A suggestion for event producers and kink presenters – an alternative to the 90 minute lecture. The discussion on BDSM certification, Race Bannon’s comments on mentorship and 1:1 or intimate education, and a plan I have for an M/s intensive has led me to want to suggest something a bit different to event producers.
There’s a rush to have more classes, more presenters and more-more-more. I get that – with the proliferation of events and contests and classes everywhere, it feels like that in most metropolitan area, every week has something different to go see. That might not be doing our community any sort of service. In the face of more-more-more, how are we going to promote real differences in our education? How do we really address the issues, the questions, the problems that people who come to our events want to address? How do we, as presenters, get those opportunities at events where it feels like the flow and pressure is to have students run from class to class?
An approach I have seen, and want to continue pursuing, is the idea of promoting 1 on 1 interactions between presenters and people attending. That if a presenter wants to make themselves more available, that they are comfortable sitting with people in a smaller group or more one on one environment, that events promote that and make that a bigger feature of the event. Rather than having the presenter cram in two or three classes, how about one class and an opportunity in a room where presenters can interact with smaller groups? Or, alternatively, teach smaller/shorter classes and then allow for the opportunity for one one interaction.
The science behind the 18 minute TED talks seems to be pretty sound. What about running 20 minute classes with 20 to 40 minutes of one on one opportunity?
Take our Ebbs and Flows class, for example. I imagine that in twenty minutes, slave angie and I could speak to the points of our class very well. After 20 minutes, we have a sign up list. If people have questions, if they want to explore something more, or if a smaller group wants to explore a specific point, then we have an hour (in a 90 minute slot) to do exactly that.
“Hey everyone who is waiting – a number of people want to explore the idea of creating a specific ritual to ground yourselves in an intimate part of your dynamic. Anyone else interested, we’ll begin in 10 min.”
This is not to say that we start running 20 minute class sessions (although truth be told, I’m starting to think about doing exactly that, in breaking up our classes into smaller, more focused segments…) but to take a different approach.
PXS (Power eXchange Summit in Columbus OH) and SELF (Southeast Leather Fest in Atlanta GA) come to mind as two events that promoted more intimate interactions. At PXS, the producers were very up front from the beginning that we as presenters were expected to make ourselves available for questions after classes, to be present in the social areas, and they challenged attendees to take advantage of that. SELF did something where there were “minute mentors” where people would be available to talk about specific subjects/issues. I’ve seen other events auction off “1:1” sessions as fund raisers.
Why not make this an integral part of our events? Using the concept of promoting some sort of 1:1 into how we present and how the events work with their presenters and attendees?
I get that every presenter might not want to do this. We like to go to events to enjoy ourselves and have fun and learn ourselves. Opening yourself up to that sort of intimate teaching might not be what someone wants to do. And that’s OK, I think there is room for different approaches. I think that if presenters want to, if they feel comfortable doing this, they should be encouraged, supported and events could provide frameworks where this sort of activity could happen.
What do you think?
And please… if you are at an event where slave angie and I are presenting, please don’t hesitate to ask us for some 1 on 1 time. This is what we’re here for as presenters, as titleholders and as people who want to share our values and lessons with our M/s, D/s and kink communities. Worst is that we might ask to do it at a different time during the event.