It is soon time for the ECMC planning team to meet for a weekend of planning and that is some kind of milestone.
The general concept on how the programme of the ECMC is delivered is pretty stable I would say. Every year we try to do adjustments based on the evaluation and also our own ideas. This years schedule (which is not official yet) is based on last conference schedule with some changes.
We know many participants are coming time and again and so we also try to not repeat too much. Part of avoiding repetition is the selection of the venue and the theme.
In the schedule for the ECMC, we tend to favour one or two keynotes in the beginning of the conference because it acts as good conversation starters, it is also why we prefer the “My Centre, My Country” evening early in the conference.
The workshops have a central place in the programme and I think that is because they are more hands on. This year we have four workshop occasions and since we think that a workshop shouldn’t have too many participants we are planning to run two workshops in parallel each workshop occasions.
ECMC is not a big budget operation directly, but we have learned to use our own resources and what is available locally. I have also learned that many of the most liked workshops have been held by centre managers themselves. This is also why a on-site planning team meeting is very beneficial.
It’s not always we can get every workshop to be hosted by a participant, so the B-plan is mostly to let members of the planning team host workshops, but we are careful with that option because many in the planning team have been on the planning team for a few times and we are afraid you might get bored with us 🙂 Also, we may need to have a backup workshop ready in case some workshop gets canceled.