Constraints on the program (especially for workshops@Oort)
First and foremost, it is essential that the program has a high content of interaction (formal or informal). A maximum of 60% lecture time is recommended.
On the first day, begin the formal program no earlier than 10:00. The Lorentz Center will open with a short welcome (15 minutes) and practical introduction to the center.
Lunch breaks should be no less than 1 1/2 hours. Even longer may be very useful, especially on the ’middel’ days of the workshop.
Coffee/tea breaks should be a minimum of 30 minutes morning and afternoon.
A Wine&Cheese welcoming party is planned at the end of the first day. We recommend beginning at 17:00.
When possible the workshop dinner is held on the ’middle’ day (normally Wednesday)
End the workshop no later than 4 o’clock on the last day.
General recommendations on the program
These guidelines are based on our experience in hosting scientific workshops and on the continued feedback from organizers and our scientific advisory boards.
“Less is more”: Please remember to plan few lectures. Five, well chosen, per day are more than enough to satisfy the minds of the participants and to inspire creative and constructive discussions.
A simple and successful format can be two or three talks in the morning and one or two in the late afternoon, leaving ample time in between open for different types of discussions.
Think about ending each day with (a) highly attractive lecture(s) - this helps keeping the group together.
Consider planning "gaps" of two to three hours in the formal program, with no lectures, after the morning session on one or more days. To organizers this can be daunting, but for the participants it is valuable time for individual, in-depth discussions, and it provides the opportunity to organize, impromptu, or planned, informal brainstorm or discussion sessions. (Program for example one hour as "lunch" and the rest as "individual and group discussions").
Experience shows that participants are encouraged to stay till the end of the workshop if an attractive program for the final day is planned and announced early. This can for example be a round table/discussion/summing up of the workshop followed by (an) outstanding lecture(s). For instance you could ask one or more participants with good overview to put into perspective what they have learnt and what the outstanding issues for the future are.