Learning patterns/Facilitator's toolbox
What problem does this solve?
When you organize or facilitate some kind of wiki event (meeting, workshop, conference, ...), especially in a venue away from your office, sooner or later you will find yourself badly needing your favourite stationery.
Especially, if it is a large-scale event (like the Wikimedia CEE Meeting, or even larger), you are thinking and doing so many things at a time, that you can easily forget to bring with you the tools you are used to have handy around you.
When the need occurs, it may already be late for reaction. And sometimes, you may not even easily/quickly/cheaply supply what you need.
During a conference, the facilitator’s toolbox ensures that the facilitator has all the tools they need. It may contain items for the facilitator's own use or items that the conference participants may need.
What is the solution?
The assumption is that the venue provides the following equipment:
Things to bring
|Navigating||Printed colour copies of the programme||In front of each room, for navigating the audience.|
Must be printed single-side and taped on a visible place
|Moderating||Printed colour copies of the programme||For each room, for reference purposes.|
Can be printed double-side
|Moderating||5-minute warning cards for moderators to show to presenters||Printed in colour, you can print this file|
|Presenting||Laptop for presentations||Plus recharger and mouse.|
|Presenting||Wireless presenters||One presenter for each room|
(Note: Presenters can be part of the venue's beamer sets, or they can come as standalone equipment. Wireless presenters usually include a laser pointer.)
|Presenting||Batteries||A set of batteries for each presenter for each day|
|Note taking||Whiteboard markers||Usually four colours: black, red, green, and blue|
|Note taking||Whiteboard erasers||Or spray + towels|
|Note taking||Paper for flipcharts||-|
|Note taking||Permanent markers for flipcharts||Usually four colours: black, red, green, and blue|
|Collecting feedback||Sticky notes||Medium and large size, different colours|
|Support||Tape||Preferably paper tape: For flipcharts, for sticking programmes on visible places|
|Support||Stapler||Plus a pack of staples|
Things to consider
- Clean up and restock at the end of the day
- In the end of each conference day, the organizer may need to clean up the facilitator's toolboxes and restock them, e.g. add new staples and sticky notes, or change the batteries of the wireless presenters.
- Don't forget about the supplies
- Some tools go with their own supplies. Staplers need staples. Wireless presenters and wireless mouses need batteries. Whiteboard markers need erasers.
- Ensure there are enough USB slots
- Ensure that the laptop for presentations has enough USB slots. The mouse and the wireless presenter will use two USB slots. So, at least one more slot will be needed for speakers to install their presentations. If the laptop has not enough USB slots, a USB hub device will prove useful.
- Keep permanent markers away from the whiteboard ones
- And away from the whiteboard itself. :)
- However, if you happen to write on the whiteboard with a permanent marker, don't panic. You can scrawl over the permanent marker with a whiteboard one. The eraser will clean them both.
- Make it more interactive
- Try to provide two laptops, two beamers and two white screens for projection. One for the speakers and their presentations. The other - for the Etherpad protocol, interactively maintained by the audience in the room.
When to use
- When organizing an event
- You organize some kind of wiki event (meeting, workshop, conference, ...) in a conference venue away from your office, and you need to bring with you some stationery that will help you do things without panic and hesitation.
- When facilitating an event
- You are facilitator / moderator of a plenary or panel session in a wiki event. You may consider requiring some or all of these items from the conference organizer.