Games for 1000? Interactivity and Large Groups

Who created the “Wave”? Tens of thousands of fans working together to send a message to their team, standing up, joining the action, adding their voice? If a seated stadium of 50,000 people can be interactive, then a Congress of 8,000 can be too!

Well, we might not be able to do the Wave at our Congress, but there are plenty of other interesting ways to involve those thousands of people in what is happening on stage, in the many smaller meeting rooms, and in the hallways.

Our expert facilitation team has been coaching session organizers in the last 6 weeks to help them define, design, and refine their 90 minute workshops for the upcoming World Conservation Congress. Let’s see what kind of interactivity they are coming up with…

Facilitators, can you let us know, what kind of things are the teams creating that is different (from the standard panel session)? What are some of your ideas for creating interactivity in large groups? Write us a few lines in the comments section below – thank you in advance!

4 replies
  1. Gillian
    Gillian says:

    (Just reposting Christines comment in this blog post too)

    Anonymous said…
    Hello everyone,
    Gilian and I just had an exchange over the phone and thought it might be interesting now just before the deadline (31 May) is turning around the corner to check in with the other facilitators in order to see what you have been able to coach and develop with your workshops.
    As to my five workshops, three are about to come into harbor my the weekend. One is almost there and my fifth one is a bit “out-of-office” due to a chronic overload.
    The three which have evolved quite a bit over the last weeks are now going to incorporate the following methods in order to get more interaction going between the speakers and audience:
    – fish bowl within the Water Dialogue
    – World Café with the Red List Species
    – Buzz groups with the CO2 Geo-Engineering (marine)

    I hope I can get the other two to dare a step into interaction.

    All the best and greetings from Basel, Christine


  2. Gillian
    Gillian says:

    (Reposting Edwards comment únder this post)

    Edward Kellow said…
    Hello everyone,

    I’ve been working with Tobias and I think he has come up with a good workshop with a catchy title. It’s all about the mountain of tongues.

    While it is hard in a short workshop to introduce any particularly mind blowing techniques, Tobias is going to use a large wall map of the Caucasus mountains and at the start of the workshop ask people to mark on the map where they are from. The point is that people get to position themselves physically on the map of the region – it’s a kind of grounding exercise – and also they get to talk to people and start to feel more comfortable in the group.
    Another way of doing this is to use the floor of the room as the map and ask people to stand in the place they think they belong.

    Sometimes when I have a large group and not much time, I use a variation on speed-dating. I ask people to pretend that they are at a tea party (very English I know) or at an Embassy Cocktail party (more UN) and they have 2 minutes to talk to one other person. I set the questions and ask people to move around 3 -4 times. This can bee a lot of fun. Some questions that I have used – and I tailor them to the group and context – Why brings your here? What do know about the topic? What do you want to learn? How did it feel when you walked in the room? What is your greatest fear about….

    Getting people to move about freely does wonders for the group dynamic and people’s level of engagement with the topic.

    Hope that’s useful




  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Cuauh Leon dice: I just finished the advising, although all of them sent their workshop documents on time, one of them asked me to review a “last” version, so I did and asked for it to Georgina and Gillian
    I must confess that all the leaders that I worked with were very “academic” or “classic” in their programs, the word “workshop” has a Latin meaning where the sessions always try to get a political or institutional commitment at the end. Also seems that their perspectives were like politically committed, and a lot of people were involved, so the program and a lot of panels are included.
    I induced them to reduce the panels and the number of interventions, still a lot of people will participate. However some of them will manage small session, changing the mood and dynamics, including short videos for instance.
    We in any case need to review the stiles or culture response to the idea of managing a workshop, even the idea of a workshop it self! Maybe if we create an extra stimulus and give the participants the chance of give a premium or recognize the “best” workshop could also serve as platform to teach the leaders of the workshops a lesson.

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