facilitating & hosting

On Invitation

I’m starting a deeper exploration around the concept “invitation is a process”. For participatory gatherings inviting people well is a critical part of the quality of the experience.

As I shared in the Design Helpers post:

The meeting begins long before the invitation is issued. Invitation is a process, and the goal is to attract people fully to the meeting. Think about: Hosting little conversations to find out what would attract them to the gathering, conversations with key potential participants, listening and communicating. Dates, location, clarity of the need and purpose. Try to send out more than one kind of invitation (3 to 4 levels of follow-up invitation).

In chatting with a friend about a conference they would like to convene, the question of “how to get the right people/influencers in the room, and how to get them invested in the issues at hand” came up. My sense is three-fold: first, map the system to better understand who the people and influencers are, second, get interested in them and view the issues through their eyes (seek first to understand), and third, invite them well to attract them fully to the meeting.

Chris Corrigan described this aspect on invitation:

  • Create an invitation list of people who are needed for the meeting
  • Begin contacting these people and hosting little conversations to find out what quality of¬†invitation would attract them to this gathering.

I’m curious to explore how Otto Scharmer’s Stakeholder Interviews from Theory U might be used/adapted as part of these ‘little conversations’.

Also looking forward to discovering what other approaches might work well for this invitation process. A good learning journey for me in the art of the invitation.

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