We are in the midst of "Scheduling Days" for Learning 2012. Our design team is working at a big whiteboard at The MASIE Center, juggling and designing the timing, sequencing and room sizing for almost 180 Sessions at Learning 2012:
Yes, there are discussion sessions that are perfect for Tuesday afternoon that would not work on Monday morning. Topics and learning formats may require a very small conversation room and others will be slotted into flexible larger presentation spaces.
We spend 2 days moving, shifting and arranging the schedule and then dropping it into an elaborate Disney hotel conference room layout model:
This is where learning design and meeting planning intersect. For example, we want to have the seating for the General Session on Tuesday afternoon in comfortable rounds, but shift it to Theater Concert Style for the Midtown Men Concert on Tuesday evening. So, Disney will take thousands of chairs and tables and break them down, reset and shift from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm - in time for the sound check.
This year, the process is even more complex. As we are adding about 15% of the content in "Real Time". We will be creating a large number of sessions, discussions, activities and follow-up in "Real Time" at the event. So, we have to block rooms and balance our schedule to flex for "Real Time" events. An exciting and flexible schedule requirement.
In just a few days, we will be posting the full schedule and digital version of the Event Guide for Learning 2012. It is actually quite fun for us to be jugglers, planners and design advocates.