What Makes for a Great Session Idea?

Independent Sector, the Council of Michigan Foundations, and Michigan Nonprofit Association are joining forces this October 25-27 in Detroit for Our Common Future, a conference for every kind of changemaker. And, for the first time, we’re sourcing conference programming from you.

With a only week until the call for sessions closes on Monday, May 1, you might be wondering what would make your session standout in the selection process. So, here are a few tips:

  • Think outside the “panel.” Each session will be judged on is its ability to foster deep relationships between participants. This can be hard to do with three lengthy speeches and a short Q&A. This SXSW Starter Kit (specifically pages 4-6) gives great guidance on different ways to present your topic while keeping the session engaging for the participants.
  • Yes, we mean “participants” not “attendees.” This year we are looking to expand the way people actively engage with one another, to encourage play, connection, and learning. SRCCON, a journalism-tech community conference, has a great guide to help you think through the levels of play and interaction to connect humans to one another.
  • Ground yourself in the conference goals and themes. How will you help changemakers find the practical knowledge, deep relationships, and limitless imagination needed to advance the common good? The clearer your session ties to the goals, the better chance it has of being selected.

We want your session to be great, too! If you would like to chat with someone to help refine your idea before the submission deadline, please email sessions@commonfuture2017.org. We’re always excited to brainstorm and collaborate!

Katie Jones is the director of sector advancement and convenings at Independent Sector.

Types: Blog
Global Topics: Conference, IS Member, IS Staff, Leadership Development