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On-Site Staff / Staff Leadership and Management

BOOST Conference Debrief Guide: 10 Action Strategies

BOOST Conference debrief guide

You may have a book of notes, business cards, ideas, and inspiration you brought back from the BOOST Conference.

Let’s be honest – we jump right back into our routines and there are many times we put what we brought home aside and tell ourselves that we will get to it later. What if you carved out time to connect with people you met, had a team gathering to debrief what you learned, and reviewed your week personally?

Here are 10 debrief ideas you can use. These can be used personally, with the team you went with, and/or shared with others in your organization that didn’t go to the BOOST Conference.

Idea 1:

If you brought a group to the conference, send out an online survey to your team about what went well and what can be improved for next year for your team. Make this specific to the logistics of team planning, time as a team at the conference, etc. Here is a website of 11 questions to help think about what you want to ask your team.

Idea 2:

Have each team member present a 10-15 minute presentation of what they learned from one session. Consider this a mini-recap of the session. This way, attendees get a scope of many more topics than what they were able to attend. Teaching something is often the best way to remember it and put it into action.

Idea 3:

Organize all of your notes, conference swag, business cards and review your notes. Writers from Travel2.0 suggest highlighting or placing a checkmark next to the important insights. Write extra notes that expand upon what struck you in the session or what you are thinking now. Here are some prompts:

• Big ideas
• Trends
• New opportunities
• Actions that need to be taken

Next, organize your ideas into a summary document, a blog, a slideshow, or an infographic. Here are some heading ideas:

• Session themes: the consistent big ideas
• Trends: based on data and compelling evidence
• Better practices: things you could be doing better
• Imperatives: things we must start doing or do differently

Idea 4:

Follow up with Idea 3 by asking yourself:

• “What lingering question(s) do I have?” Reach out to your colleagues or presenters. Email, tweet, message the conference speakers. We will have materials from the workshops posted soon on our website.
• What is your call to action that you will create for yourself professionally and personally from your personal learning experience?

Idea 5:

Dave Palmer from Dunk Tank Marketing suggests using your calendar as a powerful professional development tool.

• Develop a calendar of how you’re going to research, implement, change or improve on something that you learned at BOOST. A realistic plan executed with consistency will help you to make substantive changes without it turning into a failed New Year’s resolution.
• Set up calendar reminders of things that you learned or were inspired by at BOOST. Have them occur throughout the year so that you’re reminded of them. Include links to videos, articles, or email addresses of people you met and want to stay in touch with.

Idea 6:

Julie Sesser from ASAPConnect recommends committing to incorporating 52 ways to make a difference on Monday’s from the Keynote Matt Emerzian’s Book Every Monday Matters.

Idea 7:

Form a book club in your organization from the books that were available from Meet the Authors. Create incentives and fun for your staff to read and discuss these books.

Idea 8:

Use videos from the Keynote Speakers as professional development opportunities for your whole team throughout the year. Create questions, agendas, and creative response opportunities around the topics and

Idea 9:

Fill your workspace and program with inspiration! Heather Williams from the California Department of Education After School Division, gives a great idea of picking your favorite quotes from the keynote speakers or other moments throughout the conference and print them out and hang them in your office space, or make them your computer wallpaper.

Idea 10:

As many people suggested in our #BOOSTBlues blog post, reconnect and follow up with people who you met on site. Michele Lawson suggests, “The first 3 weeks are a critical time to reach out and begin nurturing the relationships with other attendees and vendors. Acting early assures that details of conversations will be fresh on your mind and theirs.”

What are you and/or your team doing to debrief and put into action what you learned, how you were challenged, or how will you implement the inspirational ideas? We would love to hear from you!

Author Profile: @boost-collaborative

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BOOST Collaborative is a unique, purpose-driven organization committed to supporting those serving youth in the out-of-school time hours by providing quality professional development, opportunities for networking & partnerships, and leadership training. Together, we make a difference.

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