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Prevent Workshop & Conference Amnesia with a Gift Canvas

Written by 
Hailey Temple
October 15, 2019

Workshops and conferences inspire energy and excitement about a topic across a community. It’s easy to decide with people in the room, but it is challenging to keep that momentum beyond the workshop. We return to daily routines and new challenges take a priority. Workshop amnesia happens to the best of us - but let's fix it.

During this Backstage Pass session, my teammates at MURAL joined a working session to help collaborators drive momentum beyond an event. We were determined to find a solution to workshop and conference amnesia with what we called a “gift canvas” in MURAL.

An example digital gift canvas from a three-day workshop created and presented by Mark Tippin, Head of Services at MURAL

Building momentum beyond the event

A gift canvas exists reminds people what happened during a workshop, conference or conversation. We deliver the gift canvas during or soon after the session to reduce the risk of forgetting the activities and actions.

“Traditional” ways to capture artifacts and conversations -- like slides or word processors -- waste precious time and resources that facilitators need to keep momentum with the group.

With a gift canvas, facilitators and teams can:

  • Save time and money capturing workshop artifacts
  • Create and share documentation immediately after a workshop or conference
  • Continue important conversations with remote meetings and workshops
  • Reference and build upon the ideas and actions from a workshop or conference
  • Establish a single source of truth to share links, documents, and additional resources

This gift canvas is full of links and resources for the Remote Design Sprinting workshop participants at Google SprintCon19

The gift of inspiration & momentum

The content in a gift canvas depends on the type of event. During this working session, our team unpacked and mapped the value of a gift canvas for different events. We agreed that:

Meetings and workshops need ways to create accountability for the team and have a reference point for follow up actions and meetings

Conferences need ways to connect participants and provide inspiration about the key topics in a session.

Whether you have 2 or 2000 people in a gathering, a gift canvas is a powerful way to say, “I heard you and understand. Here’s what we created together. Here’s how we will extend the conversation.”

The MURAL team creates a mind map in real time during the MURAL Backstage Pass session

The elements of a fantastic gift canvas

We found inspiration from past workshops to determine the key “ingredients" in a gift canvas. Thanks to a quick round of brainstorming, we determined that they key elements include:

  • Photos of the methods and outputs from the session
  • The agenda - also a great structure for your canvas
  • Key points and actions from discussions
  • Who attended the session and members of breakout teams
  • Additional reading and resources that drive momentum from the session
  • Branding and logos for the company or event

Whether you host remote or in-person workshops, a gift canvas in MURAL will help you build upon the powerful discussions you have. Have an example you’re excited to share? Need help to create your gift canvas? Let’s connect and create one together.

💻💡 See our teamwork in this canvas.


🎥 🎫 Watch the full Backstage Pass recording.


About MURAL Backstage Pass 🎫

What’s remote collaboration like? See for yourself! In this one-hour unscripted session, you'll gain exclusive access to watch distributed teams collaborate on real work. From brainstorms to product launches, you’ll be able to follow along as we share our processes for organizing and executing our work.

About the author

About the authors

Hailey Temple

Hailey is a Services Lead at MURAL. She's a creative problem solver who is passionate about making collaboration happen anywhere.