Daily Buzz: Participant-Driven Learning

Learning is an experience that attendees go through at meetings—which means participation is key. Also: International Women’s Day is the perfect reminder to support women in your community.

Education is a main component of many meetings, but providing attendees with a true learning experience often relies heavily on participation.

“Learning is not something done to attendees. It is something they do,” said Dave Lutz on the Velvet Chainsaw blog. “Learner-centric conferences provide education sessions where attendees act as participants in their own learning. Participants construct meaning and sense-making as they hear and consider content. They grasp how and why the content is relevant to their work.”

On the flip side, speaker-centric meetings tend to focus more on emphasizing subject-matter experts and their knowledge. But that doesn’t mean participant-driven meetings shouldn’t lean on expert panels or sessions, either.

“In learner-centric conferences, organizers secure presenters and facilitators that focus on designing real-world learning experiences,” Lutz wrote. “They facilitate discovery-based, experiential and collaborative activities for participants to actively construct their own knowledge.”

As with finding the right speaker, meetings focused on learning should be planned with intention. So, look at different elements of your event. Do they prioritize education? If not, alter your meeting program so that it contributes to nurturing attendees’ educational pursuits—and gets them involved in the process.

Support Local Women

International Women’s Day is a good reminder to support women in your local community. Marsha Ralls, a member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and an ambassador with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization, recommends taking on a mentee, creating an internship program, or donating your time or money to organizations that help empower disadvantaged women to join the workforce.

“Developing a strong network of support is critical to entrepreneurial success,” Ralls wrote on “Yet 48 percent of female business owners state that a lack of mentors and available advisors limits their professional growth. It’s time for female founders to step up and raise the bar for all women by sharing business knowledge and skills in a mentoring capacity.”

Other Links of Note

Facebook posts should be conversational. Nonprofit digital marketing expert John Haydon reveals how to make posts more human.

Does your association’s IT executive need coaching? The DelCor blog investigates.

Understanding why members have let their membership lapse is key to knowing how to get them back, says the Personify blog.

(omgimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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