What done

Seminar Critique: Part C – Self-assessment

Contribution and collaboration
For the most part, we only discussed guests, while other aspects weren’t really paid attention to, like theme, promotion, staging and tech on the day.
By the time it was a week before the seminar, we’d finally gotten into gear and assigned roles for every aspects of the event. However, some of these roles were very vague, and most people were still confused as to where they fit in. Jasmine, Nadya and I split them up and asked for volunteers on Facebook. From here, we were able to cover most of the bases.
The things I actually did
– Catering: For this, I worked with Tim and we each found some options for the main savoury food option for the day and got quotes. Neither of the places worked out. While in another class, Mar, Nadya and I decided on pizza. I ordered the pizza to be made and delivered on the day at an appropriate time.
– Staging: For this, I worked with Nina. We scouted RMITV and building 94 for the right props and stage, so that we were able to gather them on the day. I am still sore from all the moving work. We also looked into decoration. We each went out to art and craft stores to find things that we could use to dress the stage and the outside of the seminar room. I made a Matrix-themed banner for the outside.
– Social Media: For this, I worked with the Creative team (Jasmine, Nadya and Josh) and Tiffany from the Steering Committee. I wanted to have posts that were different to the rest of the seminars. I didn’t want to post over-excited spam and I really wanted to stick to the theme. So I posted using a spy persona once a day in the event. The Creative team gave me the images to use for the posts, so that I was able to supplement my posts with a cool visual. I also then posted in two RMIT groups to further promote the event. I also posted everyday on the wantedrmit Instagram, as well as my personal Twitter account where I interacted with each of the guests.
– Printing: I helped out the Creative team by taking the files for the posters, flyers, thank-you cards and arrow signs to the printers and making sure they were all the right size and paper weight. It was a lengthy process, I assure you.
– Budget: I made sure the costs were added together and I did the math to calculate how much each person had to chip in to the seminar costs.

Proactive Learning
In my attempts to stick to the Matrix/secret agent spy theme, I worked on my Matrix/secret agent spy lingo, trawling the internet for cool words to use in my social media posts.
I didn’t actively learn about printing and paper weight. I was accidentally thrust into this job, but once I was in it, I did actively try to get it right. I hadn’t completely understood Jasmine’s instructions, but I tried to get it as accurate to her descriptions as possible. While I was at the RMIT printer near the hub, I was fortunate that they weren’t very busy that day and that the assistant was able to help me rearrange and edit the files so that they would be easily printed. I learned that it’s printer to print A3 and cut it in half. I also learned that guillotines that look like swords are useless. But most importantly, I learned the importance of having the correct file and understanding how the file will translate onto the page, and the best ways to ensure that it is the way you want it.
I also learned about crafts. While I was in the store, I spoke to the shop assistant about painting and fabric. I also conferred with Nina and we were actively trying to figure out what kinds of paints would work on what types of fabric, and what kinds of markers would work on what kinds of paper.
I think that knowledge of crafts and especially an understanding of printing and formatting is a crucial aspect of event planning.

Participation
I attended every class before the seminar, and I only skipped one of the group meetings we had outside of class. I was also preparing the seminar from the very beginning of the day and packing up from the very end of the day.
During the group meetings and in class, I tried to participate and share ideas with the group. While I did attempt to contribute ideas for the guests and content, I was a bit out of my depth, and my interests were slightly varied. I think I was mostly confused with what I wanted to get out of the seminar, so I wasn’t sure what kinds of people that we would best benefit from.
However, from the very start, we’d split the group into three different groups anyway: guest liaison, promotion/creative, and event management. So, I was a lot more vocal when it came to the theme, staging, catering, refreshments and creative elements. I made sure that the group was paying attention to the other elements of the seminar.

Connections and Intersections
Similar to the PNR, I can really see a benefit in being able to make contact with industry professionals, and ensuring that you are somewhat known in the industry. Having even the most vague of connections can be a real stepping stone for each of us.
Initially, I found it really difficult to work in such a large group. While a lot of us would attend the meetings, very few of us would go away having work to do, or intending to make any contribution. While the entire group wasn’t able to contribute in the pre-production phase, I can definitely see the benefit of having a large group for the production phase. From moving furniture, to setting up equipment, to all the little tasks we had to get done, it was definitely worthwhile having so many hands on deck.
I think that the event/project management I have developed will be transferrable to other events or projects I will do in future, whether it is work related or otherwise. The work I have contributed to the seminar has helped me devise and delegate, as well as people manage, as well as how to work out what to do when things don’t turn out well.

What doing

With our seminar never really looming, it took us until a week before our seminar date to make any decisions aside from which guests and who would contact them.

Prior to our meeting before the International seminar, Jasmine and I had a minor freak-out because guests had not been confirmed and we had no other concrete plans. During that freak-out, Jasmine unofficially put me in charge of social media and catering, as we thought those roles would need to be attended to soonest.

As such, I began forming the types of posts I had intended on putting onto Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I also had a lengthy discussion about these posts with our seminar social media whiz, to make sure I was heading in the right direction. I posted a general introduction status yesterday, and I intend to introduce the guests in the same manner over the next four days.

Jasmine unofficially dubbing me head of catering was based on her desire for me to make chocolate rum balls, which I was happy to make. So before the meeting, I had done the math to figure out how much money I would need from each group member to make this happen. I also went to the cafe that was used by two other groups to get a quote for catering. However, after our meeting, the catering and snacks had been taken in a separate direction, and I probably won’t be working on the food aspect anymore.

