Aspiration events generally operate with attendees falling into one of three general roles that include Participant, Facilitator, and Host/Organizer.
The goal of this guide to help both facilitators and hosts create a rich peer-to-peer participatory event.
The vast majority of folks come seeking answers or an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience. These are the people for whom events are primarily designed, and whose needs should be addressed throughout the gathering.
In a perfect world, events could be fully self-organized and self-facilitated by participants, mirroring decentralized ideals of community-driven software development and support. Non-profits do not operate in a perfect world, and neither do the events held for their benefit. Aspiration event facilitators are individuals selected and invited to help lead discussions and steer the course of dialog and discovery. These facilitators are not the "stars" or focal point of the gathering, but rather those with experience, expertise and perspective to inform and catalyze dialogs while making sure balanced exchange and sharing take precedence over monologuing and excessive debate.
Event organizers help to select and recruit participants and facilitators, drive the agenda design, and take care of financial and logistical details before, during and after the event. Organizers serve as a resource provider for participants and facilitators during the actual gathering and focus on the overall experience, identifying barriers to collaboration and interaction, and creating appropriate solutions.
Also note that depending on the technology infrastructure of an event, there may also be roles for:
- Technical support personnel
- Facilitators/maintainers of any online collaborative spaces used in conjunction with the event.