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Strawberries and Caneberries
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Agriculture and Natural Resources Blogs
FRI, OCT 30 2020
by Eric Brennan
on August 27, 2020 at 6:33 AM
Hi Mark,  
I always enjoy reading your blogs. You raise some interesting questions and challenges in this latest one that got me thinking.  
Here are a few ideas that might help to get some of that energy into the meeting your planning  
1. Have the presentations recorded in advance. That way they can be shorter and more focused, and there won't be many technical glitches.  
2. Encourage meeting participants to watch the presentations in advance of the meeting so that they can think about them, re-watch as needed, think of good questions, etc. (Perhaps some incentive could help).  
3. Have the "meeting" focus on discussion/Q&A of what was shown in the pre-recorded presentations. This could make the meeting time shorter.  
Will this "work"? I'm hopeful. I think it will get people more engaged and that will add energy to the meeting. Hopefully this will make ideas "stick" and encourage information sharing that is meaningful and memorable. I use a method similar to this in all my presentations at professional science conferences (i.e., I show a premade video with my content that takes half the 'presentation' time, and then we have the remaining half of the time for discussion/Q&A; It works well). Just a few thoughts to consider.  
take care and stay well.  
Reply by Mark Bolda
on August 28, 2020 at 11:03 AM
Hi Eric,  
I like your ideas, and they are something around where I was thinking of going. I from time to time listen to a podcast called Virology Today and it's a bunch of scientists discussing virus topics once a week for a couple of hours. The tone is light and listening fun. No hardcore data, graphs or anything like that. But, very usable information for the lay person.  
Sort of like to go in the same direction with the change on the meeting. In strawberry, we've got a ton of experts that would be good to listen to, especially if well facilitated with good questions oriented towards to the practicioner in the field - the grower, PCA, farm manager and scientist.  
You've got a good idea to facilitate this by distributing some material previous, let people think it over and then have an open session sometime later.  
I might give you a call, seems we can do things with the Zoom (see previous comment too), that you can't in person, so we may as well take advantage.
by Will
on August 27, 2020 at 8:14 AM
I'm loving this Zoom stuff. For work I'd say keep it 90/10 Zoom vs in-person. If you can keep your meetings Zoom after all this flu stuff I would appreciate it. I am in Oxnard and can't make your meetings up there but I can "attend" without being there.
by Mark Bolda
on August 28, 2020 at 10:50 AM
Thanks Will for your input, really. One of the reasons for this post was to share the comment by a pro concerning in person entertainment/presentations, but the other was to get input from you, my audience.  
The Zoom deal for sure has opened these meetings to a much wider audience, as well as making it more convenient for us presenters! Was just on Surendra's (very well attended) meeting a few weeks ago, and would not have been to be a part of that had I had to travel all the way there.
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