Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hosting a Coach Edcamp

We want to give a shoutout to the Franklin Township team for their leadership yesterday! In particular, Mark Fuson and Nadine Gilkison, Technology Integration Specialists, went above and beyond in planning special additions to this spring's event including organizing the meet-up the night prior, securing a sponsor for morning refreshments, offering a hotel special, arranging Google Hangouts with members of the INeLearn network that couldn't be there in person, planning a networking scramble before lunch to get us all movin' movin' as Mark tweeted, and of course designing the Twitter challenge.

So what goes into hosting the event? First, you identify if you have the space to host at least 75 participants. You need to have the capacity for a whole group meeting space and several breakout spaces. Each space needs to have connectivity and the ability for participants to cast or project their devices for sharing as needed. A good host has worked closely with their tech department to make sure that the network for the day can handle the demand and that sites are accessible. You also want to make sure that there are charging stations to keep attendees powered up throughout the day. (Hosts do receive a small grant to assist with supplies and costs associated with tech or janitorial support.)

Once you can check off those logistics, you want to ask yourself, where can out of town guests stay? Where can everyone go for lunch? (We have hosts make a Google Map with options where groups can go for a meal and be served within 1 1/2 hours, which is what we normally schedule for lunch.) Do we have ample parking for all these people?  (We ask hosts to prepare a detailed map for attendees so that they know where to park and which door to enter). What security needs to we need to meet for out of district guests? (Host district policies vary and we want to make sure that guests know what is expected. Sometimes, you need your badge, driver's license, etc. to check in.)

If you're thinking, my district can manage all that, then talk to Michelle. We traditionally hold events in the central region so that no one is traveling extremes. Now that we sponsor two events annually, at least one can be in another region if we can continue to meet the average attendance of 70-75.