At LITA Forum 2018, we wanted to try and craft a set of programs that diverged from the normal library conference model. Instead of hour-long blocks, with experts on stages and slides at their back, we wanted a more interactive, hands-on-focused conference with more choices and different ways for people to interact.
To that end, we’ve crafted a very interesting mix of opportunities that will challenge participants in what we hope are new and different ways.
The design of programming at LITA Forum 2018 goes like this: we have 3 different types of programs: Traditional, Hands-on, and Discussion. Each type will have 2 rooms dedicated to them during Forum, for a total of 6 different rooms with programming throughout. Each room will also be set up differently, in anticipation of the different needs for each type of interaction.
The same old rooms you’ve all seen and been in at conferences. Presenter area up front, with screen, and seats in rows. Lectern. You get the picture. Some types of presentations really do work better as traditional presentations, and that’s where these will be.
Designed for interactive, hands-on, activity or active programming. Examples might range from makerspace/coding activity to design process programs. Key is that presenter will be leading activity rather than lecture, and that attendees will be active and creative during the session rather than passive and consumptive. Room set with round tables with room for people to work. Table at front for organizer to be able to set up materials. No lectern. Power strips at each table.
Designed for slots for timed presentations, 20-30 minutes each, and put together with other programs of similar topic/theme into larger 1-2 hour blocks. Each of these blocks has reserved at the end 20 minutes of breakout time, for the presenters and audience to gather and continue the topic, work on problem solving, do a short activity…whatever is useful for further learning. These rooms will be set up in larger round tables, with room for people to self-organize at the end of the sessions.
For those presenters who are in the Discussion rooms/blocks – you’ll have your 20-30 minutes for formal presentation, and then another 20 after everyone is done to gather the people interested in your topic for further discussion. You are free to structure that however you’d like…maybe you want to present another example, or maybe you want to answer questions from the audience. The goal is to make the entire process more interactive, more engaging, and to involve the attendees in the presentation. It’s a challenge, but I know that everyone is up for the attempt.