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GuideToTimeKeeping

Page history last edited by maymay 9 years, 7 months ago Saved with comment

KinkForAll events run on a very tight schedule, which helps facilitate a whole lot of different people giving a whole lot of different information to each other in not a whole lot of time. 

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A timekeeper gives a 3 minute warning to a presenter and informs the participants what is happening next in this and other event spaces.

 

Each presentation slot is 20 minutes long (learn why), and there is no time between presentations, except for a lunch break, which is usually an hour long (but may be any reasonable multiple of 20 minutes). There are often several presentations happening in different rooms at the same time.

 

This process is immensely aided by having a few dedicated volunteers who are keeping track of the time. A time keeper's role is to do the following:

 

  • Keep an up-to-date record of what presentations are being given and by whom in each of the spaces during the upcoming time slot. (A clipboard and pencil can really help you here.) Moreover, the ScheduleGrid can change frequently over the course of the day, with presentations being rescheduled and new ones being added, so keep an eye on it! 
  • Unobtrusively inform each presenter when they have 3 minutes left, and remind participants what will be going on next in each presentation space. This can be accomplished as simply as flashing "5" or "3" (depending on how many minutes are left) with your fingers to the presenter.
  • Tell each presenter when their time is up, so that nobody runs on and delays the beginning of the next presentation.
  • BE BOLD. It can be hard to interrupt a session mid-flow or when its time has run out, but sometimes it must be done! Get in there and give the information quickly, so they can get their final thought out before their time runs up completely.

 

Important things a time keeper needs to keep in mind are:

 

  • If, at the end of a time slot, nobody wants to use the upcoming time slot for a presentation of their own, the current session may continue until it runs into a time slot that someone has reserved. It's helpful to remind participants of this. A sentence like, "No one has indicated that they would like to give a presentation in this room at this time, so everyone here is welcome to continue the discussion if they would like."
  • If, at the end of a time slot, there is a free presentation space, anyone can jump in there. If you're forced to end a presentation in one room but have another freely available, it's nice to let the people still engaging in the current session know about the free space. You can do this with a sentence like, "You'll have to give up this room to the next presenter, but since we have another space available, everyone is welcome to continue the discussion in there if they would like."
  • You are under no obligation to be a time keeper for any longer than you want to be. When you're done, however, don't just ditch the task. Instead, find someone to replace you.

 

It's not a complex job, but it almost always takes more than one person to perform effectively. Each presentation should at least get an accurate 3 minute and "Time's Up" notice, and one person can't do that in many different spaces at the same time. Also, it's better to have more people try the job out, so that knowledge spreads, rather than having one or two volunteers keep time the whole day, get tired, and miss most of the presentations.

 

Experience has shown that with 3 presentation spaces, 2 or 3 time keepers are ideal. The general rule of thumb is that the further apart presentation spaces are and the more there are of them, the more time keepers are needed.

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