How to have fantastic session

How to have fantastic session

In this talk, we will learn how to find the best content and speakers for your community.


Laurence de Villers

July 13, 2019


  1. How to have fantastic sessions Laurence de Villers GDG Montreal

    Android, Women Techmakers Lead and Canada Regional Mentor @L_de_V North America GDG Academy
  2. Laurence de Villers Mobile dev at Transit Lead organizer of

    GDG Montreal Android Women Techmakers Lead Canada Regional Mentor @L_de_V
  3. Meet younger Laurence, a new GDG organizer, that wants to

    run great meetups and events. But she doesn’t know how and where to start.
  4. Making great meetups and events Find Speakers Choose Content Prepare

    the event Evaluate speakers and content
  5. Choose Content North America GDG Academy

  6. “If you want to create messages that resonate with your

    audience, you need to know what they care about” - Nat Elliott
  7. Half screen photo slide if text is necessary Know your

    attendees Know what they care about and what there interest.
  8. Meetup Create custom question for new member of your Meetup.

    Manage group -> Edit group setting -> Your members Know your attendees
  9. Google form Know your attendees Create survey after each event.

    Ask if there is any topic that they want to see for the next event.
  10. Eventbrite Know your attendees Add custom questions on your ticket

  11. Half screen photo slide if text is necessary You can

    even become friends
  12. What is popular in your city Read news about technologies

    in your city and go to other meetups to know what is popular as a technology.
  13. • Popular ◦ AI Choose Content Idea of contents •

    What is new in a technology ◦ New framework ◦ New in IDE ◦ New Language etc… • How to solve a specific problem ◦ Architecture ◦ Testing • How to start in any technologies • Programming language • Shortcut and development tools • Code Lab • Hackathon • etc...
  14. Choose Content for big event Super popular content 1/3 1/3

    Interesting content 1/3 Subject that concern a super specific group
  15. Create an agenda for big event Plan an idea of

    the final agenda with the topics you will like to see on. Agenda Time Topics First talk Super popular topic with a great and a popular speaker . . . Section to test talk or to have more specific topics Middle talk Good talk or activity . . . Section to test talk or to have more specific topics Last talk Super popular topic with a great and a popular speaker
  16. Multi-track Agenda Time Technology 1 Technology 2 Code lab First

    Session 1h Talk 1 Talk 1 One codelab about a specific technology Second Session Talk 2 Talk 2 . . . . . . . . . . . .
  17. Finding speakers How to find those mysterious creature North America

    GDG Academy
  18. Create a call for paper Find speakers • Describe the

    event ( to make it super exciting) • Define what kind of talks you are looking for : ◦ Topics ◦ Level of complexity ◦ Speaker qualification • Submission deadline
  19. Call for paper How and where to create one •

    Small event ◦ Google form • Big event ◦ ◦ Sessionize Sessionize
  20. To evaluate speakers Ask question to know more about the

    speaker • Ask for videos of previous talks • Ask for experience • Ask for blog, articles etc. • Ask location
  21. Attract speakers to your event Make everything look amazing •

    Build an awesome website ◦ Content ▪ Description of the event ▪ Pictures, videos, articles of last year’s event or other events. ◦ Tools ▪ gdg-x/hoverboard ▪ DaveyEwards/gdgvancouver gdg-x/hoverboard
  22. Attract speakers to your event Include advantages/reward in your call

    for paper • Two free tickets ( you and your +1) including access to all talks, promotional article, food and party • Transportation, if needed • Hotel, if needed • Child care during the event, if needed • Recorded video of your talk • Beautiful city
  23. Spread the call for paper Find speakers • Find CFP

    List of diffusion ◦ ◦ • Add a link on your website / NewsLetter • Email Campaigns • Social Media • Share on slack group • Share to others meetups
  24. Don’t forget diversity ! Find speakers • Share the CFP

    in minority meetup and group ◦ Lady Learning Code ◦ LatinaGeeks ◦ WiMLDS ◦ Women Who Code ◦ Black Women in Technology ◦ Etc... • Try to identify speakers that have applied who are from a minority group
  25. Talk to speakers from other conferences Find speakers Networking is

    important! When you go to a conference try to talk to potential speakers and get their informations.
  26. Encourage your personal contacts to do a talk Find speakers

    The majority of the people are scare of public speaking. There is a plenty of talent and we need to encourage them to do some public speaking. “Step outside your comfort zone because that’s the only way you’re going to grow” - Madeline Brewer
  27. Ask GDE to do a talk Find speakers • GDE

