Smofcon 34 is pleased to announce three workshops to take place during the day on Friday, December 2nd, prior to the start of main programm at 3:30 p.m.

The workshops are as follows:

Facilities Access, led by Tanya Washburn (4.5 hours duration, capacity 40)
Dynamic Leadership and Communication, led by Lisa Feicht (2 hours duration, capacity 40, 2 sessions) - the morning session of this workshop is full
Chairs’ Round Table, led by Deb Geisler and Colin Harris (2 hours duration, capacity 20) - this workshop is full

Detailed descriptions of each workshop can be found below.

How to Apply

These workshops are open to Smofcon 34 members. All workshop attendees must pre-register. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, except for the Chairs’ Round Table where priority will be given to those who will be chairing a convention in the next three years.

Applications for workshop places should be emailed to

Please note the following:

The Facilities Access workshop is a full-day session.

The Dynamic Leadership and Communication workshop will be run twice, in the morning and in the afternoon; the afternoon session will be run in parallel to the Chairs’ Round Table. Please indicate which session you prefer, and also whether you would be willing to attend the other session if your first choice is not available.

You can apply to attend both the morning session of Dynamic Leadership and Communication and the Chairs’ Round Table. Please indicate your priority if you wish to do this; we aim to allow everyone to attend at least one workshop if possible.

We will initially collect all applications through to Saturday, November 19th, and then notify successful applicants. We will then fill remaining places and notify successful applicants on a rolling basis.

Facilities Access (4.5 hours including lunch break)
This workshop will start at 11:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. A break for lunch is included.
Pre-registration is required. Maximum 40 participants in total.

As convention runners, we often need to find a new facility for our event. We contact many hotels, we tour them, and we choose based on a number of factors:

Is there enough function space?
How much will it cost?
Is our preferred weekend available?

When we tour hotels, however, we may not have accessibility concerns front and center. Access is an important piece of opening conventions to everyone. This workshop will help teach you how to do a facilities walkthrough with a specific focus on access. There will be tours of four hotels in the area, with a maximum of 10 people per hotel. Each small group will then debrief, followed by all of the groups coming together to discuss their experiences.
This workshop will be led by Tanya Washburn.

Dynamic Leadership and Communication (2 hours)
(This workshop is being run twice to allow the maximum number of people to attend. The first session will run from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the second from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.)
Pre-registration is required. Maximum 20 participants per session.

Effective leaders use dynamic communication to determine the best way to convey messages and lead teams. Which sounds great when you read it but much harder to implement it; especially when conversations turn crucial and team dynamics start to fracture. We will break down the components needed to live dynamic leadership and build your confidence for when you encounter crucial conversations.

Here’s what we will cover:

Servant leadership
Emotional intelligence
Reasons people complain
Levels of listening
Preparing for crucial conversations

About the presenter: Lisa Feichter of Blue Monarch Coaching works with type-A workaholics who are stressed by life’s craziness, enabling them to be centered and calm so that they can increase their impact and consciously create a peaceful life. She also works with intact teams to resolve blocks in culture, performance and communication.

Lisa is an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, a certified professional life coach, Cornell's Change Leadership certified, a DiSC facilitator and an innovation trainer. She’s spent five years working in a university setting and twenty years with a Fortune 500 company. Lisa is also a volunteer for Conserve Lake County and the Illinois Butterfly Network.

Chairs’ Round Table (2 hours)
This workshop will start at 1:30 p.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m.
Pre-registration is required. Maximum 20 participants in total. Priority will be given to members who will be chairing a convention within the next three years.

This round table provides an opportunity for past and future convention chairs to come together, build connections with their peers, and share senior leader perspectives on current convention running challenges and opportunities. The aim is to provide a safe space where difficult questions can be honestly discussed, as well as to model behaviours needed to participate effectively in senior management meetings.
The Chairs’ Round Table will be facilitated by Deb Geisler and Colin Harris.