I attended the Stage Management Association's one-day workshop for stagemanagers looking to move up to Company Manager. This was no ordinary workshop. I got my place because an attendee living in Portugal and 9 months pregnant wanted to attend too and I provided digital facilitation via Skype making her attendance possible.
The photo above shows all attendees listening intently.
I'd wanted to try this for a while.
How I did it.
- MacBook Pro with Skype installed
- Lansing Altec portable speaker
- Slik Compact II Tripod
- Logitec C920 HD webcam with built-in mic
- Lavolta Ergonomic Laptop Table Desk
- iPad2 with Skype installed
- Bluetooth mobile keyboard
It's not the most elegant solution but with investment in equipment and the right platform, the sky's the limit. The experience was crucial. Can a workshop be attended remotely with maximum value being received by the remote participant? Good audio and video, check. However, Facilitation is the element that makes this work.
Unlike the equipment, participants are not plug-and-play. Those taking part need a little more direction and attention before the event to ensure the venue, event host, those participating and the online event host (me) establish a common understanding and expectations are managed. On this occasion, it was with the course materials, session speakers and provision to dialogue with the participant.
It's easy to forget that the pile of technology on the desk, wires, camera, speaker and screen are a person.
Patricia attended from Portugal via a Skype setup. Once she was 'dialled in' those attending at the venue could see and hear her and vis-a-vera things fell into place. was very happy. But as a Stagemanager by trade myself, I was very interested in the workshop on a personal level. I am currently considering returning to the theatre and the CM role interests me greatly especially with the social media insights I have gained over the last 10 years.
Overview of the day - in case you are thinking of taking the Elements of Company Management course when it runs next.