EQUIPMENT, MATERIALS, AUDIO-VISUAL REQUIREMENTS AND SET-UP FOR STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSIONS

Hi,

Thanks for deciding to employ my services! I really look forward to working with you.

Let’s talk about the equipment, stationary, materials and room set-up for your session.

If you’re reading this, then I’ve been employed me to conduct one of the following sessions for you... here is a brief description of each:

  • Strategic Planning Session: This is an executive planning session.


  • Facilitated Work-session: A participative Work-session where the outcome is to solve a problem; brainstorm an issue; plan a process, or mediate a dispute.


  • Workshop: Educational workshop where delegates will learn more about a topic.


The rest of this page lists what we’ll need for the session. It’s really important that we stick to this script... the devil really is in this detail. Having said that, there are no prima-donna demands here – I am not equipment-dependant... but when it comes to work-sessions, the success of the event is dependent to a large extent on us having the correct equipment and materials on hand when we need it. When I do a keynote presentation, it’s easy to work without any equipment (except for a microphone, of course!). But for work-sessions it’s a tad more complicated... but, rest assured that I’m an easy-going-will-cope-under-just-about-any-circumstances kind of presenter. My job is to see that the show goes on. Regardless. .

I’ll can even work without power (my fellow South African’s will know what I’m talking about... we’re experiencing a nation-wide power crisis right now... not unlike what many other nations have experienced at one time or another). I’ll work to candlelight. Without PowerPoint... and without the materials listed here... but the outcome will be diminished. For South African clients: please also refer to the notes on “electricity” at the foot of this page.

So let’s rather get the detail right. Right?

In terms of the stationary and supplies... please note that while we are not likely to use all of the items on the list, we do need all of the equipment and materials on hand because we won’t know what we need... until we need it... and then it needs to be in the room! You can always return unused materials to your vendor, or absorb it into office supplies stock back at work.

Should you find it a challenge to deliver on any of this, please speak to me timeously, so that we can then plan an alternative solution. If you’re passing this on to the venue, or to an events coordinator or staging company, please be sure that they understand the importance of complying with all of the detail – and invite them to call on me if they need to clarify anything. If you are passing this on, it would be a good idea for you to keep your finger on this one personally.

There is a “printer-friendly” button at the foot of this page if you want to print a copy of this for later reference. Or you can cut-and-paste this link if you want to e-mail this page to anyone else: http://www.stefduplessis.com/equipstratsession.html

Shout if you need me! And here’s to a successful event!

Kind Regards,

Stef du Plessis

PS As on the rest of my Website, I have used South African spelling conventions throughout.

Choose from these options:


Here’s what we’ll need for a Strategic Planning Session

“Hardware” for a Strategic Planning Session

  • Black & White Laser printer: HP is always best. We will also need the printer drivers on disk. Also paper, printer cable, and spare toner cartridge.


  • Photocopier / Zerox Machine: All-hour, easy access to a good photocopier / Zerox machine.


Audio-Visual Requirements for a Strategic Planning Session

  • Data Projector: We’ll need a data projector. The brighter, the better. Please ensure that user manual is available. Also see that all cables are available: power cable, cable between computer and projector, RCA cable, and S-Video cable.


  • Screen: Large, classroom style screen. It’s better when the screen is positioned off-centre – towards one of the corners at the front of the room. Rear projection is even better. In the absence of a screen we can use a white wall.


  • Sound and Microphone: I can manage without a microphone for boardroom sessions... or very small workshop-room settings with say 20-30 people. Anything bigger will definitely require the use of a microphone. Here’s what we’ll need: (1) Cordless lapel microphone, with fresh batteries, (2) Backup: It’s always a good idea to have a backup microphone on hand. Also cordless, and (3) Sound cable for my laptop. The socket on my laptop is a “mini-jack”. Cable to extend to wherever the laptop will be positioned. For groups of up to about 80 people, I could provide a small PA system - but this will attract additional costs in the form of overweight baggage (in the event that I fly to your venue), which will be for your account. Let me know in time if you need me to bring one.


  • Loudspeaker: regardless of group size, and regardless of whether or not we use a microphone, we will need a loudspeaker for viewing video / videos, and we need to ensure that we will be able to play back high quality sound (if we are using a microphone, then it’s likely that we could use the PA system to play back this sound). While most projectors have built-in speakers, they are never adequate. Most venues do however have speakers built into their conference rooms - if the venue which we will be using does have this facility, please ensure that the speakers in question are functional, and that we will be able to attach our equipment to the speaker system.


