Event Planning Resources
You will find a series of helpful event planning content to complement Kim's HackCon workshop :) enjoy!
- Hack night / hack week
- Lightning talks
- Demo night
- Learning circles
- Bar camp
- Algorithm night
- Board games night
- Wine & cheese type
- pretzels & beer, pizza & kool-aid, juice & cookies… be creative!
Reaching your audience
Info to share
It is important when reaching your audience to make sure you are sharing the important information they need. Below you will find a list of information I find useful to share upfront about an event.
- Date/time & location
- Where to register & deadline(s)
- Waitlist details if there is one
- What people should bring
- Any pre-reqs (if it's a workshop - install x for example)
- Contact Info
Where to share
Another important key to reaching your audience is through the proper communication channels. Depending on your community, several items lsited below will be more effective than otheres.
- Facebook group
- Facebook page
- Classroom announcements
Be sure to ensure that attendees know where to find information. Be consistent and try to have one central place with all the information.
Join [club name] on [date] for [purpose of event] #[whatevercoolhashtag] at [place] (link to website / sign up ).
In #[city-name]? Want to learn about [topic]? Join [club-name] at [place] on [date] (link to website/ sign up).
If you are having a guest attend (speaker, workshop presenter, panel attendee, etc) and you want to include their photo the best way is to ask them for one. If for whatever reason you cannot obtain one from them directly find one via their LinkedIn profile. Personally I advise against using a photo from their Facebook as people tend to not use a professional one and may not want that one to be shared. Reason I say this is because this happened to me and I was not very happy about it.)
Selecting a location
Here are important factors to consider when choosing a location for your event.
- Easily accessible space
- Step-free access or ramp access
- Near public transport / free parking
- Accommodation for any physical and/or learning disabilities
- Restroom availability
- Access to a water fountain
- Bonus: find a place that has good natural light → it’s recommended for learning
For Workshops/tech events
- Consistent access to power and free internet
- Laptops/Computers for all participants
- is there a place on campus that can rent for those who do not have their own
- Adequate number of outlets/powerstrips/adapters
If you plan on having food at your event be mindful that people have special dietary requirements. Get this when they are signing up.
Questions to consider
- Is the format of the event suitable for your audience?
- Is the subject matter interesting and relevant to your group of students?
- Are there prerequisites that will prevent many people from attending ?
Goals of your event
Here is a list of potential goals
- Gain a better understanding of how to build X
- This is a subject they’d like to continue in (or not)
- A peer group of like-minded individuals they’ve gotten to know
- Help students develop their thinking
During the event
- Share a hashtag people can use for tweeting
- Post photos
- Ask permission from people to take photos. It's good to have a bright color item like a lanyard or sticker for those who do not want to be photographed. This is a good identifier for attendees as well who could be taking photos. It's not enough for the organizers and any official designated photographers to know. Everyone at the event should know who can be included in photos.
Making people feel comfortable
- Having a CoC is not enough. Make sure your attendees are aware of it, that it's clearly communicated before the event and go over it again at the beginning of the event. Explain how to report an incident. My recommendation is a simple Google form for annonymous reporting in case people do not feel comfortable addressing you in person or even through e-mail.
- What if the internet cuts out ?
- What if your speaker does not show up?
- What if you anticipated a large group and only a handful of people show up?
It's a good habit to check in with your team after you host an event.
- Who are we including?
- Who are we excluding?
- Was the format of the event suitable?
- Was the subject matter interesting and relevant?
- How can we better provide others with the opportunity for exploring, experimenting, and expressing themselves?