A peer conference has a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Each section is designed to allow for meaningful connections between attendees.
Peer Conference Structure: Beginning
The first day of edACCESS and beginning of the peer conference model starts with a roundtable.
The peer conference roundtable allows attendees to get to know each other early on in the event through structured questions. Each attendee is asked to share who they are, the institution that they’re from, and information about knowledge they can share with the group and/or challenges they’re facing at their job. The roundtable creates a foundation for attendee participation and interaction throughout the event.
Following the roundtable, edACCESS organizers collate information from attendees into a list of possible peer sessions.
Cookout & Selection of Peer Sessions
To close out the first day, attendees enjoy a cookout and beverage tasting. This allows for continued networking and getting to know fellow attendees in a social atmosphere.
During the cookout, attendees sign up for peer sessions that are most interesting or relevant to them. The most popular sessions will become the agenda for the conference, as scheduled out by the organizers, but determined by the attendees.
Peer Conference Structure: Middle
The middle section of a peer conference consists of “The Solution Room” opening session and the peer sessions. This is the core benefit of edACCESS and takes place during the second and third days of our conference.
Once the most popular session topics have been determined at the end of the first day, a schedule will be made available so attendees can choose which sessions they would like to attend.
The Solution Room
Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk into a room, identify a challenge you’d like to address and get advice from a small group of colleagues? Now you can!
A participant-led opening session, The Solution Room gives you the opportunity to obtain just-in-time answers from a small group of peers to your professional problems and challenges.
Peer sessions are small, with typically no more than 15 attendees in each. Because the session topics are chosen with such short notice, the conversations are casual and fluid, allowing attendees to feel comfortable participating with the group. There will be a facilitator for each session who can guide discussion and ask questions, and a scribe who takes notes for later review.
Peer Conference Structure: End
The end of our conference consists of a Personal Introspective, and a Group Prospective.
During a personal introspective, attendees privately answer questions in writing regarding their experiences at the conference, and how those experiences may change their future.
After writing down answers, attendees have the option to share answers with their peers and receive feedback, but it is not mandatory to do so. Sharing takeaways and receiving feedback is a unique feature that peer conferences can offer to attendees because of their small, participant-focused models.
The personal introspective gives the attendee a deeper commitment to achieving their goals and putting all they learned into practice.
The group perspective session is another time for attendees to think back on what they learned throughout the conference.
The group perspective gives participants an opportunity to plan future meetings or discussions post edACCESS, taking the shared experience beyond the conference and into their everyday lives. The goal of this session is to reflect on the conference, overcome personal agendas and challenges, and to facilitate future meetings of the group.
Learn More About How Peer Conferences Work
To learn more about the paths of a peer conference, take a look at this description from Conferences That Work. There is a wealth of information about the peer conference model on the Conferences That Work website and we would also be happy to answer questions about the conference if you contact us.