Ideally, a powerful set of computer speakers will work well. But be sure to provide the cabling / wiring and the power pack / electrical supply for these speakers (normally computer speakers are powered by their own power pack and electrical cord... although some speakers are powered direct from the USB port). Note that “Hi-Fi” speakers won't work, as they are not powered or amplified.

I could solve the whole problem and simply bring a speaker – but, as I said before, this will attract additional costs in the form of overweight baggage, which will be for your account. So let’s speak about this if you need me to bring one.

  • Extension cords and multi-plugs: We’ll need one or two of each.


Materials and Supplies for a Strategic Planning Session

  • One flipchart for every three to four people, plus one for Stef. Please provide ample clean flipchart paper and pens (at least three colours per flipchart, plus spare pens).
  • Twenty rolls of brown paper - the type you'd use to cover books with. Ensure that it is continuous paper, and not pre-cut book covers.
  • Broad-tipped markers - one per delegate, plus a few.
  • Permanent ink CD Marker per person, plus a few.
  • Prestik - a few packs.
  • Glue - Pritt or school project glue.
  • Stapler with staples.
  • Ten pairs of scissors.
  • Notepads - exam pads are ideal.
  • Pens, pencils, erasers and sharpeners - ample for all delegates, plus spare.
  • Index Cards with printed lines. Approximate size 12 cm X 8 cm is ideal. These are normally available in packs of 100. We will need about one pack for every two delegates, plus a few packs.
  • Post-it pads. At least two pads per person. Note that we need bigger pads than the post-it pads typically used in and around offices... the pads we need are the same size as the index cards above... about 12 cm X 8 cm.
  • Coloured stickers, about the size of a finger nail. They normally come on rolls, in boxes. We need two rolls each of three different colours.
  • Sellotape – two rolls.
  • Masking tape – two rolls.
  • Adhesive Spray – normally by 3M. This could go under the label of “Photo Spray”, but could also be labeled in some other way. The spray-can will however be clearly descriptive of its content... what we are looking for is an aerosol spray that can be sprayed on to one surface (typically a sheet of paper), so that another sheet of paper (or, say, a photograph), can then be stuck on to this surface with ease. Having said that, the “stuck-on” item is easily removable... the glue does not dry (it’s similar to the glue on a post-it note). So be careful not to buy spray-on glue! We need two cans.

NOTE: Please note that while we are not likely to use all of the items on the list, we do need all of the equipment and materials on hand because we won’t know what we need... until we need it... and then it needs to be in the room! You can always return unused materials to your vendor, or absorb it into office supplies stock back at work.

Room Set-up for a Strategic Planning Session

  • Try to stay away from conventional seating arrangements... definitely not schoolroom-style, and also try to stay away from U-shape seating.


  • Boardroom-style is perfect for small groups... and round table seating works well for any group size.


Here’s what we’ll need for a Facilitated Work-session

“Hardware” for a Facilitated Work-session

We may – or may not – need this “hardware” – please check with Stef if you’re uncertain.

  • Black & White Laser printer: HP is always best. We will also need the printer drivers on disk. Also paper, printer cable, and spare toner cartridge.


  • Photocopier / Zerox Machine: All-hour, easy access to a good photocopier / Zerox machine.


Audio-Visual Requirements for a Facilitated Work-session

  • Data Projector: We’ll need a data projector. The brighter, the better. Please ensure that user manual is available. Also see that all cables are available: power cable, cable between computer and projector, RCA cable, and S-Video cable.


  • Screen: Large, classroom style screen. It’s better when the screen is positioned off-centre – towards one of the corners at the front of the room. Rear projection is even better. In the absence of a screen we can use a white wall.


  • Sound and Microphone: I can manage without a microphone for small groups... say small workshop-room settings with 20-30 people. Anything bigger will definitely require the use of a microphone. Here’s what we’ll need: (1) Cordless lapel microphone, with fresh batteries, (2) Backup: It’s always a good idea to have a backup microphone on hand. Also cordless, and (3) Sound cable for my laptop. The socket on my laptop is a “mini-jack”. Cable to extend to wherever the laptop will be positioned. For groups of up to about 80 people, I could provide a small PA system - but this will attract additional costs in the form of overweight baggage (in the event that I fly to your venue), which will be for your account. Let me know in time if you need me to bring one.