    == Google developer expert • perts/directory/ • directory ◦ You can now contact them via the community leads platform
  28. Ask other meetup to share your CFP Find speakers Ask

    communities partners to share your CFP in exchange of visibility. If you don’t communities partners go find somes.
  29. Ask sponsors if there have some speakers Find speakers Usually

    sponsors want to have a lot of visibility in the event and propose sometime speakers to talk to your event.
  30. Find speakers online Find speakers You can search on other

    conference website, Linkedin, website that has a list of speakers to find some.
  31. Evaluate speakers and content North America GDG Academy

  32. Define evaluation rules How will you choose between different speakers?

    What are your criteria? What’s your budget?
  33. Criteria Subject You want subjects that will interest your attendees

    Experience You want speakers that have a great presence in front of the audience Popularity You want some speakers that are popular and will bring you some attendees
  34. Subject Objective evaluation Subjective evaluation Clarity of content Do we

    understand what the speaker wants to talk about Popularity of the subject Do this subject is trendy in our community Originality of the subject Is the subject out of the ordinary? Relevance of the subject Will this subject be useful to our attendees Appreciation of the subject Do this topic interest me personally?
  35. Evaluation in even number 1. Annoying 2. Ordinary 3. Interesting

    4. Really interesting 1. Annoying 2. Ordinary 3. Average 4. Interesting 5. Really interesting VS Number 3. Average Need to take a decision between ordinary and interesting
  36. Pitch talk

  37. Speaker experience • Watch previous videos of talks ◦ Evaluation

    ▪ N/A ▪ Inexperienced ▪ Experienced but annoying ▪ Experienced and interesting ▪ Really interesting • Did the speakers already talk to another conference? • Check the background of the speakers ◦ Is he/she an expert ? ◦ Do he/she knows about the subject?
  38. Speaker popularity • Is the person: ◦ Famous? ◦ A

    leader in the field? ◦ Have a lot of followers? ◦ Is known in the local community? • Employer ◦ Is a popular one? ( For instance Google)
  39. Subject Experience Popularity Super session!

  40. Example of spreadsheet for evaluation

  41. Eliminate talks • Round 1 ◦ Eliminate speakers that will

    cost you to much money. ◦ Group subject by categories and choose the best 2 talks of each categories ◦ Choose one talk from your favorite speakers • Round 2 ◦ Repeat step 1 ◦ Choose some trendy subject ◦ Eliminated by criteria ◦ Try to have a good mix of speaker #Diversity
  42. Choose talks and speakers YES Maybe Yes Maybe No NO

    Was speaker in another edition
  43. Mix of speakers Mix of experiences, background, location • Speakers

    ◦ ⅓ New speakers ◦ 15% of Star speakers ◦ 55% of Experienced speakers • Location ◦ 40 % international ◦ 60 % local • Gender ◦ 40% Women or others gender ◦ 60% Male (Ideally 50% of each)
  44. Have a waiting list of Speakers In the end of

    your selection, add all of your maybe yes in a waiting list. There is always 1 to 3 speakers who will not be able to make it. They may even cancel a week before the event.
  45. Prepare the event Subtitle goes here North America GDG Academy

  46. Milestone Evaluation of submission Prepare event 3 months before doing

    the CFP Create/Update website 4 months before the event Create and share the CFP 3 months before the event Choose speakers 2 months before the event Give a response to speakers 2 months and less of the event Communication with speakers
  47. Communicate with speakers Important to keep in touch with speakers

    before the event • Make sure they know: ◦ What are their benefits ◦ When slide are due ( Usually at least 1 week before the event) ◦ Where is the event and how to go there • Make sure they have: ◦ A valid Passport/Visa if they travel to your event ◦ Book a flight ticket
  48. Send reminder to speakers #people • There are always people

    ◦ Who do not read email ◦ Who don’t remember deadline ◦ Who are lost ◦ Who don’t understand • Email timeline ◦ A month before the deadline ◦ One week before the deadline ◦ Two day before the deadline
  49. Have a plan A-B-C-D Be prepared There is always an

    incident like a speaker that miss his/her flight A speaker that doesn’t wake up on the morning or all of the above Think about some plan B for your event “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” - Murphy’s law
  50. Thank you! North America GDG Academy Laurence de Villers GDG

    Montreal Android @L_de_V