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How to build a DevFest 🚀

How to build a DevFest 🚀

It's time to look behind the scenes of DevFest Pisa!

Have you ever wondered how we find sponsors, set up the catering, involve speakers and promote our event...? Does it all sounds scary to you? Then this talk is for you!

Organizing a conference is such a great experience that every should experience at least once! You will have the opportunity to build something great and leave something to fellow developers.

With GDG Pisa, we started with DevFest Pisa 0.1 in 2018 and from there we successfully deployed a stable version of DevFest Pisa!

In this talk we'll share what are the lessons I learned while crafting our first DevFest from the ground up: how to find great speakers, how to involve your participants, how to engage a sponsor and how to build a great conference!

Nicola Corti

April 01, 2023

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  1. How to build a DevFest 🚀

    Nicola Corti

    GDG Pisa


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  2. GDG Pisa

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  4. You will probably
    underestimate the
    effort behind organizing
    a conference...

    -An anonymous GDG Organizer

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  5. The Idea

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  6. The Idea

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  7. “Good artists borrow,

    Great artists steal”

    P. Picasso

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  9. Theme
    Shape your DevFest
    ● What do you love to talk about?

    ● Android/Cloud/Web/ML

    ● Tech or non-Tech?
    ● Junior/Mid/Senior Dev?

    ● Dev/PM/Designers?

    ● Tuscany/Italy/Europe/Globe?
    ● Language: Ita/Eng/Multi?

    ● Hybrid/In-person/Online

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  10. All about networking
    ● Make sure you create a good
    environment for networking

    ● High quality content will involve more

    ● Create networking opportunities
    (coffee break, party, etc.)

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  11. The Environment

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  12. Media

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  13. Media


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  14. Logo
    ● Define logo and graphics

    ● Make sure you’re consistent

    ● No idea? Run a contest!

    ● Prepare a Media Kit for media

    partners and sponsors

    ● https://bit.ly/dfpi23-mediakit

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  15. Social

    ● Define a Media Plan

    ● Decide your network based on your target

    ● Schedule your content (Buffer/Hootsuite)

    ● Have photos!

    ● @devfestpisa

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  16. Location
    ● Find the right date

    ○ Paid: Thu/Fri

    ○ Free: Weekend

    ● Find the right place

    ○ Coworking space

    ○ Hotels

    ○ Universities

    ○ Conference Centers

    ● Keep your audience in mind

    ● Be accessible

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  17. Food
    ● Good food translates into good

    ● Coffee/Water are (basically) mandatory,
    full meal is a plus.

    ● Ask for alternatives (vegan, gluten free,
    kosher, halal, etc.)

    ● Have a networking party

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  18. Sponsors
    ● Define a set of levels, but be flexible.

    ● The sooner the better.

    ● Make sure there is a single point of

    ● Sponsors don’t like to be forgotten!

    ● Tips (JetBrains & Stickermule)

    ● https://bit.ly/dfpi23-partnership

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  19. Helpers
    ● If you need some help, run a call for

    ● Try to build an identity

    ● Make sure you have printed checklists

    ● Helpers should be easy to recognize

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  20. The People
    Global GDG

    Leads Summit

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  22. Speakers
    ● Make sure you prepare a great CFP.

    ● Sessionize is great!

    ● Ask for all the information you need.

    ● The sooner the better.

    ● Advertise your CFP

    ○ Android Study Group Conf List.

    ○ Android Weekly Conference List.

    ○ Slack Groups (GDG Global, Android
    United, Kotlin lang).

    ● http://bit.ly/dfpi23-c4p

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  23. Agenda
    ● Making a good agenda is just an NP-hard

    ● Some guidelines:

    ○ Balance intermediate/beginner talks.

    ○ Balance english/foreign talks.

    ○ Don’t overlap similar topics.

    ● Don’t announce speakers before they

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  24. Attendees
    ● Re-invite previous attendees.

    ● Free event? 30% drop

    ● Sold out is cool, but not 3 months earlier

    ● Make sure you follow up and ask feedback

    ● Do a video recap

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  25. Code of Conduct
    ● Don’t forget about your Code of Conduct

    ● Have some printed copies to hand out

    ● Leave a phone number/email to reach
    out to a point of contact

    ● https://confcodeofconduct.com/

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  26. Delightful Details
    ● Be unique!

    ● Think about all the little details.

    ● Put on some music

    ● What about a placeholder video?

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  27. Delightful Details

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  28. It’s a bumpy ride
    ● 6 cancelled flights ✈

    ● 2 visas issues 🛂

    ● Badges arrived with wrong logos 🫠

    ● Speaker missing the day of the event 😫

    ● …and much more!

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  29. ...but tomorrow
    evening you will be
    the happiest person
    on earth!

    -An anonymous GDG Organizer

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  30. How to organize your community conference? (on Medium)


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  31. Thanks
    Nicola Corti

    GDG Pisa


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