Community webinar learnings

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The below learnings initially come from the Community Working Group-organised webinars (post-event reviews and participant feedback). Other groups organising community events are more than welcome to use and / or contribute!

Things that people appreciate based on positive feedback:

  • Careful choice of panellists / speakers
    • Diverse / different perspectives
    • Inspiring / Engaging speakers / stories
  • Interactive formats (eg Q&A) instead of long presentations
  • Encouraging enthusiastic audience participation: A+
  • Critical dialogue relevant and accessible to both practitioners and academics
  • Collaborative note taking
  • Time zone considerations (webinar mini-series covering multiple timezones)
  • High participants / attendance (investment of time and energy in promotion / communications)
  • Diverse participants / attendance (investment of time and energy in promotion / communications)
  • Co-creation of event by crowdsourcing topics and questions in advance
  • Simultaneous livestream to youtube (or other platforms) solves capacity issues and increases accessibility
  • Use of polls to make groupd decisions during events (for example to extend the discussion time)
  • Experienced and well-prepared chairs (chairing is a skill and makes a big difference)
  • Breakout rooms / sessions (optional) following main event facilitating deep dives and increased participation
  • Clear responsibility for technical support and back channels for organisers to collaborate during the event
  • If the topic is interesting, make space for people to follow up / continue the conversation

Things we could do better in the future based on negative feedback:

  • Breakout rooms not clearly signposted for participants
  • Unclear how to follow-up with people/group asynchronously (follow-up questions, conversations…)
  • Didn’t have feedback form ready AGAIN! Needs to be ready for sharing at the event.
  • Not quick enough to thank the panellists and chairs.
  • Failed to cross-promote other opportunities / events related to the working group that organised the webinar.

Things we should consider trying in the future:

  • Sessions in other languages
  • Poster/promotional materials include live language availability during the sessions (through the use of Microsoft Translator, Zoom Language Interpreter, etc)
  • Add a 'Host' as well as a chair / moderator (to handle aspects like intros, feedback, cross-promotion, timings, etc)
  • Longer sessions for panel discussion (to allow more conversation)