I have now also volunteered myself as part of the staging crew. We’ve had a look around the RMITV props, and also organised to use the stage in Building 94 next Friday. Currently, we are still deciding what props to use and if we should make or buy anything to decorate the room with.

International – Seminar Critique

CONTENT (HD)
The content of this seminar covered a broad range of topics that were very relevant to all of the students regardless of whether they had considered ever working internationally. The topics were delivered well and the discussion was very interesting. The guests each had very relevant and notable anecdotes.

APPROACH (HD)
I liked the use of two hosts – it gave the seminar a change of pace and allowed the hosts of bounce off each other. The different topics that were asked about and discussed were able to keep up the pace and maintain the attention of the audience. It also seemed like the questions were fairly distributed among the guests.

THEME (HD)
I was initially slightly confused by the fancy nature of the setup, which was very different to the ruggedness of most of the previous nature. But it was later pointed out to me that it was based on the concept of their promo video, where evil masterminds had invited other evil masterminds to help them be more evil/reveal media secrets.

STAGING (HD)
The posters, postcards and paper aeroplanes were a very cute touch. It really tied the entire theme together. I especially enjoyed the main setup of the stage, where the masterminds were sitting on lounges and sipping from martini glasses.

PROMOTION (D)
The promotion was the only downfall of the entire project. Like many of the seminars before it, the social media promotion was not quite varied and the posts were done very close together, cluttering the newsfeed. However, I did enjoy the different types of posts.
I especially enjoyed the posters that were displayed around campus. They were well designed.

TV – Seminar Critique

CONTENT (D)
I found the content of this seminar to be quite entertaining. I thought that the use of game show type questions and segments helped to facilitate interesting discussion. I think the first part of the line-up maybe didn’t offer enough insight into the industry and wasn’t particularly relatable. However, the Q&A in the section potion definitely made up for this. I also found the delivery of the questions to be very engaging.

APPROACH (HD)
I did have a bit of confusion about how some of the smaller segments in the game show fit together, but it was overall, very interesting and engaging to watch. The use of the ‘buzzers’ were also very fun to watch although they didn’t seem to serve too much purpose.

THEME (HD)
This was a brilliant and quite well executed. The promotional video and the stunt at the beginning of the seminar really highlighted the theme of the seminar and it was very entertaining to watch. I also really enjoyed the team’s efforts to make crystal meth candy.

STAGING (HD)
It only took about a week, BUT I FINALLY UNDERSTAND THE STAGING. They were breaking in to a home… And the stage was a home! Hope I was the only one who was confused by this, because I think it was quite a clever way to portray their theme.

PROMOTION (D)
I found the seminar to be well promoted on Facebook and Instagram. I especially enjoyed the different ways that it was promoted on Facebook, with different types of posts revealing different types of information. However I did find the posts to be quite non-existent early on, and then very repetitive closer to the date. Otherwise I did like the varied posts.

Non-fiction Doco – Seminar Critique

Straight off the bat, I really enjoyed the trail mix that this group provided at the door. Considering how close to lunch time it was, the fibre and protein really hit the spot.

CONTENT (HD)
I found the content of this seminar to be very relevant to its industry. I thought that the team did well to find guests from various backgrounds with varied approaches to their filmmaking. They also did a good job covering different aspects of the filmmaking process such as funding.

APPROACH (D)
I found the seminar to be mostly engaging. The change of segments and the variation of segments helped to keep the seminar flowing, ensuring that the audience could re-engage when necessary. I also thought the Powerpoint presentation was a good touch, and it was good to see examples of the guests’ work.

THEME (D)
Although there wasn’t much consistency in the naming of the segments, the ones that were relevant to the theme were enjoyable (as were the nut puns on the trail mix). I do think that they could have executed the theme in more ways.

STAGING (HD)
From my seat two rows from the very back, I was able to have a good view of the panel. I noticed the slightly higher chairs that were used. I think this made a significant in ensuring the guests were visible by all. I’m not sure if the team took this into consideration but I think it made all the difference in keeping the attention of the audience.

PROMOTION (D)
I found that this group didn’t do much social media promotion on their own. Aside from the promotions made by the Steering Committee, there were very few posts made by this team. However, I did really enjoy the posters that were displayed and I also enjoyed their promotional video.

Intro to Digital

For MI2, I am part of the digital media group.

So far our group is mostly interested in the ideas surrounding how content is generated for online consumption – particularly how content is made to be engaging. We’re considering aspects from written content such as blogs and online newspapers, as well as video content such as web series. As my group’s seminar isn’t until week 10, we’ve taken the extra time as an opportunity to think through the types of guests we want to approach and how we want to approach them. As of this week, we have secured a guest from Vice and are looking into a guest from Buzzfeed and some other social media/business platforms.

While we believe that many of the roles will end up overlapping and that we will each of course be working collaboratively over different areas, my group has decided that within our group, we will divide into three smaller groups to ensure that certain tasks are met with greater attention to detail. These three groups include the Guest Liaison team, the Event Management and Logistics team and finally, the Promotion and Social Media team. I am currently part of the Event Management and Logistics team.

As we have not yet secured all of our 3-4 guest speakers, we have yet to decide what how we will approach the theme and event planning. We think that the guests are a crucial and defining element to how we run the show and how we want to frame the questions and the seminar itself. However, we are leaning towards doing a panel of sorts with a Q and A. However, we want to pay extra attention to how engaging the seminar is, and I think that really relies on how we present it. We will likely be have one or two hosts, and attempt some form of audience participation.