Engaging Communities Through Issues Forums

Tool 7: Prepar ing for the Forum Day Checkl ist

Seating arrangements • Assigned seating introduces new people to each other and avoids cliques. It strategically arranges groups to reduce shuffling between activities in the agenda. • This is like planning a wedding, you want to find the balance of folks who will have a good conversation and learn from each other. We created a matrix of boots on the ground, policy/academia, cross by health and agriculture. We then tried to make sure at least one individual representing each of those groups was present and tried to ensure diverse opinions and perspectives could be shared. This is a unique opportunity for building cross Community Capitals relationships.

Note-taking supplies •

Small pieces of paper, sticky notes, pens, and markers at each table give participants the tools they need throughout the day for easy note taking. Easels and large notepads can be stored within sight for groups to access when needed.

IT/presentation set-up •

Arrive early and test the technology, including microphones, sound systems, computers, and screens. Save presentations, videos, and slides in multiple ways, such as a USB and cloud storage, in case one fails. Make sure screens and projections are easily visible from all seats within the room. Laptops with a shared screen can be a back-up option if there are areas of the room less accessible than the rest. • Example: Unsure if a single, large screen television would be equally visible from all seats in the room, organizers arranged a laptop for each table to project presentations and videos. A small group facilitator was assigned to each table for the second exercise of the morning and accepted the responsibility of operating the laptop, if needed.

Participant packets •

Participants receive a packet upon arrival to orient them to the events of the day and supplies further contextual information and resources. This might include an agenda, brief bios of presenters, research briefs, training or resources for learning and teaching, acknowledgements, and, if applicable, opportunities to fund coordinated Strategic Doing™ work.

Wayfinding signage •

It can be easy to find an address on a map, but often we meet at locations with multiple buildings or offices at the location. Onsite signage directing participants directly to your event location eliminates confusion. Simple paper signs affixed to existing signage or yard signs lining the pathway from entry to parking to building relieve the stress of navigating a new place and help participants arrive on time.

Sign-in/Registration Table •

Designate at least one person to welcome guests, check or add their name to a registration form, provide them with the materials of the day, and briefly orient them to the space. Provide them with a nametag with their name, affiliation, and seating assignment.

Facilitator Preparation •

Ask facilitators to arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to when other guests will. A brief, in-person meeting to introduce this group to each other and review the agenda and their responsibilities goes a long way. It is a good time for a final question and answer session. • Provide a contact in the room for a facilitator to text if the discussion at their table becomes particularly difficult. • Provide copies of the case study assigned to each facilitator in this early meeting so they will be ready to start the session. Describe how the afternoon facilitated session will take place and designate an area for pick-up of worksheets/packets for that session.

85

Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker