The Art of Hosting

Some tips/principles shared by Tenneson on the emaillist, Nov. '12:

I am often asked about video harvesting from Participative Leadership events, trainings, and conferences. How can you create a video of people in dialogue and other participative formats that conveys what is important? It is an important question. Particularly for those of us who are changing the culture of how meetings happen. A short, simple video with minimal production can become a very useful artifact for encouraging the continued use of the format, both as follow-up and as invitation to future events.

I’ve seen a number of these videos. And feel grateful in particular for the ones from events of which I have hosted. The best that I’ve seen include these qualities and aspects:

  1. Short -- 3-5 minutes is enough. It is not about capturing all of the content, nor even the process. It is just enough to invite people to get a taste and to be curious enough to ask a question about what happened there.
  2. Set to Music -- it just adds immensely to the appeal and welcome to experience the overarching spirit of the gathering.
  3. Captures People in Interaction -- sometimes this is dialogue. Sometimes it is play. Sometimes it is in the words that are being written on flipcharts and post-it notes. The principle I often reference to support a participative format is from living systems theory -- If you want a system to be healthy, connect it to more of itself. The video shows some of the connecting.
  4. Speaking of Purpose -- this is just a bit of voice to help set the context of the gathering. Sometimes it is about the purpose of the event. And also, it is about the process of the event, how we will be turning to one another. Often spoken by the conference organizers and those that have designed and are hosting it.
  5. Reflections from Participants -- it’s helpful to splice together some of the participants responding to a questions. Often this is linked to the purpose of the event and what people learn while together. For example, if the conference is about collaborative leadership, ask participants, What is at the heart of collaborative leadership for you?

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