check in with those remaining behind. Sometimes they hadn’t accepted the breakout room assignment and would do so. But more often than not, it turned out they were absent (it’s hard to tell when their camera’s off).

Their unfortunate partners who went into the breakout room had no one to talk to!

At in-person meetings, this is easy to handle. I ask anyone without a partner to raise their hand, and then pair up isolated people.

Online, this takes too much time, and those without a partner suffer.

Using trio share instead of pair share online

So I’ve started using trio share for online meetings. There are two reasons.

First, trio share reduces the impact on “orphaned” participants. If one person in a trio doesn’t join, the remaining pair can still reap the benefits of pair share.

And second, trio share gently increases social pressure for attendees to participate. Bowing out of pair share affects one other person. Avoiding a trio share affects two.

To conclude

Whatever you do, some people will opt out of small group work. Their reasons are — their reasons. We need to accept that. Switching to trio share for online work is a small tweak that seems to improve participation. And creating a meeting environment where small group work is more likely to occur is always worthwhile.

What’s your experience of using pair share and/or trio share at in-person and online meetings? Please share in the comments!

How to implement participant-driven breakouts in Zoom — Part 5

run your peer conference using Zoom

Run your peer conference using Zoom

Part 1 of this series of posts gave an overview of what’s involved in implementing participant-driven breakouts in Zoom, and Part 2 explained how to prepare for The Three Questions. Part 3 describes how to run them using Zoom breakout rooms, and Part 4 covers how to create an optimum conference program. Read them before diving into this post! This post, Part 5, the last in this series, explains how to run your peer conference using Zoom breakout rooms.

Overview

Once you have developed and distributed your conference program, as described in Parts 1 – 4 of this series, it’s time to run it!

You’ll use the same procedure for every conference time slot. First, create breakout rooms for the peer sessions scheduled in the time slot, and then name each room with a number and session topic.

Currently, Zoom has no easy mechanism for participants to move from one session to another. So it’s best to share the conference program with participants in advance, and, for each time slot, ask them to pick the session they want to attend. I’ll describe the simplest (and most common) way to do this below.

Right before each session time slot, participants are assigned to the Zoom breakout room associated with their chosen session. Once this is done, the breakout rooms are opened and the sessions commence.

At the end of each session, participants return to the main Zoom meeting and indicate their choice for the next set of sessions. After renaming breakout rooms with the next set of session topics, the cycle repeats.

Moving between breakout rooms

At in-person conferences, participants are normally free to leave a breakout session and move to another one.

At an online conference using the Zoom platform, once participants are in a specific breakout room/session, they can only leave the room and return to the main Zoom meeting. They cannot move themselves to another breakout room unless they have been given co-host status in Zoom.

[UPDATE. Since September 2020, Zoom allows participants to move themselves to another breakout room. Nevertheless, I still strongly recommend having a staff member stationed in the main Zoom room (see below), as some participants may not know how to change their breakout room or have some other concerns that this staff member can address.]

Although one could give all participants co-host status so they could move themselves to different sessions, I don’t recommend it. Co-hosts have a lot of power in a Zoom meeting, and one malicious or careless participant could really mess up your meeting.

One big advantage of peer conferences is that opening with The Three Questions leads to conference programs that are much more likely to reflect participants’ genuine wants and needs. As a result, moving between simultaneous breakouts is relatively rare at in-person events.

Nevertheless, people will occasionally want to move to a different session during a time slot. (The most common reason, in my experience, is that they chose or were assigned to the wrong breakout room by mistake.) As a result, while you’re running sets of peer sessions, you’ll need to keep a staff member stationed in the main Zoom room. This person should have co-host status, so they can reassign participants who return to the main meeting from a breakout room and ask to join a different session.

Preparing participants to choose their desired session

Before each set of sessions begins, one of your staff (a Zoom host or co-host) creates a set of breakout rooms that match the peer sessions about to be held. Since you’re going to assign participants to specific rooms, pick the Manual option when creating the rooms.

run your peer conference using Zoom

While creating breakout rooms, provide participants with a numbered list of the breakout sessions for the time slot (see below). If you’re using Miro, add session room numbers and export or screenshot the relevant portion of the conference program.

run your peer conference using Zoom

To keep everyone in Zoom, I suggest having a host or co-host display the list, using screen sharing in the main Zoom meeting.

Now it’s time for participants to pick the peer session they want to attend. While they’re all present, display the current session choices and explain that to assign them to the correct session they’ll edit their display name to add the breakout room number in front of their name. Give them an example: e.g., “If I want to attend the Data Security session next, I need to change my name from Adrian Segar to 2 Adrian Segar.”

This is a common technique these days, and many people who are familiar with Zoom know how to change their Zoom meeting name while in the meeting. However, since some participants won’t know how to do this, provide instructions like these:

How to change your screen name on a PC during a Zoom meeting

1: Click on Participants in the Zoom toolbar at the bottom of your screen.

2: Hover the mouse pointer above your name until you see the option to select More.

3: Once you see it, click on it and select Rename.

4: Enter your desired name in the text field and click Rename to confirm your selection.

How to change your screen name on a mobile device during a Zoom meeting

1: If the toolbar isn’t visible, tap on the screen to display it. Tap Participants to bring up the list of meeting participants.

2: Find your name on the list and tap on it.

3: Tap Rename, enter your desired new name, and tap Done.

Have participants choose their peer session breakout rooms

Once participants understand how to change their Zoom name to indicate the breakout session they want, have a staff member monitor the name changes on the Zoom Participants list, and assign them to the correct room. Make sure that session leaders are present and assigned to the correct room before proceeding. Sometimes there are a few people who don’t add their room number to their name. Have another staffer contact them by text chat or directly in the Zoom meeting, to check whether they need help. If there’s anyone who can’t figure out how to change their name, ask them which session they want to join. Pass the participant’s name and desired session to the breakout room assigner.

Explain to participants that if they wish to leave the session they’re in, they should click Leave Room. This will bring them back to the main room meeting, where a staffer can move them into another peer session.

Start a set of peer sessions

Before opening the Zoom breakout rooms, check the Breakout Room Options, which should look like this. (You can change the countdown timer setting if desired.)

You’re ready to start the set of peer sessions! Tell participants they are about to be moved to their desired session and click Open All Rooms.

Ending a set of peer sessions

Five or ten minutes before the sessions are scheduled to end, let everyone know how much time is left in the session. Do this by clicking Breakout Rooms in the Zoom toolbar. Then click Broadcast a message to all, enter your message and click Broadcast.

A minute before the sessions are over, click Breakout Rooms and then click Close All Rooms. In a minute or less, everyone will be back in the main Zoom meeting.

Do it again!

Repeat the above process for each set of peer sessions until all sessions have been run.

To create a fresh set of breakout rooms, click Recreate and then Recreate All Rooms in the Breakout Rooms window.

That’s how you run your peer conference using Zoom!

Conclusion

In the five posts of this series, I’ve:

A final point. As you know, peer conferences use the conference arc design, which includes closing process that’s tailored to the wants and needs of the meeting stakeholders (here’s an example). I haven’t covered this important conference phase in this series, but you should spend time thinking about and designing appropriate closings for your online event. Perhaps I’ll write more about what this might look like, and how it can be implemented online in a future post.

If you’ve been planning to implement participant-driven breakouts in Zoom, I hope this series has been helpful. As always, I welcome your thoughts, questions, and suggestions in the comments below.