The Office of the Seneschal — Kingdom of Lochac

Lochac Officer Training Symposium (LOTS), January 14, 2011, Canberra

Notes from LOTS 2011
Introduction | FAQ | Hardship Funding | Content
Draft Timetable | Time, Place & Details | Registration Form

LOTS Symposium class notes.

Financial Planning notes.
LOTS Feedback Form for participants.


An invitation to all group officers in Lochac to attend the Lochac Officers Training Symposium. (Please pass this on to your local group officers)

Are you new to your office and would like to know more about how to succeed in your role? Are you an experienced officer and would like to pass on your skills to others to save them re-inventing the wheel? Do you have outside experience and skills that might be useful to officers serving their local groups in Lochac?

On January 14, AS XLV, alongside 12th Night Coronation, Politarchopolis will host the unique Lochac Officers Training Symposium (LOTS). All officers are invited to participate, whether from small Cantons or Colleges or large Baronies or Shires, and Kingdom and Society officers also. We are also seeking experienced current or former officers who are willing to lead discussions, present sessions or send papers.

To enhance the communication, effectiveness and skills of Lochac's kingdom and group officers by bringing together as many officers from as many groups across the Kingdom for a full day of workshops, panel discussions and training.

A one-day conference, beginning with an optional informal gathering on Thursday night and then a formal timetable of sessions from morning through to after dinner on Friday.

There will be a mixture of large group sessions and smaller discussions where we divide into groups by office. (If only small numbers attend from some offices, groups may be combined based on function or skill sets.) There will be discussions with a focus on some key questions:

The day will also focus on four key skills training areas and participants will be able to choose which two of these streams to attend:

There will be an after-dinner session with a focus on fun as well as training, such as "Corpora" trivia and other games and activities and/or some more workshopping issues arising from the day's sessions. Depending on energy levels and level of interest/focus.

Friday 14th January 2011, the day before Twelfth Night Coronation hosted by the Barony of Politarchopolis.

Barony of Politarchopolis (Canberra, ACT, Australia).

Registration is free and morning and afternoon tea and lunch will be provided. Participants will need to pay for their own evening dinner, which will be at a nearby venue that has good inexpensive meals.

Travel Fund:
The Council of the Purse, SCAA Board, SCANZ Committee and the Barony of Rowany have each offered financial support to the workshop and, in doing so, encourage groups (via a capped 1:1 subsidy policy) to do likewise. These travel funds will be administered by the LOTS Secretariat and participants will be required to provide copies of receipts or invoices for travel expenses. Contact the Steward for more information. Also see the hardship fund information below.

To the LOTS Steward, Mistress Isobel le Bretoun, via email to
Mistress Isobel can also be contacted by phone on 0414 340 024.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is LOTS?
The Lochac Officer Training Symposium is a full-day workshop intended for group, Kingdom and Corporate officers from all over Lochac. It will be held on Friday January 14, 2011 in Canberra, the day before Twelfth Night Coronation.

Why is it being held?
In short, to provide some professional development for all Lochac's officers by enhancing their communication, effectiveness and skills.

Longer answer: most groups and officers get by on a day-to-day basis, but many do not prosper and most are blind-sided from time to time by unexpected problems. Tasks and interactions are often harder than they should be, which limits a group's capabilities and makes it too vulnerable to small failures or to changes in personnel. LOTS aims to help develop the skills and habits needed to increase group and officer capabilities and robustness — and encourage the long-term spread and continued development of those skills.

Who is supporting it?
LOTS is receiving very significant funding from the SCAA, SCANZ, Kingdom of Lochac and Barony of Rowany as well as some group and individual sponsorship.

What does it cost?
Thanks to the above support, event registration is free, including morning and afternoon tea and lunch. A shared evening meal a nearby dining venue will probably cost between $15 and $20, paid by participants at the time.

Who can attend?
Group, Kingdom and Corporate officers and deputies from anywhere in the Kingdom, plus the presenters arranged by the event steward. If you're not a current officer but expect to be so in future, contact the event steward, Mistress Isobel le Bretoun — or +61 414 340 024.

What will LOTS involve?
There will be a mixture of large group sessions and smaller discussions where we divide into groups by office, tackling the key requirements, challenges, skills and resources for each office.

The day will also focus on four key skills and participants will be able to choose which two of these four streams to attend: Administration, Communication, Financial, Politics. See session outlines above.

Finally, there will be combined sessions at which the key lessons learned in the smaller sessions are shared, and a less formal after-dinner session.

Who is presenting it?
Mistress Isobel is organising a range of experienced current or former officers and those with relevant skills from outside the Society who are willing to lead discussions, present sessions or send papers.

Our group works fine and doesn't need this kind of training
It's true that some groups already have a very experienced and capable officer corps — at the moment. But things change, and even such groups have new and upcoming officers who will definitely benefit from this level of formal training. Most groups are less fortunate, or depend on a few key stalwarts who won't always be available, and LOTS should help them greatly, both now and for the future.

We are a long way from Canberra, it's too costly
This is a real issue for many potential attendees, but consider these points:

The group could fund a subsidy, but we can't decide who, as it would feel unfair
Recall that, even if subsidised, most individuals travelling a long way will be paying a decent chunk of the costs themselves. The group will benefit (which is why it should offer what subsidy it can), as will the Kingdom/Society (hence their major contributions), as will the individual — both directly and in terms of a new "professional development" entry on their CVs. That's fair.

Generally speaking, those most likely to want to travel a long way to this event are almost certainly the people who would be keenest, most conscientious and most likely to make the best use of what they learn — and to pass it on. Support them!

If you have to make a hard choice, favour those who are newer in the Society, newer in office and who are in (or approaching) more senior offices. And above all else — favour those most likely and able to pass on what they learn, e.g. in local workshops afterwards.

If no other approach inspires you, decide a fixed budget, and draw lots for each $100 of it.

What is needed to get the event's matching travel subsidy?

Will LOTS papers and other resources be published afterwards?
Some, certainly, but don't fool yourself — reading them will be nothing like the value to be gained from being there in person.

Will there be live streaming or video capture of the sessions?
Not likely. If it happens, it will be only if it's inexpensive, easy to arrange (ie. handled by volunteers distinct from the stewarding team) and, above all, does not significantly disrupt the conduct and value of the in-person sessions. The latter point is paramount. Technology has a habit of being a nuisance at the worst possible moment, and there is no substitute for being there in person.

Will there be regional followup afterwards?
That's the firm intention, yes. Seneschals will be strongly encouraged to try and arrange followup sessions conducted by LOTS attendees (among others) and using resources gleaned from it.

What are we waiting for?
Good question — to book or ask questions, contact Mistress Isobel le Bretoun — or +61 414 340 024.

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Hardship Funding

The Rowany Senate has generously made an allocation from the Rowany Festival Fighter Auction Tourney (FAT) fund towards supporting officers from groups with low finances to travel to LOTS. The fund is administered by LOTS Secretariat in conjunction with the Kingdom Seneschal. Receipt of a hardship grant from this fund would qualify the recipient for up-to-matching funds from the event's own travel subsidy budget.

The Senate's requirements for allocations from the fund are as follows:

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Sessions and Presenters

The main sessions are outlined in the Introduction above. Considerably more detail on content and an initial overview of the session presenters may be found in this PDF.