I guess it was understood from the beginning that the BOF sessions were going to be pretty loosely organized, but in general I was rather disappointed with this one. The room was large and because the seating was still in “presentation layout” it wasn’t very condusive to a round table type discussion. Those at the back couldn’t really hear what was going on… the hosts didn’t really have an agenda… etc.
A couple of suggestions for any BOF hosts who read this:
- Rearrange the chairs. Make a circle or something.
- The host should use a mic. And repeat any questions that are asked.
- If mics aren’t available, set some ground rules like “Please stand up when you speak.”
- Have an agenda. You don’t have to have slides (but that would help). If you want to be more freeform than that, fire up a computer and write the questions up on the screen. Anything would help.
Hopefully the rest will be better. We’ll see. I’ll hit one more tonight and if it isn’t any better, I’ll probably skip out on the rest.
UPDATE: After a while, the room cleared out a bit and the remaining people seemed more animated. So I guess it started to work… I still think the host should help facilitate more.