Hello, I’m Samantha Grant, and I serve as the Evaluation Director at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Youth Development. Like many evaluators, I am eagerly anticipating the start of the Evaluation 2016 Conference. In Minnesota the seasons are changing and we are pulling out our hats and mittens, so the thought of being in sunny Atlanta holds extra wonder for me.
One thing I’ve learned from the Potent Presentations resources is the importance of having a call to action in a presentation. Rather than ending at a low point with questions, you should end with bringing your participants back together and prompting participants to apply the concepts they just learned.
Today I’m shaking it up and giving all of you a call to action at Evaluation 2016. Take a look at this list and pick something to activate your conference experience.
Download the app. Boo to paper, hooray for digital. The mobile conference app will keep you organized.
Network like a consultant. I love watching evaluators who are looking for new projects. Even though my work is steady as an internal evaluator, I encourage you to think like a consultant and network with others. Take the chance to talk with someone that you don’t know at the conference. Networking is one of the main values that conference attendees get, so use it!
Follow the crowd. By day two, my brain is full and sometimes the sessions I’ve selected seem like too much for my mental capacity. I encourage you to find where there are big groups congregating for a session. Attend this one. You might learn something new.
Get outside. You better believe that I’m going to relish not wearing multiple layers, so get outside and see beautiful Atlanta. Take in some Southern cuisine, go for a run in a local park, or tour one of the local tourist attractions.
Attend a TIG meeting. Topical Interest Groups are a great way to meet people who are passionate about the same things. Find one of the TIGs you are interested in and learn more about them by attending their annual meeting.
Introduce yourself. As a lesser known evaluator, I have the opportunity to meet some of my evaluation idols. Make an effort to introduce yourself to an evaluator whose work you follow closely. Trust me, everyone loves to meet someone that gives them compliments.
Do you have ideas for other conference presenters? If so, leave them in the comments.
I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at Evaluation 2016. I hope you enjoy the conference and test out one of these calls to action.
Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.