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Inaugurals and closings

In many countries, the presence of a minister or high-level government officials at an event is usually beneficial for the implementation of projects, for building alliances with partners or for playing an advocacy role with donors, showing government “buy in.” Promises of attendance by such people may really motivate attendance of others. For example, if the workshop is with health personnel, an opening that includes the Minister of Health adds much importance to the event. If these luminaries are going to attend the closing, the participants will be motivated to achieve a great deal in the workshop so it can be reported in the presence of bosses.

But it is also true that in many cases due to their tight schedules, the workshop process can get disrupted when these people are put on the agenda. If they cannot be available for the opening or closing at the scheduled time, it is best to consult with their office beforehand and fix a specific time on the first day for the opening. One of the best solutions is to hold the formal opening the evening before. This allows time to switch the room from a formal to informal setting overnight. If necessary, the special inaugural session can take place any day during the event with some rearrangement to the schedule and setting. News of delays and changes need to be shared with the participants in a timely manner so that their expectations are not frustrated. The closing can also happen any time on the last day, based on the special guest's availability.

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Inaugurals and closings
Difficult participants
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Inexperienced Co-facilitators
Documentation and Reporting

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