Ideas how to facilitate community health at live events

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The purpose of this page is to collect ideas and tips how to boost community health at live events. Community health means creating a welcoming, collaborative atmosphere for oldtimers and newbies alike.

How to use this wiki:

  • fill in symptoms and causes
  • second: state principles
  • third: add your ideas.

Symptoms and causes for un-collaborative events

  • Shyness of attendees
  • cold atmosphere
  • difficult for newcomers to access
  • people are only socializing with other people they already know

Principles for "healthy" events

  • Don't imprison people (in rooms, agenda, session type, formats)
  • Make event hackable
  • Show value, beauty, health of event
  • Events should facilitate networking, making new contacts


  • provide spaces for alternatives processes
  • plan walking sessions
  • have dedicated spaces for informal chats and conversations (sofas, beanbags etc.)
  • make breaks long enough so that people actually have time for informal conversations
  • make the space beautiful and welcoming (lightening, flowers, posters, furniture, fruits)
  • explain goals and process explicitly and allow for feedback and alternative ideas ("we're doing X, 'cos we think it helps Y, but if you have a better idea, put it on the feedback wall, ask it, do it")
  • feedback poster wall (This is working/this is not working)
  • speed dating sessions
  • Yellow cards ("don't talk to the same person twice ;)")
  • "I'd like to talk about..."-name badges (or: "My favourite movie/book is...")
  • "I need/ I want..."-stickers
  • have a tea corner for more philosophical discussions
  • arrange a treasure hunt
  • Sparklez
  • have a "Maker table" to create your own swag (knitting, badge making mini kit, customize your conference t-shirt)
  • have "I'm bored"-hats available (not in sessions!)
  • elect 5 random happiness spies (that help the organizer to get feedback about the atmosphere)
  • provide spaces with rules or topics but no facilitator
  • arrange little dinner parties (book tables for 6-8 people at different restaurants, let people sign up for those tables)
  • use labels for your activities that promote friendliness (e.g. you're not picking a table in a restaurant, but you're hosting a dinner party)