What is a Community Session?
Community Sessions are a space for conference attendees to organize a group of people to action or provide a concrete training on a specific issue.
At the 2019 conference in St. Louis, we had over 30 community sessions! From student organizations to international indigenous communities, and health care professionals to grassroots organizers, we had people of all ages and beliefs congregating over the course of three days.
A community meeting is:
- A gathering for you to organize your group’s members, goals, and projects
- A place to recognize your successes and analyze your shortcomings
- An opportunity to network with other conference attendees from around the world
- A chance to recruit new members and inform them of your mission
A community meeting is not:
- Another panel or training session
- A gathering where a few authority figures speak and everyone else simply listens
- A meeting for Drug Policy Alliance to promote (We’d like you to publicize your own meeting because you know all the details!)
Tips on Having a Successful Meeting
- Consider opening your community meeting to the public – you’ll recruit eager new members this way!
- Promote, promote, promote – send messages to your contacts who will be at the conference and post regularly about the meeting on social networking sites
- Start planning months ahead – the earlier you submit your meeting proposal, the more likely you are to get your desired time/space
- Consider offering food or drink – but be aware that hotel prices can be quite steep, so budget accordingly!
- Come prepared – be sure to have all necessary documents and equipment ready to go before your meeting starts