The Virtual Knowledge Cafe process runs in a remarkably similar fashion to a face-to-face Café.
It works best for between twelve and twenty-four participants.
Typical timing is as follows:
|Activity||Full version||Short version|
|Introduction||5 minutes||5 minutes|
|Speed Conversation (optional)||15 minutes||0 minutes|
|Talk/Presentation + question||20 minutes||20 minutes|
|Small Group Conversations (3 rounds)||45 minutes||30 minutes|
|Whole Group Conversation||30 minutes||30 minutes|
|Wrap-up||5 minutes||5 minutes|
|Total time||2 hours||1 1/2 hours|
- The Café host opens the Zoom meeting and configures the room shortly before the participants arrive.
- The host opens the Café room 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the virtual Café.
- As the participants arrive on-line, one by one, the host welcomes them, and some informal chat and introductions take place as more and more people enter.
- There is also a little time for sorting out any technical problems but once the Café is underway there is no easy way to resolve individual participants’ technical issues, and they need to drop out or fix their problems without interrupting the other participants.
- The host starts the Café promptly on time.
- The host briefly welcomes the participants and describes the virtual Café process.
- The host runs three rounds of speed conversation by randomly assigning people to break-out rooms, two or three people per room. Each round lasts 2-3 minutes.
- The host briefly introduces the speaker or may speak themselves. They can use a short Powerpoint presentation if they wish.
- The speaker speaks to the topic of the Café and poses the question.
- The speaker hands back to the host and the host briefly reminds people how the break-out small group conversations work.
The small group conversations
- The host sends people to their assigned rooms (tables) (3 or 4 or 5 people per room).
- After 10 – 15 minutes the host brings people back from their break-out rooms to the main room. The participants receive a message to ask them to return to the main room. If they do not do so then, Zoom automatically returns them after 1 minute.
- The host briefly welcomes people back before randomly reassigning people to break-out rooms once again for the second round of small group conversation.
- This process is repeated one more time so that people get to have three rounds of small group conversation each lasting 10 to 15 minutes.
The whole group conversation
- After, the third round, the participants remain in the large room for the final large group conversation which is facilitated by the host
- Finally, the host concludes and closes the event, and people leave.