Duration: 1 - 2 hours
Difficulty Level: Hard
Group Size: 51 - 100
Level of interaction: High
Multilanguage fit: No
Preparation Time: Medium
Purpose: Information Exchange, Online Socialization
Type of Online Events: Virtual Fairs
Transfer between practitioners
A knowledge fair is a method used to share experiences, encourage the exchange of information and knowledge, and promote new ideas and concepts. In a knowledge fair, experts from various subject matters are vital for the information exchange to take place. Applying this method in an online setting will require good planning, creativity, and flexibility.
Use this method to:
- Provide a networking platform.
- Share knowledge, facilitate access to experts and understand peer perspectives.
- Display resources and promote best practices.
Steps to apply this method:
- Draft a program with the topics of interest, identifying possible speakers/experts.
- Prepare a concept note.
- Identify and contact the speakers/experts. All or some need to be available for the online event.
- Ask speakers/experts to record a short 5 minutes video following the structure suggested in the concept note.
- Make the program and videos available to the participants before the online event.
- Invite participants to prepare for the online event:
• Ask them to watch the videos.
• Ask them to express their preferred speakers/experts or topic of interest. Provide them with a poll or questionnaire.
- Create a program for the online event based on:
• participants’ preferences and experts’/speakers’ availability (variation 1) or only experts/speakers’ availability (variation 2). Knowing who the favourite experts/speakers are in advance will help you avoid time clashes when planning your program.
• For variation 1, consider asking participants to provide questions they would like the expert/speaker to address during the fair.
- Define the tool that you will use and familiarize yourself with its functionalities.
- Share the program officially with participants and experts/speakers.
• Include information about the tool that will be used during the event and offer dates for test sessions (especially for the experts/speakers).
• Clarify your expectations for the day of the event with the experts/speakers and their roles. This includes preparing their session based on the questions received (variation 1).
- Design the online collaborative space according to the program.
- Greet all participants and briefly present the program and procedure. At this point, experts are in separate breakout rooms.
- Distribute participants into breakout rooms.
- Start the sessions:
• Variation 1: The Expert offers a session based on questions received in advance, followed by a Q&A session.
• Variation 2: The expert offers a presentation and a Q&A session.
- Conclude the learning activity
• Bring participants and experts together to the main room and thank them for taking part in the knowledge fair online event.
Depending on the program, the type of event, and the size of the group, experts/speakers may need to present more than once. The program has a schedule, and all sessions must start and finish on time. Thus, plan on giving cues for timing during sessions.
- Wonder Me: an online workplace for Knowledge Fairs
- Spatial Chat: an online workplace for Knowledge Fairs
- vFair: platform for Virtual Fairs