Art Meet Up

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picto_guideUser Guide

Art Meet Up User guide

The ART MEET UP tool is a detailed checklist that facilitates an organiser (individual, group or ogranisation) to design, implement and make the best out of a cross-sectoral or/and cross-disciplinary meeting, introducing and bridging artists to professionals of other fields, either within the cultural sector or outside it.

It goes through all steps of designing, running and following up a meet up event, from the first glimpse of the development of an idea to the sustainability of its profitable outcomes.

It is not meant to be a compulsory series of steps, but rather a handy and flexible guide or reference to assist you navigating through the process, checking some milestones and keypoints the INPACT partners have considered helpful in their experience, keeping what you might find useful, leaving out what doesn’t suit you and adding your personal or organisational touch.

A few specific references and links to other tools and methods that may be useful for some parts of the process, such as self-introducing and brainstorming activity ideas are included as well.

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Socio-economic Transition

Τhis tool covers the main challenges and needs of the sector according to socio-economic transition (also the interconnection with digital, green and democratic transitions).

Checklist for organisers of Art Partnership Meet Ups

  • 1

    Scheduling the meeting

    1

    Scheduling the meeting

    Select sectors to "bridge"

    Chose which sector’s professionals you find interesting to meet up with artists, e.g tourism professionals, environment or social scientists…

    Be creative and dare to imagine unexpected combinations, possibilities may be endless!

    OR :

    Chose Art professionals of very different (and not usually collaborating) backgrounds –Which ones? (e.g. comics artists and dancers, novel writers and musicians)...

    In both cases :

    Think of your local context opportunities and challenges.

    • Which sectors are powerful in your region and may support art projects for promotion ?
    • or, the other way around : which sectors may be empowered by their collaboration with artists ?

    You and all involved people should be able to visualize a win-win partnership.

    Set an aim/aims of the meeting

    Will the meeting have a specific aim (e.g. collaborations in the framework of a festival), multiple aims (networking, experimentation, new collaborations etc) or just a general objective to bridge these sectors with no pre-set outcome ?

    This answer will help you through the next steps…

    Consider possible profiles to invite

    What artist profiles and other sector profiles do you think that will be mostly attracted by and benefitted from the participation in an Art Meet Up ?

    Make a list of possible interested parties/persons/ organisations

    Write down names and contact information of people/groups/organisations fitting the above profiles that you know or you have access to.

    Note which of them could also act as multipliers and invite more people of their profile.

    If possible, try to have in mind gender balance and diversity.

    An Excel, OpenOffice or Google sheet (or similar) could come handy.

    Choose a date, time and place for the meeting

    About the date and time:

    Chose taking in consideration possible special conditions and time limitations of the people you want to attract ; e.g. if you plan to have school teachers, morning hours are off, if you invite local chestnut producers, October is off…

    Also, weekday or weekend ? Weigh the pros and cons of your choices.

    About the place:

    Chose a place accessible and (affordable) to you and your targets, having the atmosphere, the equipment and maybe also links with the sectors/groups/individuals :

    • a community centre ?
    • a cultural organization facility ?
    • a public space ?
    • a bar-restaurant?

    In general :

    Take into consideration possible exclusions that place (and time) could produce, asking also some ‘experts’ in these groups.

    Prepare an invitation text/material

    Create an introductory/invitation text for the scheduled meeting and its aims, shortly introducing you or your organization’s profile and your interest in organising this meeting.

    Consider also to look for existing or create original visual material e.g. photos, pictures, graphic design.
    The material should be attractive, concise but explicit about the aims, the special conditions* and the possible realistic opportunities the meeting could offer the participants.

    *Approximately how many people are expected? Is there a participation fee? Will they have to pay for their drinks (in case of a meeting in a bar)? Do they need to have a vaccination certificate? And so on…

    Choose the medium for sharing the invitation

    Make a strategy to invite people, selecting one or combining more from the following, according to what you consider more resource-wisely effective :

    • Will it be an open-call on your social media platforms or on local press, printed or digital ?
    • Will you send personalized or non-personalized e-mails ?
    • Will you also make phone calls if needed ?

    Send out the invitations

    According to your strategy, send out the invitations at least two weeks before the date of the meeting.

    Be sure to ask for confirmation about their participation and have a clear deadline for receiving this confirmation.

    Be prepared to send a reminder one or two days before the deadline.

    Create a list of participants

    Based on the confirmations received, make a list of the expected participants.

    • Is the number sufficient and functional (too large a group could be also a problem) ?
    • Are they well-balanced ?
    • Is there an extra round of inviting necessary?

    Send out a final communication-information pack

    Do the participants have all the information they need for a stress-free participation ? If not, contact them to provide this information and confirm you are expecting them.

  • 2

    Designing the meeting

    2

    Designing the meeting

    Choose a welcome and introduction method/tool and ice-breakers

    There are many ways for an efficient and more or less easy (and fun) round of introductions. It is essential that participants share their names, professional profiles and special interest or challenge and/or expectations of the meeting.

    Try to give enough time to people to introduce themselves and get to know each other, as it will be easier for them to work together later.

