First 3 Sessions of Your Event

Credits Chris Michael Last Updated 2016-06

This multi-part guide, written by Chris Michael of Tactical Tech, covers 3 individual sessions that together can set the stage for a training events that are effective, productive, and more participatory from the beginning.

Position your events to be as open and participatory as possible from the start.

Though the order and duration may differ per event, these three discussions are critical to ensuring you have an effective, engaging workshop. They will help you answer the following questions:

  • Who is in the room?
  • What motivates each person to be in the room?
  • How will you collaborate together?

Here are the First 3 Sessions of Your Event

1. Sharing Your Story: Creative Introductions and Perspectives

Nametags are helpful, but they don’t stimulate the necessary engagement and energy that starts off an effective gathering. For that, we turn to creative exercises to help participants and trainers learn about each other, our motivations for our attendance and our perspectives on relevant issues. By starting with a creative introduction, you’re setting the tone to show this will be a fun, engaging and participatory event. This is recommended as the first session to open a multi-day event.

2. Developing Shared Agreements: Ground Rules

We all have been through those painful meetings where one person talks over others or people are having distracting side conversations, right? Well, that is why we always need to invest time in developing shared agreements before we begin a meeting or gathering. Though these are often referred to as “ground rules,” we place importance on the term “shared agreements.”

3. Developing a Shared Brain: Assessing and Managing Expectations

As a trainer, one of the most fundamental aspects of leading a great event is assessing and managing participants’ expectations as early as possible. By doing this, you will build an agenda and develop exercises that help ensure their time and the group’s time is well spent. This is the third recommended session for starting multi-day trainings, to follow shared stories and shared agreements.

Trainer’s Note

If you are doing an awareness-raising event or only training on a few topics in one day, you may use aspects of these sessions, but will probably not have time. They are primarily designed for a more comprehensive multi-day training.