Instituted in August 1994, “Washlines” was a colorful way for chapter members who attended the international STC conference to share what they learned with fellow chapter members. Inspired by the late Gordon McKenzie’s “interactive” keynote address at the 41st STC international conference in Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1994, the annual August meeting launching the new chapter year began as an audience-driven interactive panel presentation. A clothesline was stretched across the room and panelists attached colorful graphics representing the conference technical sessions they would summarize. Audience members picked the sessions they wanted to hear about.

Over the years, “Washlines” evolved into a progression format where the table hosts were conference attendees who were each prepared to talk about sessions they had attended. There were three 25-minute rotations. The clothesline-and-signs tradition continued, and the progression tables were identified by colored balloons. A color-coded printed matrix listed the topics to be covered at each progression table and showed the rotations. The matrix amounted to a mini-conference program, as attendees had to choose which tables they wanted to attend based on what they wanted to learn about.

Typically one of our best-attended chapter meetings of the year, “Washlines” completed its 20-year run in 2014.

Both the panel and the progression formats remain easily adaptable for conference attendees from an STC geographic community to share what they learned with fellow chapter members.

These files explain how to set up a progression-style event like “Washlines”: