Facilitator guide

Collaboration is at the core of every SRCCON event. As a session facilitator, you’ll work with attendees to explore questions, share skills, and help everyone learn from each other.

About this event

SRCCON:PRODUCT might feel different than many conferences you’ve been to. It’s a hybrid event, with scheduled sessions on the agenda as well as space to add new topics together as a group. It’s intentionally small, making it easy to connect with other people. Most sessions will be hands-on and conversational, not focused on presentations. Events like this work well because we get to learn from each other, and attendees will be ready to participate and share what they know. Take advantage of that!

Session facilitation tips!

So how do you run a session built around participation, not presentation? It helps to start by reimagining your role: You’re a facilitator, guiding conversation in a way that helps people learn. You don’t need to be the expert, because these sessions are about drawing out the expertise in the room. Share your excitement, your experience, and the questions you have—and create a welcoming space for other people to do the same—and you’ll lead a fantastic session.

Here are a few principles that can help:

Leading a hands-on workshop and helping people stay engaged can take a lot of energy, so we always schedule long breaks and plenty of beverages and snacks to give facilitators and participants time to re-energize. We also try to schedule in a way that meets differing energy levels throughout the day, offering sessions that help participants engage in different ways (including, yep, sometimes just listening with curiosity, no sharpie required).

We truly appreciate you sharing your time and knowledge with everyone, and trust each facilitator to help us make SRCCON:PRODUCT a place where people can share and learn together. And we want you to know that we have your back! You’ll be surrounded by supportive staff and volunteers—if any questions or concerns come up, please reach out.

We also have some favorite guides with further tips:

About the audience

SRCCON:PRODUCT will gather about 150 people working at the intersection of product and journalism. Some will be part of product teams as managers or developers. Others are bringing those strategies to newsrooms that don’t have “product” in a role or title yet. As a group we’ll represent a huge variety of backgrounds and experiences to learn from, united by wanting to better understand how organizing around product can shift the way news organizations operate.

Our schedule will have four to five sessions at a time, so planning for 20-30 people in your room is a good starting point. It can be a little hard to predict exactly how many people might attend, but every session size has its own strengths. Smaller discussions can be especially productive because you can go in-depth or dig into personal examples, and larger groups can give people access to a wider range of perspectives.

About the space & session rooms

SRCCON:PRODUCT takes place in the Student Center at Temple University, 1755 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia.

Each session room will have post-it notes, pens, scratch paper, and other tools for creative discussions and problem-solving.

About the schedule

We’ll have four 1-hour session blocks throughout the day with four to five sessions running at a time. Some sessions will be pre-scheduled, and others we’ll add to the agenda that morning as a group.