In a region of long distances, the seminars and workshops are always tricky to organise. Especially when we are working on topics that require the presence of business and public sector together. This was the case when we started to develop the workshop to boost the local food usage in public catering in RDI2CluB. Our initial idea was to create a workshop that is easy to access, without very much time required to travel. Also, we wanted the people to meet face-to-face, so webinar was out of question.
We created a multi-spot workshop, that was organized simultaneously in three different locations in Central Finland (Jyväskylä, Saarijärvi and Viitasaari). Participants singed in to one of these spots and each location had their own hosts present live. First part of the seminar was for all the participants, and presentations were followed online on the screens. Live connection between the spots was established, and this allowed real live discussions during the presentations.
Second part was for the three different spots, a workshop facilitated by the local hosts on local food promotion needs in Central Finland. This part was off-line and only the results were then afterwards presented to all the participants.
This kind of methodology worked very well, especially since we had a host by the organizer present in all three locations. They acted as facilitators on the spots. One person was a chairperson, and he was in responsible for normal workshop arrangements – while the hosts could concentrate on facilitation on spots. It was also very important, that there were presentations from all the participating locations. This made the feeling of live workshops to all locations. Total number of participants was 80+. of which 21 was following on-line streaming. As such, we felt that we succeeded, and we will for sure use this kind of methodology also in the future. It would also be interesting to hear from Biobord community, if you have similar kind of setups?
We used Microsoft Teams to create the seminar. This enabled the local hosts to show presentations from their spots. Microphones and loudspeakers were standard external microphones and no additional connections was required for this. Additionally, we also offered a possibility to follow streaming on-line. The stream was sent to Regional Councils YouTube channel and this link was distributed via various channels to potential attendees. This required an additional WLAN.