Event Organization Checklist
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- Does the country have any GNOME hackers?
- Is it easy to get VISA for foreign participants / speakers?
- Does the city have any GNOME hackers?
- Does the city have LUG / FOSS communities people that can help with organizing?
- Is it centrally located?
- Does it have good airport connections?
- Is there a good bus infrastructure?
- Is there a good train infrastructure?
- Does the conference happen at the weekend?
- Does the conference happen during the week?
- Does the conference overlap with any public or religious holidays?
- Does the venue cost more money during certain dates?
- How long with the conference be? Maximum 3 days + 1 day of tour and minimum 2 days + 1 day of tour
- What are your planned dates for opening up registration, call for papers, ... ?
- Call for papers: 4 to 6 months in advance. Registration needs to be online 2 months before the conference. 3 would be better. Many people don't book tickets until they know they are being subsidized, and they can't ask for a subsidy before registration is online. Schedule and registration should go online together, 3 months before.
- Does the venue have a good collection of different sized rooms for large keynotes, network room, and small breakout sessions?
- Are those rooms far away?
- Does the venue have microphones?
- Does the venue have video projectors?
- Does the venue have white screens?
- Does the venue have whiteboards?
- Does the venue have notice boards?
- Is there space for a coffee area?
- Is there space for booths to be set up?
- Is there a registration area?
- Are there shops, restaurants and pubs near the venue?
- Will union labor need to be used? How will that factor into planning and the budget?
- Can food and water be brought in?
- Does the venue have a wired network?
- Can a network be set up in a suitably large network room?
- Does the venue have wireless?
- Can we set up our own networking?
- Does the host city have several party venues that are easy to get to from where the conference will be?
- Are there tourist opportunities in the city?
- Is it possible to have food and drink provided at the conference? Do we have to contract through the conference center?
- Do you have volunteers to work with the sponsors, visit venues, get bids and plan the parties with event sponsors?
- Are there any local businesses that would be interested in sponsoring the event?
- What are the different sponsorship bands, and what amount of sponsorship is required for each band?
- Can you count on holding the event on its own without sponsorship from the main players?
- Note that our traditional sponsors should be approached through the GNOME Foundation as it's already been discussed with them.
- Is there a large variety of different accommodation options available?
- Are there accommodation options near to the venue?
- Can you organize cheap accommodation for visiting speakers?
- Can you organize discounts with accommodation for conference attendees?
- What is the cheapest cost? Most expensive?
- How do attendees get from their accommodations to the venue? How long does it take? How much does it cost?
- Can you organize a different set of travel options to get to the host city?
- Can you organize discounts for travel fares?
- Is it easy to get to and from the conference venue?
- Is it easy to get to the city from the conference venue?
- How far is it from the airport and train station to the conference venue? How long does it take? How much does it cost?
- What is the average flight cost from major European, US cities and other Asian countries to the host city during the proposed time?
- Have you called for criticism/suggestions/patches for the website, so it looks professional.
- Are there people capable of maintaining the web page before, during and after the conference?
- Can the front page prominently display approximately 10 sponsor logos?
- Is a registration system available for use?
- [Optional] Does the website allow easy translation, without one version becoming outdated/out-of-sync.
- Are there volunteers capable of translating the content into local language?
- Contact them before the conference to get:
o flight details
o ensure they've got a hotel room booked
o get a contact phone number
o make sure they also have one
- Arrange for a local volunteer to meet them at the airport & bring them to their hotel
- Ensure that they are introduced before their conference - print out their bio, and ask them to review it beforehand with you
- Ensure they know about the social events, and have been extended invitations (they won't know the community, in all likelihood)
- Consider hosting questions for keynotes, to ensure that they are thanked at the end of their presentation.
- After the conference, contact them to thank them for their presence, ask them if they enjoyed the conference, and ensure travel & accommodation costs get reimbursed promptly.
VIPs (advisory board representatives)
- Get a list of attendees & contact details from the board
- Call & email them each personally to get:
- flight details
- ensure they've got a hotel room booked
- get a contact phone number
- make sure they also have one
- Arrange for a local volunteer to meet them at the airport & bring them to their hotel
- Ensure they know about the social events and other keynotes & sessions, and have been extended invitations (they won't know the community, in all likelihood)
Board & advisory board meetings
- Identify infrastructure requirements
- Conference call facilities
- Identify lunch location, reserve in advance
- Work with the GNOME Press team.
- Contact press about conference 3-6 months before conference, suggesting they attend
- Issue one or more press releases before the conference
- Who will you target during these releases?
- Prepared press releases one week before their release date, and contact translators (
) to translate them during this time.
