Debra Hansen is with Washington State Extension Service. She helped present an innovative rural event, the Rural Pathways to Prosperity conference aka Rural P2P. In fact, they created a model for a distributed in-person and online rural event that you really want to borrow for yourself. Debra talks us through the process and shares the lessons she’s learned.
- Why prosperity and what subjects does that include?
- Her tagline: Small business is everybody’s business.
- Instead of a one-site conference, multiple regional locations each bringing together neighboring towns
- Combining a single online keynote with local live sessions
- It’s all about facilitated conversation
- What it takes: working with speakers, designing engaging and relevant exercises, finding the sites that will work, finding site managers, and coordinating marketing across the regions
- Was it more or less work than one single site conference?
- Responses: 87% of attendees preferred this regional model, 100% of site facilitators wanted to do it again
- The difference of pushing an idea onto a community, and people choosing the right idea to pursue for themselves.
- Turning the keynote into videos that offer continuing action
Find Debra at stevens.wsu.edu and check out the Washington State University Extension Rural Pathways to Prosperity Conference. (Look specifically for the Distributed Conference Model.)