Hi Jo. Great article.
I don’ think there is an easy answer because it’s a complex issue. “What is advanced?” is a question many of us have struggled with in the past.
Is an advanced VM someone who has done more than ‘x’ number of years? Or works at a senior level? Or manages a certain sized team? Or deals with a particular degree of complexity? Or all of those? Or something else?
Personally, I think it’s important to have events open to all but to stream sessions in some way so that those needing the basics get what they need whilst those looking for more are not dissapointed.
On your last point, I think one of the problems is that few organisations are actually doing anything innovative around volunteering. Or the innovation ins’t really that innovative, or successful. In the absence of that, questions can help stimulate people to think. But they need to be the right questions and space needs to be provided for people to do that thinking, ideally with others. Just throwing questions out and then sending people home with no time to reflect or discuss isn’t helpful.