Overview of the Labs

After dinner activities

In the spirit of building strong networks and relationships it is useful to have some sort of informal collective activity for after dinner at some of the Labs. It could be a quiz, a walk or some more formal entertainment like an external performer coming in and running a workshop or performance. Other activities carried out have been pub-style trivia or other types of quiz, singing events or invited performances. An activity to encourage interdisciplinarity by getting participants to create their own ‘lonely hearts’ adverts is described in the session notes below.

Budgets allowing, another option is to organise a pre-dinner drinks reception and/or formal dinner with invited guests who may be senior academics and industrialists, university deans and other senior staff such as the Vice-Chancellor. It could be a meal with a speech from one of these people after or possibly a selection of short talks and advice from the guest invited on a relevant theme. This event could be an important opportunity for participants to network more widely and to feel special. It will provide a chance to showcase the programme to senior stakeholders.

There should also be some free evening to allow participants to just chat and get to know each other better at the beginning and importantly towards the end of the programme so that they can continue to discuss ideas.

The document below contains some good suggestions in helping you to plan what happens after dinner, in order to further develop relationships amongst your group.