Rhizome Connect was a virtual social and scholarly event for BTS fans that took place August 7 – 16, 2020. For this conference, I proposed and facilitated a Reciprocity Ring social event, and supported the organizers in various aspects of event production.
Facilitation: The Reciprocity Ring is a structured activity that has been used in group settings (originally within corporations) to prompt giving behaviors, tapping into the collective’s potential for generosity and social support. This matches the goals of the conference to connect members of the fandom with one another in a variety of creative ways, especially in light of the difficulties of the pandemic. I adapted this activity for use on Discord with a virtual group spanning many timezones and incorporated relevant themes from BTS’ music. Thirty-eight attendees signed up, and the event was extremely well received. One Reciprocity Ring participant commented:
“No joke, this is truly one of the best things I took part in this year, and I am so thankful for it…”
Event organization: After joining the Rhizome Connect “experience team” in the late planning stages, I supported a variety of activities throughout the conference. These were mostly within the Discord, which engaged over 500 attendees from around the world. Notably, I helped finalize plans for rotating “pop up” discussion topics in Discord, and handled much of the execution. We posed a total of 54 prompts to stimulate conversation over 9 days. I also designed the survey to gather feedback from attendees.
See also: my “virtual booth” (short paper) presented at Rhizome Connect on BTS and positive psychology