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The definitive guide to large scale events. Or DevFest season is coming...

The definitive guide to large scale events. Or DevFest season is coming...

Recording: https://youtu.be/9VOUQXPQ92o

Have you ever wondered how to organize a great event for 500, 1000, 1500 attendees? What needs to be done? How to create the rock solid team? How to maximize public visibility and impact on the local community? GDG Lviv (Ukraine) team is going to share experience and practical tips from organizing few of the biggest IT conferences in the country.

Vitaliy Zasadnyy

May 17, 2016

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  1. The definitive guide to large scale events Or DevFest season

    is coming… Vitaliy Zasadnyy Founder @ GDG Lviv
  2. 3 years ago… 3 years ago a young team of

    GDG organisers decided to move DevFest from the capital of the country to their home city. 3 years ago they had no experience in conference organisation, no experience on working with sponsors, partners, media. They made a lot of mistakes. But never gave up. Trying new approaches, iteratively collecting and analysing feedback they slowly improved all aspects or conference organisation.
  3. DevFest Ukraine 500+ 40 10,000+ For last 3 years we

    grown DevFest Ukraine from small conference to one of the biggest tech events in the country. More than 500 attendees, 40 speakers, 10k+ views of recorded sessions on the YouTube
  4. Lviv IT Arena 90+ Stadium 1,500+ Besides that we’re co-organizers

    of Lviv IT Arena - conference that second year in a row collects 1500 developers from all around the Ukraine on a football stadium to share latest trends in IT.
  5. BIG DOES NOT SUCCESSFUL MEAN We never took size as

    a measure of success, instead we rely on feedback collected from the attendees
  6. DevFest Ukraine Success * 92% satisfaction rate 72% pointed to

    content quality 97% plan to attend DevFest 2016 * based on attendees feedback
  7. Source: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis

    non erat sem Timeline DevFest Ukraine September 9-10 Start March 4-6 month ? From our experience 4 month is the minimum you need to prepare a conference. But, what should be done for this time?
  8. Source: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis

    non erat sem Workload & Responsibilities Sample: bit.ly/dfguide-workload
  9. Source: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis

    non erat sem Team Speakers Venue Media Website Sales Catering Hosting Production Party Graphic Assets Volunteers Budget There are a lot of aspects of the organisation. Each one requires a separate presentation.
  10. Source: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Duis

    non erat sem Team Speakers Venue Media Website Sales Catering Hosting Production Party Graphic Assets Volunteers Budget Today, we’re going to cover the most important ones
  11. Vision of the event Drive the organisation Be aware of

    current state of organisation Take the responsibility Role By responsibility we mean contracts with partners, subcontractors. Also, responsibility for failure of the event, or success.
  12. Physically located in one city Everyone has 1+ area of

    responsibility Each area has only 1 responsible Requirements Some roles, like speakers management can be done remotely. Vitaliy is living in the Netherlands and is part of the Core team. Ideally team should be located in one city to be able to have in-person meetings.In our case it’s not like that.
  13. Size N team members → N * (N-1) / 2

    connections Amount of connections => time spent for meetings, logistics inside team is growing exponentially
  14. Size Take it as a SCRUM team Ideally 3-9 people

    DevFest Ukraine Core team is 7 people
  15. Sprint planning every 2-3 weeks Result oriented tasks Everyone reports

    during Sprint planning Getting Things Done Tasks should have a finished result. If in one sprint result could not be achieved, task should be divided.
  16. Tooling Task Management Document Sharing Team Chat Slack is better

    option, but our team is fed up with amount of messengers on the phone
  17. Structure Core Media Speakers etc. Invasion … e.g Core team

    member responsible for media creates sub team from Invasion team.
  18. Workflow Task after Sprint planning Ideas At the sprint planning

    sub team leader reports progress to Core team After sprint planning sub team leader communicate tasks to the team
  19. Notes Same influence as Core Participation in 1+ subteam Sync

    calls upon need Invasion Team chat Important to understand that anyone form Invasion team can influence organisation process, propose new ideas, etc
  20. Volunteers Public registration form Start recruitment 1 month prior event

    Motivate with 30-40% free time Sample: bit.ly/dfguide-callforvolunteers
  21. IS MORE BETTER DevFest Ukraine Crew ~30 people It is

    better to have too many volunteers rather then not enough.
  22. Getting Things Done Schedule/responsibilities doc Managed by Core Team member

    Crew training one day before conference Make them easy to find Sample schedule: bit.ly/dfguide-volunteers To make volunteers easy to find we give them bright t-shirts All volunteers should know where is the WC, schedule, etc, coz they are the first contact point for attendees => training is mandatory
  23. Work with Info Partners Create Media Kit Agree on Terms

