There will be a lot to consider when planning your first regional dissemination workshop, and it will be helpful to have a planning committee. You should include node members, but also other stakeholders/collaborators who will want to contribute to the day's activities and presentations.
- Is your purpose to inform a large group about new research results or provide in depth training in an intervention?
- Are you planning multiple tracks, breakout sessions, or small group discussions?
- What size audience is ideal for the purpose you have in mind?
Answers to these questions will determine whether you need:
- a large banquet or lecture space,
- a space with available nearby breakout rooms
- a group of rooms where several small groups can meet
Make sure that those who are asked to plan content are involved in decisions about location. If possible, visit potential locations to determine if your needs can be met.
If the training agenda involves moving people during the day (e.g., doing small breakouts within a larger room, or moving to other rooms within the facility), make sure you have a workable plan for how that move will be accomplished.
- Your conference venue should be conveniently located for your potential audience. It also needs to be in a location that is comfortable for potential participants. For example, will your audience be excited or intimidated by the prospect of attending an event on a university campus?
- If you are targeting a wide geographic area, it can be beneficial to locate in a place that people might want to go for other reasons (e.g., shopping, dining, or entertainment). Coming to your event can be an opportunity for fun as well as learning.
- Remember, if participants are driving to this event, convenient and available parking will be an important consideration.
The advantage of attending a regional dissemination workshop is that the topic can focus on a recent trend in your area.
- Has there been a rise in the use of a certain drug, or the appearance of a new drug or substance?
- Is there a new population seeking certain drug effects?
- Is your state considering changes to regulations or requirements?
Not only can the event you create address topics and issues that are particular to your region, it can be an opportunity for state officials and local experts to be called upon as guest speakers.
Choosing speakers can be a two-street process, the availability of certain experts might determine a plenary topic or you might seek out a renowned speaker based on a topic you think is particularly relevant.
Trainers for the Blending Products are listed at the national ATTC website, http://www.nattc.org under the tab Quick Links, NIDA/SAMSHA Blending Initiative, and
you should be able to find someone close to you to train on particular products.
Synergy is now offering a Blending Products table top display that you can request for your event, and it will be mailed to you along with materials for distribution. You can contact, Joanna Weston at JWeston@seiservices.com. For more on materials, see the Materials section under Logistics.