Meetings

How to Get an Expert Audience With an Idea Generator

By / Aug 3, 2015 (BeylaBalla/ThinkStock)

A new way to get attendees participating

The panel discussion everyone is familiar with involves a group of experts on stage or in the front of a room offering their thoughts on a specific topic, while those in the audience listen until they have the chance to ask questions
at the end.

But what if the whole panel discussion format was turned around?

Well, then it may look a little like the Idea Generator program that made its debut at ACPA—College Student Educators International’s annual convention
in March.

Idea Generator started out like any other panel discussion, with a moderator facilitating a discussion with a group of faculty and practitioners. But, unlike
most panels, after the dialogue got going, members of the audience who
had something to contribute could “tap out” a current panel member, take his
or her seat, and join the conversation.

ACPA says it introduced Idea Generator because it knew it would be an interactive, dynamic approach to considering potential solutions or ways of addressing a broad area of concern for their attendees. The topic was
“Frompreptopractice: Narrowing the Gap Between What We Learn and What We Do.” ACPA considers it a success, with a good amount of audience members taking their turn as panelists during the 80-minute session. The organization adds that people liked their time in the spotlight and being seen as experts.

Idea Generator was followed by HigherEdLive, an hour-long program where participants were interviewed about their experience and the ideas that came forth.—Samantha Whitehorne

Associations Now Staff

The Associations Now team of editors covers all aspects of association management in print, blogs, and daily news. More »

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