    Control Prosecution Media Kit is critically important to make sure media broadcast proper message to the audience From time to time Info Partners tend to forget what was agreed
  24. Newsletters Max 1-2 emails/month Only valuable information DO NOT send

    to much newsletters if you don’t want to be treated as a spammer
  25. ALL LEVERAGE SOCIAL NETWORKS We’re GDG, and G+ is important,

    but come on, you audience is not only there
  26. USE RIGHT TOOLS Posting to all social networks is time

    consuming, use Buffer to automate it and post in a right time to increase impact
  27. Create Media Plan Sample: bit.ly/dfguide-mediaplan Media plan will make sure

    all important information will be communicated in time
  28. Measure all the things! Analytics is the only true source

    of information what media channels are working
  29. Social media is also a great way to support important

    information communicated via emails
  30. During the Event Dedicated Media Team Size: N streams +

    3 #hashtag everything You need to create a buzz in social media around the event. It a great way increase exposure to attract more parents, participants etc next time
  31. PEOPLE DO NOT READ ANYTHING Use the rule of 3

    times. Only after seeing information 3 times you can be sure that information was communicated to the audience
  32. Our great failure was in 2014. DevFest Ukraine had a

    workshops, hackathon and conference happening in 3 different locations. We had information on a website and newsletter. But it was not enough.
  33. SIMPLE MAKE IT Make logistics for attendees as simple as

    possible. One location, schedules everywhere, etc - the best option.
  34. From a first glance on the event website attendees have

    to figure out: “When? Where? What?” Put yourself in a position of the website visitor, what is the information you want to know?
  35. Available at: github.com/gdg-x/hoverboard HOVERBOARD PROJECT Our team created a conference

    website template that follows all the best practices. Oh, and it was built with Polymer.
  36. HOVERBOARD PROJECT supercharged by Apply at: bit.ly/dfguide-getfirebase We agreed with

    Firebase team that all DevFest that use Hoverboard will get one year of Candle plan for free for 1 year.
  37. Timeline DevFest Ukraine September 9-10 Start March Close c4p July

    17 Help Speakers Open c4p Announce results July 31 Promote c4p Sample c4p: bit.ly/dfguide-c4p
  38. Two Types of Speakers Experts Brand Speakers Brand speakers (hight

    title, famous company, etc) provide kind of guarantee of quality of the content. Unfortunately it’s not always a case Experts can deliver amazing presentation,but it’s hard for attendees to know that before the event
  39. Brand Speakers Two Types of Speakers Experts Unicorns Ideally you

    want to get best of two words, you want to get “Unicorns”.
  40. Where to get Speakers? Evangelists GDEs Other Conferences Grow from

    Community But watch out. Make sure that evangelist is not going to do a marketing/ sales talk. DevFest is tech conference at the end The best option for you are evangelists. In general they cover their trip on their own and quality of the talk is very high
  41. Lviv We invite you to Ukraine Sep 9-10 с4p is

    open Fill c4p at: bit.ly/df16-c4p
  42. Help speakers Information about audience Information about equipment Slide templates

    Deadlines for slides submission Feedback on each submission Practice on stage
  43. If you will follow all the best practices, there is

    a chance that you’ll get feedback like this
  44. Communication Make it personal Speakers chat Webpage with all information

    Page on the event website with all the information for a speaker is an easy place for speaker to see all updates You should care about speaker. They create a show. Do not use mass mailing, it creates impression that you don’t care
  45. SECURE BACKUP SPEAKER Always have a backup speaker on the

    event. He should be as prepared as any other speaker. On the other side, you have to threat him a speaker
  46. Conference organisation is the biggest pain in the ass you

    can ever imagine… — DevFest Ukraine Team After a 3 years we can say for sure “Conference organisation is one of the biggest pain in the ass you can ever imagine” BUT here is the deal, looking into impact we create on IT industry in our country, excited attendees that spend 2 days of their time to learn something new and experience we as organisers get we can say
  47. …but it definitely worse it! — DevFest Ukraine Team “Yes,

    it is hard, it takes a lot of time and effort, but it definitely worse it”
  48. NEVER EVER GIVE UP And remember, each failure is only

    a reason to tackle a problem with a different approach. Never give up and run your large scale event successfully! To sum up everything we shared before. This guide is based on hundreds of tries and failures. Use it to create rock solid teams, get the most out of promotional campaigns, find rockstart speakers.
  49. Samples • Workload & Responsibilities: bit.ly/dfguide-workload • Volunteers Schedule: bit.ly/dfguide-volunteers

    • Media Plan: bit.ly/dfguide-mediaplan • Call for Papers: bit.ly/dfguide-c4p • Sponsorship Proposition: bit.ly/dfguide-sponsorship • Volunteers Registration: bit.ly/dfguide-callforvolunteers
  50. Tools • Documents sharing: drive.google.com • For mail lists: mailchimp.com

    • For easy social sharing: buffer.com • For easy social media monitoring and sharing: hootsuite.com • Conference website template by GDG[x]: github.com/gdg-x/hoverboard • Apply for free Firebase Candle plan at: bit.ly/dfguide-getfirebase