  • Loudspeaker: regardless of group size, and regardless of whether or not we use a microphone, we will need a loudspeaker for viewing video / videos, and we need to ensure that we will be able to play back high quality sound (if we are using a microphone, then it’s likely that we could use the PA system to play back this sound). While most projectors have built-in speakers, they are never adequate. Most venues do however have speakers built into their conference rooms - if the venue which we will be using does have this facility, please ensure that the speakers in question are functional, and that we will be able to attach our equipment to the speaker system.


Ideally, a powerful set of computer speakers will work well. But be sure to provide the cabling / wiring and the power pack / electrical supply for these speakers (normally computer speakers are powered by their own power pack and electrical cord... although some speakers are powered direct from the USB port). Note that “Hi-Fi” speakers won't work, as they are not powered or amplified.

I could solve the whole problem and simply bring a speaker – but, as I said before, this will attract additional costs in the form of overweight baggage, which will be for your account. So let’s speak about this if you need me to bring one.

  • Extension cords and multi-plugs: We’ll need one or two of each.


Materials and Supplies for a Facilitated Work-session

  • One flipchart for every three to four people for groups of up to 20 (one flipchart for every five people for larger groups), plus one for Stef. Please provide ample clean flipchart paper and pens (at least three colours per flipchart, plus spare pens).
  • Twenty rolls of brown paper - the type you'd use to cover books with. Ensure that it is continuous paper, and not pre-cut book covers.
  • Broad-tipped markers - one per delegate, plus a few.
  • Permanent ink CD Marker per person, plus a few.
  • Prestik - a few packs.
  • Glue - Pritt or school project glue.
  • Stapler with staples.
  • Ten pairs of scissors.
  • Notepads - exam pads are ideal.
  • Pens, pencils, erasers and sharpeners - ample for all delegates, plus spare.
  • Index Cards with printed lines. Approximate size 12 cm X 8 cm is ideal. These are normally available in packs of 100. We will need about one pack for every two delegates, plus a few packs.
  • Post-it pads. At least two pads per person. Note that we need bigger pads than the post-it pads typically used in and around offices... the pads we need are the same size as the index cards above... about 12 cm X 8 cm.
  • Coloured stickers, about the size of a finger nail. They normally come on rolls, in boxes. We need two rolls each of three different colours.
  • Sellotape – two rolls.
  • Masking tape – two rolls.
  • Adhesive Spray – normally by 3M. This could go under the label of “Photo Spray”, but could also be labeled in some other way. The spray-can will however be clearly descriptive of its content... what we are looking for is an aerosol spray that can be sprayed on to one surface (typically a sheet of paper), so that another sheet of paper (or, say, a photograph), can then be stuck on to this surface with ease. Having said that, the “stuck-on” item is easily removable... the glue does not dry (it’s similar to the glue on a post-it note). So be careful not to buy spray-on glue! We need two cans.

NOTE: Please note that while we are not likely to use all of the items on the list, we do need all of the equipment and materials on hand because we won’t know what we need... until we need it... and then it needs to be in the room! You can always return unused materials to your vendor, or absorb it into office supplies stock back at work.

Room Set-up for a Facilitated Work-session

  • We need two different seating set-up’s... ideally both are in the same room, but it could be in different rooms. Each set-up needs ample seating for all the delegates.


  • The one set-up is U-shape, facing a screen, with one flipchart stand in the front of the room.


  • The other is chairs only, no tables – positioned in a circle, facing in. The remainder of the flipcharts are positioned around the circle of chairs.


  • The ideal set-up is a large room, with the U-shape facing the screen at one end of the room, and the circle of chairs and flipcharts at the other end of the room.


Here’s what we’ll need for a Workshop

Audio-Visual Requirements for a Workshop

  • Data Projector: We’ll need a data projector. The brighter, the better. Please ensure that user manual is available. Also see that all cables are available: power cable, cable between computer and projector, RCA cable, and S-Video cable.


  • Screen: Large, classroom style screen. It’s better when the screen is positioned off-centre – towards one of the corners at the front of the room. Rear projection is even better. In the absence of a screen we can use a white wall.


  • Sound and Microphone: I can manage without a microphone for small groups... say small workshop-room settings with 20-30 people. Anything bigger will definitely require the use of a microphone. Here’s what we’ll need: (1) Cordless lapel microphone, with fresh batteries, (2) Backup: It’s always a good idea to have a backup microphone on hand. Also cordless, and (3) Sound cable for my laptop. The socket on my laptop is a “mini-jack”. Cable to extend to wherever the laptop will be positioned. For groups of up to about 80 people, I could provide a small PA system - but this will attract additional costs in the form of overweight baggage (in the event that I fly to your venue), which will be for your account. Let me know in time if you need me to bring one.


