What am I supposed to do at the event?
I’m recording what will become episodes for the Art of Retreat podcast. Itself a neat show because different people have done different episodes based on when and where the event has been held.
Aside: I’m also leading an interactive session about Creating Better Conversation. But my session has nothing to do with the recordings I’m doing for Art of Retreat’s podcast. So this is the only time I’ll plug my main mission.
I’m supposed to capture some conversations with the session presenters.
How many? Well… there are more than 2 dozen people giving all sorts of presentations, leading sessions, etc. I’ll pause while you imagine recording 30 podcasts, in three days, in the woods.
Keep it simple. Whatever I do, has to be battery powered, done by one person (me!), able to move around, hide from rain, stay warm, and accommodate recording guests who really do not sit still well. And there’s no reliable Internet (not even cell coverage).
The last time we did this, we allocated a dedicated cabin—this is a literal retreat, with cabins spread through the woods and a main lodge, in a pine forest, next to a lake. Last time, I spent a lot of time setup in that cabin next to a cozy wood stove.
This year, after talking with the organizers, we wanted to create more “nimble” conversations. Shorter than last time, and with each conversation more clearly focused on the person’s (each presenter) main take-away, question, etc.
It can’t be over-stressed: Plan plan plan, prepare prepare, execute. I talked with the event organizers, looked through their internal planning and scheduling docs, and came up with this plan. I emailed this to them so it’s clear what I plan to do. It’s important that I don’t try to tackle too much, that there be no “feature creep” (oh, can we also get you to take a photo of each guest—aside: they have event media people for that), and that the event knows what to expect.
I’ll be referring to this myself any time I need to remind myself to stay nimble and stay focused.
Here’s what I emailed them. I know all of the coordinators well, so this isn’t a very “warm” message. But this works with our relationship…
I’ll focus on recording with the Deep Dive presenters. Shorter recordings, finished episodes ~10 minutes long. Four parts to each episode…
Brief opening by Craig (“Hello… welcome to Art of Retreat…”)
Brief guest intro by Craig (I’ll craft 1 or 2 sentences with the guest, right before we record. I’m going to mention this when I email them to see if I can get some preliminary work done.)
…the actual conversation part
I’ll end by telling people how they can learn more (I’ll get that on the spot before we press record.)
That should keep things tighter on time without being complicated. The focus of the episodes is on each presenter’s big idea, takeaway, etc.
We’ll also do one longer recording with you three. Adam pointed out Saturday evening/night might be a good time for that.
I’ll record them around camp wherever I can pull people aside. (So not having a dedicated cabin.) There should be plenty of time to record these during the open-schedule and other workshops times.
If you have extra event volunteers that you don’t know what to do with (hah, yeah right) I can always use help. By the time we’re at the event I’ll know exactly what times help would be useful so we can leave this for on-the-ground.
For each episode (after the event) I’ll create…
- episode title
- blurb (their intro sentence plus a sentence summary)
- audio file (mp3, ready for uploading/publication)
You’ll also get the raw audio files from each recording in case you ever want to do something else with them.