April 29, 2013 by Mike Hillwig
One of the challenges with our venue is that we don’t really have anywhere for people to sit down and properly eat lunch. So we wanted to do something active at lunch. This can be tricky. If you do something that people don’t like, you risk having them leave, and they’re gone for the rest of the day. I wanted to do something that kept people engaged.
That’s when we started kicking around the idea of doing an “Ask the Experts” session. It became our ATE Lunch idea.
One of the things I strongly believe is that people often come to any type of a training event with one particular problem they want to solve or one particular question they want to have answered. THIS would be that opportunity to do so. We took our three big multi-purpose rooms and split them up by topic. We had one room for Application Development, Database Administration, and Business Intelligence And we asked our speakers to field questions for their particular area of expertise.
I poked my head into each of the rooms over the course of the hour, and people were talking. I heard questions being answered, and that was the goal. Was it the best use of our time? Maybe not. But it was an effective use, especially considering that we didn’t have to move any chairs around.