  • Loudspeaker: regardless of group size, and regardless of whether or not we use a microphone, we will need a loudspeaker for viewing video / videos, and we need to ensure that we will be able to play back high quality sound (if we are using a microphone, then it’s likely that we could use the PA system to play back this sound). While most projectors have built-in speakers, they are never adequate. Most venues do however have speakers built into their conference rooms - if the venue which we will be using does have this facility, please ensure that the speakers in question are functional, and that we will be able to attach our equipment to the speaker system.


Ideally, a powerful set of computer speakers will work well. But be sure to provide the cabling / wiring and the power pack / electrical supply for these speakers (normally computer speakers are powered by their own power pack and electrical cord... although some speakers are powered direct from the USB port). Note that “Hi-Fi” speakers won't work, as they are not powered or amplified.

I could solve the whole problem and simply bring a speaker – but, as I said before, this will attract additional costs in the form of overweight baggage, which will be for your account. So let’s speak about this if you need me to bring one.

  • Extension cords and multi-plugs: We’ll need one or two of each.


Materials and Supplies for a Workshop

  • Four flipcharts. Please provide ample clean flipchart paper and pens (at least three colours per flipchart, plus spare pens).
  • Note pad and pens - one per delegate.
  • Index Cards with printed lines. Approximate size 12 cm X 8 cm is ideal. These are normally available in packs of 100. We will need one pack for every ten delegates, plus a few packs.

NOTE: Please note that while we are not likely to use all of the items on the list, we do need all of the equipment and materials on hand because we won’t know what we need... until we need it... and then it needs to be in the room! You can always return unused materials to your vendor, or absorb it into office supplies stock back at work.

Room Set-up for a Workshop

  • School room will do – but is not ideal. For large audiences of more than say 100 people, this may however be the only feasible seating solution.


  • U-shape is better than school room... but only for groups of up to about 20 people.


  • Round tables are ideal. But tables are not to be seated to capacity – there are no people seated at the part of the table that faces the front of the room (this prevents that delegates have to sit with their back to the screen, or that they have to turn their chairs around and then not have a table surface in front of them). Imagine a clock-face, where 12 O’clock points to the screen... then you would seat people only from 2 O’clock to 10 O’clock. This of course means that you will need more tables per number of delegates than the tables were actually designed to seat, if say, you were hosting a dinner.


Notes on Electricity

This is aimed mainly at the South African market... I mentioned in my introductory note above that we are all working together in South Africa right now to cope with a nation-wide power crisis... not unlike many other nations have experienced at one time or another. It’s simple – our growth is simply outstripping our infrastructure. How cool is that!

I’m also no specialist in this arena... so what you read here are mere suggestions... although I base these comments on considerable experience, I am no authority. Don’t confuse my attempt to help with any acceptance of liability! Get a professional opinion!

The bottom line is that you need to plan for your show to go on without power. Consider alternate power sources, at least to the extent that will see your show going on. Speak to the venue. Get them to commit... and get it in writing! Contract it.

Book a room that has natural light (but which can be blacked out to allow for PowerPoint presentations under normal circumstances).

It’s not just about emergency battery lighting and a small generator to power the laptop, projector and microphone, if we’re using one (often, the generator will make more noise than can be overcome with the microphone it is powering anyway). Most important is that you consider ventilation and air-conditioning. The season, and time of day will place its own constraints on this. There are rooms that simply do not allow for large numbers of people to stay seated for any length of time. Even when they have lights and can hear the speaker, they still need to breathe!

I make no demands. I’ll be there on the day. If the situation allows me to do so, and if it is humanly possible, I’ll run the session. All within reason. But it’s important you refer to my terms & conditions and fee schedule on this. Bottom line: and, in our mutual interest, I’ll be blunt here... when it comes to power outages, I get paid regardless of whether or not I could actually run the session... or meet your expectations when we are hampered by lack of equipment and power outages. And I get paid in full even if cancelled as a result of a power outage, or if we cannot meet all agreed objectives. All the more reason why you should think this through, and plan so that your show can indeed go on even when there is no power.

Contact Details:


E-mail: Tel: +27 11 787-0829 Mobile: +27 82 656-7890


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