AHCWA uses Interactive Tools to Facilitate Engaging Workshops

 In Case Studies, Events

Setting the scene

The Aboriginal Health Council of WA (AHCWA) held their 2016 conference this March, opening the floor to discuss topical issues facing Aboriginal communities throughout WA. The conference involved sixteen wonderful presenters discussing subjects ranging from environmental health issues to sexual health and social issues. Twelve engaging workshops over two days involved key stakeholders such as healthcare professionals, community members and policy makers. What was GroupMap’s role in all of this? GroupMap was used as the workshop facilitation tool, allowing presenters to capture the thoughts, opinions, and potential solutions of over 250 participants simultaneously and in real time. Read on to find out how.

How Were the Workshops Run?

Each workshop began with a presentation and short discussion involving the workshop issue. After discussion, the audience broke up into groups, with each table having a digital scribe to record thoughts and comments onto a private map.

Each table was able to contribute in real time, as well as comment and vote on ideas they felt most strongly about. As participants did so, the results were displayed via projector for the whole room to see.

As the workshop progressed, it was great to see the culmination of the room’s ideas and audience response captured and displayed front and center. Participants brainstormed what issues currently exist, what are the gaps, what has worked well and what needs to be done.

This ultimately culminated in a group discussion on concerns relevant to the group, with a range of possible solutions to propose to government.

Top 5 Takeaways for Conference Planners

  1. Driven by audience feedback

    What worked well at the last conference? What needs to be changed? With so much time and effort spent organising a large event it’s imperative that we set ourselves up for success. Feedback from last years conference saw a need for more audience interaction and contribution and this was the driving force behind this years workshop structure.

  2. Ask the right questions

    The question you ask directs the minds of participants and guides discussion. Not only did the team ask what problems and gaps currently existed, but what possible solutions and positive steps could be taken. Such clear and concise questions acted as signposts and made it difficult to wander off topic.

  3. Using interactive workshop facilitation tools

    Collaboration is time consuming when people have to take turns speaking. Interactive facilitation tools  (in this case GroupMap) allowed workshops to rapidly collect and store ideas in order to dive right into the discussion.

  4. Keeping discussion and workshop activities focused

    Everyone has their questions and it’s important to keep the conversation from being hi-jacked to answer as many as possible. Keeping the questions concise and on point is essential to keeping the discussion flowing and the audience engaged.

  5. Following through

    Often we go through all the hard work and forget to capitalise on our efforts. Collating all the sticky notes can sometimes be too daunting a task. Using the report function presenters are able to look back on the information, see what was achieved, and more easily inform future actions and planning.

What was the Reaction?

It was great to see everyone engaged and enjoying the workshop collaborations. Workshop facilitators were able to customise how the audience interacted with GroupMap (in this case mainly through voting on the most important ideas and issues) leading to a more effective and focused discussion. We can’t show you the actual results and what was said, but the results were then collated and provided as evidence through to the government.

Having concluded the interactive workshops it was time to wrap things up with a review of everyone’s comments and ideas. The facilitators printed off their reports during the morning tea break, and shortly after the group as a whole enjoyed each facilitator’s presentation on what workshop participants had to say about the issues at hand.

Looking for more?

Want to learn more about Aboriginal health? Check out more about AHCWA here. Inspired to use GroupMap at your next conference? Start your free trial today, and if you need help or have any questions get in touch with us.

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