Recommendations and guidelines for Trans Congress workshop facilitators

These recommendations and guidelines will help you to conduct an enriching workshop at the Trans Congress. We would like to support you in the preparation and implementation. You are welcome to contact us at any time.

It is important to us that you remember that many trans and gender non-conforming people experience unique forms of discrimination. Our goal is that all participants feel comfortable and safe during the event. For this goal we need your help.

General information

Code of Conduct

Like all other participants, you will agree to our Code of Conduct. We rely on your cooperation to ensure that this code is adhered to in your workshop. This applies to yourself as well as to the participants in your workshop.

(Gender-neutral) language

People with very different identities and backgrounds take part in the conference. We ask that you use a gender-neutral language and that you address people with their own pronoun or do not use a pronoun if so desired. You will find the information on each person’s nameplate or you can ask for the preference at the beginning of your workshop in a introduction round.

We recommend that you practice your workshop with gender-neutral language in advance if you are not familiar with it.

The congress is trilingual. That is why we ask you to do:

  1. If you want to use Powerpoint slides, prepare them (at least rudimentarily) in German, French and English.
  2. If you give a speech, it would be good if you prepared it literally and print it out. This way (lay) interpreters can prepare themselves.
  3. Remember that interpreters need breaks and a slower pace during your workshop so that they can translate.

For the translation you can use for a machine translation – even if it unfortunately does not produce a gender-neutral language. We kindly ask you to inform your participants at the beginning of your workshop.


Start your workshop on time (within the first 3 minutes after the official start) and finish your workshop at the latest by the indicated end. Between 5 and 10 minutes before the end, someone from the Orga Team will come into the room and point out the end.

Please do not ask your participants shortly before the end if they are willing to extend the workshop. There is a good chance that the people who need the break most will not be able to actively resist it. And in addition we have to prepare the room for the next workshop.

Closed target groups

For a good exchange in your workshop, perhaps only a certain target group (e.g. only trans women or trans people with certain experiences) should participate. At the same time the Trans Congress is an open event based on the self-declaration of people. For this reason, it is important that at the beginning of your workshop you repeat the target group definition and ask anyone who does not fit to leave the workshop.

How could this look like?

“This workshop is exclusive to trans masculinities, if one of you identifies differently, I ask you to leave the workshop now out of consideration for the other participants.

Physical exercises

Many trans people are very sensitive to their body and to their own and other touches. For this reason, it is important that you start with

  1. explicitly refers to possible physical exercises in your workshop,
  2. designate the body parts and
  3. clearly states that these activities are voluntary.

What might this look like?

“In this workshop we will move and touch ourselves on the arms and stomach. I would like to point out that these exercises are voluntary.”

During the workshop

Pauses and variety

The average attention span of people is about 20 minutes. In order to extend this time, variety is necessary. Variety can be achieved through interaction with participants, presentations by two people, videos or other methods. Particularly in longer workshops, physical exercise is also recommended, e.g. people should get together in groups so that a group task can be completed.

If the workshop is longer than 60 minutes, you must plan at least one group task. The group formation can then automatically function as a pause. Alternatively, you can plan a break of at least 5 minutes in the middle of the workshop.

If the workshop is longer than 90 minutes, you must plan a break of at least 5-10 minutes every 60 to 75 minutes.

When someone talks too much

It can happen that one person dominates the workshop and takes up a lot of speaking time. As a rule, this worsens the experience of the other participants. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend the following escalation levels:

  1. Introduces stricter moderation – e.g. participants must first make themselves noticed by hand signals before they can say anything
  2. Introduction of a Talking Stick – Declare a conspicuous object (e.g. a large pen) as a Talking Stick. Only the person holding the talking stick is allowed to talk.
  3. For example, you could say, “Person X has just shared their experience, and you started talking about your experience in the middle of their sentence. This is frustrating for me because I want all of us to have space to share our experience. For this reason I ask you to hold back and give others more space. Is that ok for you?”
  4. If this is not enough, you can exclude people from this workshop. In this case we ask you to inform the care team immediately.

Emotionally stirring topics or experiences

We have the following recommendations for you if you are dealing with emotionally stirring topics or experiences of the participants in your workshop.

Trigger warning at the beginning

If you are dealing with emotionally stirring topics or experiences in your workshop, it is imperative that you point this out explicitly at the beginning of the workshop – even if it has already been mentioned in the title and outline.

The following topics have to be declared explicitly:

  • Physical Violence
  • Psychic Violence
  • In the broadest sense sex
  • Experiences of discrimination
  • Medical measures
  • Body dysphoria-trigger

How could that look?

“I would like to take this opportunity to point out that we are discussing physical and psychological experiences of violence in this workshop.”

Late arrival of participants

For the participants to flourish in your workshop and share personal situations, it is essential that there is trust in the group. This relationship of trust is undermined by people who want to participate late in your workshop after the start.

You will find an A4 sheet in the room with the inscription “Workshop already started, please don’t come back”. Please hang this sheet from the outside on the room door(s) so that you are not interrupted.

Please do not remove the badge from the door!

Double moderation

Interactive workshops with exchange of experiences can be very intens. It can get very hot and people can get upset. But it can also get cold and individual people say goodbye mentally to the workshop. This can happen by coming up with personal memories, but it can also happen (unintentionally or intentionally) through a comment, a word or an interaction by two other people.

We see a potential for this in the multilingualism of the event, which requires consideration from all participants and at the same time opens up space for discrimination in a workshop.

For emotional topics it is therefore important that you involve a second person as an additional moderator. The person does not need to be a knowledge carrier in your workshop, they should observe the participants and ensure a balanced workshop experience for all participants. The care team would also be available for you and your participants. Please let us know.

Rooms and Equipments

Infrastructure in the rooms

The following infrastructure is available in each room:

  • Beamer with HDMI connection (you must bring your own notebook and any HDMI adapters)
  • Flipchart, incl. paper and 4 pens (black, blue, red, green)
  • Conference table in the middle of the room (exceptions: auditorium and room 1)

Please check out the technique at the beginning when you come into the room.

If you need more or something else, please contact us as soon as possible.

Special features of the rooms

There’s a badge on every room door. This badge is necessary to open the door from the outside. Please do not remove this badge under any circumstances!

At 12.00 every day the shutters go down. You can use the multifunction switch next to the door to raise the shutters again.

Problems with equipment

If you have problems with the equipment, you have the following options:

  • You contact the technician in the auditorium
  • You contact the workshop coordinator
  • You call +41 79 xxxxx