- Get contacts for all sponsors
- Get contacts for all reporters
- Arrange press badges for journalists (they like that kind of thing)
- Meet journalists personally (perhaps even at the airport) and go over any last minute
- Ring attending press 1 month before conference, review schedule with them, and identify speakers they might be interested in interviewing
- Make a press room available with computer, desk, table for interviews, coffee machine ideally, maybe a telephone
- On site: manage interview schedules (try to ensure that if the same person is being interviewed 3 times that they happen consecutively, and
contact them before the conference to identify the time that suits best)
All of the press stuff probably needs a full-time volunteer during the conference, and a lot of time over a couple of months before the conference.
Announcements inevitably build up during the conference - schedule changes, meeting places for social events, things which are made available during the conference, last-minute BOFs, etc.
The best time to announce these is just before plenary sessions, when introducing keynote speakers. Make sure that the person introducing keynotes is aware of anything which needs to be announced.
- Do you plan to have planning or BOF sessions?
How many speakers do you propose to have?
- Isn't this what GNOME.Asia Summit is for? :)
What times to you intend to stick to?
- I wouldn't go as far as Debian's 14 in 7 days. We started off this year planning for 2 parallel tracks for 2 days, and 1 track for the other day. That makes 5 keynote slots, 22 speaker/BOF/tutorial slots, and 7 hours freeform.
Do you have any group sessions?
- 45 minute sessions or 1 hour sessions.
Lightning Talks - get a schedule online, and have it on the door the day of the talks. Otherwise no-one knows they're going to miss cool stuffFreeform sessions - identify session leaders and available space beforehand, and have an MC ask them to stand up and send them (with people) to the available room. For additional credit, do the tour of the leaders the days leading up to the conference, and set room allocations beforehand.Freeform sessions 2 - 1 hour wasn't long enough. 2x2 hours would be better (that is, 2 to 4, then again 4 to 6) often there were parallel sessions with major overlap, and people were leaving after 45 minutes brainstorming when they really really wanted to carry on.Have you factored in registration and foundation members meeting?Who will organize the collection of abstracts, papers and photos?Will you have a paper committee to decide which papers to accept?
Who will you get to keynote during the conference, (one of them has to be the representative of GNOME)?Who will you invite from the business sector?Will you have themes for the conference, and divide the schedule into separate tracks?
- This worked well in 2006, until we had a fight about who was planning what. Clear that up early this time.
Put the schedule in all the room doors and public area
- Yes - if only to make the schedule more colourful. Limit to 3 tracks if possible.
- Do you plan to design a special logo for the conference?
- Do you plan to print tshirts for people to buy/receive during registration?
- Do all items display the Summit logo?
- Are the designs ready 2 weeks before they are used, so they can be reviewed?
- Do you have enough L and XL t-shirts? The split should be 20% XL, 40% L, 25% M, the other 15% equally among baby-doll S and M and standard S.
- Do you have a designer and printer, with a clear idea of what they need, and when?
- What's the budget for printed material?
- Can t-shirts be printed by the same printer, and designed by the same designer?
- What do you plan to be in the registration pack?
- When are your dates for printing the conference proceedings?
- Do you plan to have live CD's available?
- Do you plan to advertise the conference with any leaflets?
- Get the layout files (Quark, etc) done by GNOME contributors who know what they are doing. Commercial pre-press/printers are often expensive, slow, and incompetent. List all the various logo files (GNOME.Asia Summit, GNOME, sponsors, organisers) on one web page.
- What numbers of people can the venue hold?
- What categories of registration do you plan?
- Do you intend to charge for registration fees?
- What infrastructure is available to handle registration fees both before and during the conference?
- Are there likely to be any unforeseen administration costs?
- See Press - is there a clear path for press contacts coming to the registration site to get accreditation for the event?
- You need to keep a budget. (You can get copies of previous year's budgets.)
- Have you sent the estimated budget early enough to the committee?
- You will need a bank account for the conference.
- Check the business and tax laws carefully for your country before agreeing to host GNOME.Asia Summit.
- Do you have funds easily available to organize a number of local services before the conference?
- Did you factor in currency conversion into your budget?
- Are there local people available to help with conference registration, session timing, ...?
- Are there international people available to help with keeping things going smoothly on the GNOME side?
- Do you have people in each room, to make talks start and end on time.
- Is there a room available before/after the conference to hold the foundation board and advisory board meetings?
- Is there a hotel to hold these if a room at the venue isn't available?
- Are projectors, screens and whiteboards available in these rooms?
- Does the room have an internet connection?
- Can you organize lunch, drinks, snacks for these all day meetings?
- Have invites gone out to the advisory board members well in advance of the meeting? Have reminders been sent out?
- Are there people with cell phones available during the conference for emergency contacts?
- Do you have current numbers for the police, ambulances, fire brigade?
- Are there network connections capable of streaming talks?
- Are microphones available for recording?
* Are digital video cameras available for recording?
- Has the streaming been setup and tested prior to the conference? Is the infrastructure in place for www.gnome.asia
Last Updated on Sunday, 06 March 2011 15:39