    Examples

    • Sharing the name and one movement, and next person has to repeat name and movement and also present themselves. The last person in the circle has to repeat everything and the whole group repeats their name and movement.
    • Ask participants to bring with them an image (even on their mobile phones) connected or representing a challenge they face in their sector and introduce them selves talking about their choice.
    • Working in pairs for ten minutes. People talk about themselves and they present one another to the big group.
    • People look at many different pictures that the facilitator provides, choose one and then talk about why they chose the picture and how they are connected to it.
    • Also, if the space is appropriate, you can try to include some movement in the activity to activate the participants.

    For more inspiration, take a look at:

    Choose one or more brainstorming, idea sharing and/or ‘match up’ methods/tools

    You can think of working individually, in pairs, in small groups or in the big group.

    If you choose to work in small groups, try for them not to have more than 4-5 participants, as the communication is better this way and people have more space to express their thoughts and ideas.

    Try to give to people the opportunity to talk about their work, also about their dreams. It is important for them to be motivated.

    Examples

    • Sharing in the big group each one’s biggest dream and then working in small groups to imagine an activity that could include one little piece of those dreams.
    • Using the images from the presentation activity, create stories in small groups and try to imagine how you could bring them in life or make a positive change.
    • Work in groups/pairs and write down the most essential needs of your sector. Pass the paper to another group/pair and try to imagine how art can help solving the issues above.
    • Mapping the meet-up: you will need a board or big surface, coloured moderation cards or post-it and pens or markers. The goal is to visualise the skills and competencies and also the needs or each sector and to discover the meeting points and/or links as starting point of collaborations.
    • Speed dating/networking: to efficiently frame the tool, ask the participants to start with presenting to each other what they can bring (skills, knowledge, strong points, aspirations,) and what they miss in their work/sector
    • Focus groups discussions

    Choose a sum-up/closing tool and possible follow-up

    Give some time for people to present their pair or group work in the big circle. Also, try to have some more time, as usually, the participants want to ask questions and talk about what is presented ; at this last part of the meeting, they tend to get inspiration of the ideas and presentations they listen to, and need to discuss more and have more interaction.

    Helping questions

    • Will the participants present what they came up with as possible collaboration?
    • Will the organiser sum-up the outcomes? On site or in a next step of communication?
    • How was the experience of the meeting for each participant?

    Create a list with all the material and equipment needed and make your provisions-up

    List all material and equipment you will need depending on the implementation methods you chose.

    Helping questions

    • Will you need pens/papers, a flip-chart board, a projector, laptop/s, cables, adaptors, speakers?
    • Can the meeting venue provide all/some of them? If not, by whom and how will they be provided?
    • Do the participants also need to bring any kind of equipment or material with them? Are they informed?

    Create a list with all persons needed (facilitators) and contact them

    • Technician ?
    • Note keeper ?
    • Discussion moderator ?
    • Time keeper ?
    • etc.

    Communicate your meeting’s needs with the responsible person of the meeting venue

    Give some time to check the equipment and staff needs (lists above) with the responsible person of the meeting venue. Ideally, make a technical check if you are going to use technological equipment such as projectors and microphones.

    Also, try to take care of the issues below :

    • Will the meeting include any drinks/catering?
    • Do you need a signed agreement for the use of the venue?

    Don’t forget

    Taking care of all those issues means supporting yourself as a facilitator of the meeting. As much better you organise yourself, then the less stressful will be the implementation of the meeting.

    Create a participation list with contact information and a GDPR consent form

  • 3

    Implementing the meeting

    3

    Implementing the meeting

    Welcome the participants and assist them in filling in the participation list with contact information and the consent form

    Important

    This step will be helpful later for posting pictures of the meeting and the press release. Also, for the communication in case of a follow up meeting.

    Implement the welcome activity -introduction method/tool

    Welcome all participants, set the framework, communicate the aims, clear out any questions, and implement the introduction method you chose.

    Introduce also the facilitators of the meeting (or include them in the introductory-self-presentation method).

    You could also try to be open, and at the same time formal enough to let participants open themselves and create an atmosphere of trust.

    Implement the main activity/tool

    Try to give clear instructions and go one step at a time, to help participants adjust and not feel they have to do something demanding.

    Check the participants’ needs and the atmosphere of the group

    Try to ask if your instructions are clear, and answer any questions. If you work in groups or pairs, “visit” each group / pair to check about their needs.

    Check the facilitators’ needs and efficiency in their tasks

    Keep an eye on: time keeping, note keeping, equal participation, productive discussion, relaxed atmosphere

    • You can always have somebody to help you with time keeping and notes, so that you can be able to be more concentrated on the needs of the participants.
    • Do not underestimate the keeping of notes. People are usually open and they share very beautiful ideas and thoughts, and it is a pitty if those ideas get forgotten. The notes will also be really important later if you want to make a report, or write a text for press release. Even more, if the participants’ work has an outcome, it will be nice to send the notes of that work to them.

  • 4

    Following up the meeting

    4

    Following up the meeting

    Send out thank you e-mails

    This step is important to show the people that their participation was important for you, and create a nice communication in case of follow-up meetings.

    Send out reminders of agreed follow-ups (if any)

    You can also share the harvest of the results, and send notes from the work that has been created during the meeting.

    Disseminate !

    You can try to make a press release, and make posts with some beautiful pictures of the meeting in social media.

    Keep a contact list of the participants to norm them about future meet ups or other relevant events and activities

    ...and always remember where you have saved it !