Campfires are intended to stimulate peer exchange of knowledge and experiences over approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Campfires are set in a relaxed environment, either in-person, for example at the Annual Meeting, or online. Online Campfires are a digital substitute for the informal meetings and chats members have at face-to-face meetings.
Each Campfire is on a specific topic. Online Campfires are often set up as a speedy reaction to a topic trending in discussions among members. Facilitators are generally nominated from among those participating in these discussions.
The facilitator introduces the topic, essentially sharing their (association’s) story or experience around the central topic, and then opens the floor for participants. The facilitator helps to reveal common issues by encouraging participants to share their own stories and experiences with the others in the virtual campfire room. Participants can even break out into smaller groups if more than one angle to the topic surfaces.
Campfire meetings allow participants to listen to multiple perspectives, share their experiences and drive their own learning. The goal of the meetings is the creation of an open forum where conversation is natural, and participants spontaneously generate the content. Campfires are also networking opportunities, bringing people with similar interests together in one place. Campfire meetings are not recorded.
As online Campfire meetings are scheduled in response to trending topics among members, there is no set schedule of these meetings. Campfires are held as it is judged necessary, to facilitate member discussion. In-person Campfires are scheduled during the Annual Meeting education programme.