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My administration team has lobbied to organize a real life meet up for team building and getting to know one another better. Based on where we are all located (and who said they are willing to travel), we decided on some place in the Midwest. There are about 20 of us and the plan is for one long weekend of get together time.

I have never done anything like this. I can probably handle the logistics of reserving a block of hotel rooms and a conference room. Other than that though, I'm at a loss. The team has said they'd like to go over site details, explicitly asking for future plans, rule consolidation and administration unity in rule enforcement. Unless I'm way off in my estimates, I think all of this can be covered in about 4-5 hours. I'm at a loss.

Right now my agenda looks like this:

Day 1

  • Introductions (many of us know each other only by our online names, so this is a way to get names to real names and faces)
  • Overview of where the community has been
  • Overview of where the community is going
  • Rules (we have many, can we reduce some?)
  • After meeting activity (go some place local - what this is depends on the city we select)

Day 2

  • Morning greetings
  • Admin team unity (how we come across to the rest of the community is important, are we a unified team or do we have factions that are at war with one another?)

Other stuff?

Those of you have have organized meetings for your admin teams, what types of topics have you discussed? Was it worth the face to face meetings or would a group Skype/Google Hangouts meeting have solved everything? I realize my team wants to 'have fun' together (many get along very well with each other online) and since I'd only be paying for my own ticket/hotel room I'm not out anything more than a short vacation for myself. But, I don't want the meeting to be a weekend of partying and we accomplish nothing. The community is large and depends on the admins and I feel this could be worthwhile, I just don't know what to do with all the time.

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    I think you should mark in the title that you mean the moderator community, not the site community. These two have considerably different requirements. – SF. Oct 29 '14 at 10:52
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For a group of 20 or so, you're doing too much regulating. This has sense in a larger meeting (30+) but for such a small group, there should be more socializing and less of formal meetings.

Push the official/discussion part to after people had some more time to get acquainted. Pick time for at least 2-3 hours of some socializing activity at the start. Then some lunch, and after that, a discussion panel involving all of the cardinal points you listed. Let people signal problems and make suggestions, but don't require solutions just yet. Then make the evening of socializing, possibly a small party.

On the second day leave out the "morning greetings" (stifling any informality which could have built up) and pick an open discussion panel, allowing to "officialize" all the fruitful discussion that was bound to happen in the evening socializing time (which should actually be the most fruitful part of the meeting).

Then end with some fun activity before the good-byes.

In essence:

  1. start binding the community
  2. prime it with all subjects that require consideration
  3. give them free time to work through these subjects, in informal atmosphere
  4. harvest the results
  5. reward them for the effort.

While it looks like the proportions between work and fun are like 30%-70%, these are actually reversed, most of actual work happening during the fun time, official time only serving distributing the work and collecting the results.

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