This is me, speaking as a conference organizer and someone who has programmed cons. Yes, some of this is relevant to the recent con but the advice should generalize out easily. The difficulty of having a series of program items that address inequalities and harm within a community in a public space that is low context.
It’s next to impossible.
You do have a subset of attendees that are there for ‘serious’ reasons but you are going to have a huge segment of the population that’s there for the party. A conference with a few thousand people is going to have a few thousand (conflicting) reasons for attendance. Who ends up in the room is going to be completely random with a chunk of the folks there for the train wreck or troll factor.
It’s a low context environment. By that, I mean that most of the people in the room are probably not going to know each other so the ability to move the needle amongst a disparate group of attendees is going to be rough going.
Offer space, up front, to the group that was harmed to have closed session space. Work with the group to see if they want it on the public schedule and if so, what they want it titled. Respect that space as inviolate and if necessary post folks to protect that space with folks who genuinely believe in that mission. That space is not for you, the con runners, to use to chat with that group. The space is for them to have a community together to discuss, grieve, plan, etc.
You need to socialize the series heavily. Any series. You need to tell people up front in all the ways the conference communicates that the items will build on each other. If you allow folks to attend some of the items and not others you’ll need to definitely set the boundaries each and every time and re-hash baseline material so everyone is under the same working agreements. Be prepared to talk about it, a lot. It will shape some of the content of the onsite and that’s good. You are going to hear what they are actually worried about along with a huge amount of noise. Keep in mind the folks most nervous about the series are probably not going to talk at all in public. You should state in the series description how the space is going to be managed (are you holding stack, is a talking stick, is it a panel that does QA) and at least a few of the community agreements that will be in place. [Some of this is chicken and the egg, some folks will want to want to be involved in this conversation of the format and others will want to know the format before they’ll commit to time. In either case, the key here is listening.]
It should be the same time each day, in the same room. People will have a building comfort with the space (we are mammals who crave routine and you are asking for discomfort in other things, don’t make this harder than you have to).
Your moderators should be known to the community and ideally, chosen by them from the injured community. Bluntly, they should outnumber the con runners or other ‘interested’ parties on the team by two to one, at least. This is NOT for optics. If it starts to drift that way you are just increasing and forwarding oppression and kyriarchy onto those people. Don’t do that. If you aren’t sure you are, find someone who can. Seriously. This is not the time to guess, read one W.E.B. DuBois article and be learned.
This is far from everything but these are the bits that as a programming staff for a conference are the minimum I would consider requirements for it to go well that I came up with off the top of my head.