Ideas for social activities
As mentioned on the homepage, a defining feature of a ResBaz conference is social activities that encourage networking and knowledge sharing between researchers. Here's some ideas/resources for ResBaz social activities:
A knowledge bazaar
The attendees at a ResBaz conference have skills and knowledge is all sorts of different areas, so the challenge as a conference organiser is to get them to share that information in a fun, non threatening environment. Hosted under a large tent (i.e. a bazaar / marketplace setup - hence the name of the conference), the knowledge bazaar at the 2015 Melbourne conference was a mix of short informative talks, networking opportunities, fun and games, intellectual debates, interesting exhibitors and great food. You can read all about it here.
Digital toolbox poster session
Rather than a typical poster session displaying research results, the 2015 Melbourne conference had participants create posters showing the tools in their digital toolbox. You can see details and example posters here.
At a typical academic conference keynote presenters will talk about their research. While that’s all well and good, what you don’t get to hear so much about is their story. How did they get to where they are today? Why are they so passionate about what they do? For the 2015 Melbourne conference we picked three of the most interesting people we know in academia and asked them to present a “keystory” instead. You can see a recording of the keystories at the ResBaz YouTube channel.
To unwind at the end of a long ResBaz day, the 2015 Melbourne conference showed a screening of the PhD movie, which is a comedy that pokes fun at the frustrating and stressful aspects of the research life.
Hack your own stuff sessions
After the formal classes have been run at ResBaz, it's a good idea to give participants the opportunity to work apply the new skills they've learned to their own research. Hack your own stuff sessions can be completely unstructured (i.e. people just work on their own stuff and ask helpers and peers for assistance as need be), or you can ask participants to submit problems they're having in their own research that the entire group can work on.
A ResBaz traffic light party
Instead of wearing red, yellow or green, attendees wear a sign on their back listing 3 digital tools/skills they know lots about (e.g. Python, Git and Authorea) and a sign on their front with 3 digital tools/skills they'd like to know more about (e.g. databases, D3.js, data licensing). Attendees then go around the room and find people who either want to know about what's on their back or who know something about the things listed on their front.