You always know that a get-together has gone well when you get kicked out of the room and everyone is still in in-depth conversation as they are walking out of the room and still chatting in the corridor and lift.
Yesterday (Tuesday 17th Feb) was our first face to face get together of Online Facilitators across the Knowledge Hub and a couple of guests.
This will hopefully be the first of many, as there are plans for other meet ups in Scotland, the South West and the Eastern Regions. Look out for more details for future meet ups.
Maybe if there is interest we can run a regular one in the London area every quarter.
Back to what happened during the meet up... The discussion was based around the biggest challenges that you face for your group / community / network. (You can choose which one is appropriate to you)
The topics included:
- Increasing contributions
- Turning ‘lurkers’ into participants
- Knowing what technology to use and when
- Packaging useful resources
- Keeping the momentum going between face to face meetings
· Moving past just facilitators posting.
So what did we talk about?
- Welcoming members and helping them take their first step into participating.
- Asking good questions that will get members involved, rather than just providing information.
- Creating regular activity and planning content and activities.
- Using the wiki to repackage key resources. E.g. New members or those who just want the answer.
- Creating a network of key relationships in the group to move past just facilitators posting.
- Adding fun/social elements to your group’s activity plan, eg. competitions, recognition rewards, photos, and questions of the month.
- The culture and expectations of members and testing out different approaches to get a feel for what works well.The all-important purpose statement for a group to help plan content and activities.
Plus a lot more which I’ve probably forgotten. You had to be there!
There were also a couple of great ideas that I feel we can look at in more detail.
- How do you encourage more people to dip their toe in the water? (Getting first time contributors sharing their initial issue or challenge with a question for the group.)
- Learning from teams that use a number of groups to manage their programme of work and the different stages involved.
Lastly a big thank you to Melissa Whittle from Geoplace for hosting our first meet up, and for all the people that came along and contributed. You made the get together worthwhile.
If you’d like to host a meet up in your region or would be interested in taking part, let us know and we’ll help organise one.