6:00 - Trivia Contest (Optional)
- As people arrive and get settled, warm up the audience with a trivia contest.
- Have a sign-in sheet available to collect names and email addresses.
6:12 - Brief Introduction by Moderator
- Let the crowd mingle, then start once people are ready.
- Circulate the sign-in sheet and remind people to add their names.
- Encourage the audience to support the venue by ordering and tipping generously.
- Quickly explain that the café format emphasizes open discussion and audience involvement.
- Introduce the scientist with some fun personal information.
6:15 - NOVA scienceNOW video
- Provide a brief introduction of the topic being discussed, if necessary.
- If you are including a video clips, play it now.
6:20 - Presentation by guest scientist(s)
- The presentation should be a conversation starter, not a comprehensive overview.
- Remember: no podium, no PowerPoint, no technical jargon!
- Incorporating some open-ended questions will help the audience be ready for the follow-up discussion.
6:30 - Take a Break
Some cafés take a 5–10 minute break and reconvene for a second round of group conversation
6:35 - Group discussion
- The moderator should help keep the conversation lively, clear, and inclusive.
- Distribute surveys or questionnaires before the evening ends.
- When the moderator senses that people are losing interesting, he or she can end the evening with a simple “Thank you.”
6:50 - Schmoozing
- Some of the most interesting conversations happen after the main discussion is over, so be prepared to stay a bit longer.
- Mingle - so people can talk on a one-to-one basis with you and the scientist.