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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

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  2. In boxes like this one you’ll find
    comments to slides

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  3. 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.

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  4. Vitaliy Zasadnyy
    @zasadnyy
    Oleh Zasadnyy
    @ozasadnyy
    Ostap Andrusiv
    @p1f
    Meet the Team

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  5. 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

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  6. 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.

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  7. BIG DOES NOT
    SUCCESSFUL
    MEAN
    We never took size as a measure of success, instead we rely on
    feedback collected from the attendees

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  8. DevFest Ukraine Success *
    92%
    satisfaction
    rate
    72%
    pointed to
    content quality
    97%
    plan to attend
    DevFest 2016
    * based on attendees feedback

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  9. Proprietary + Confidential
    The definitive guide to
    large scale events

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  10. 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?

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

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  12. 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.

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  13. 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

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  14. — Henry Ford
    If everyone is moving forward together,
    then success takes care of itself.

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  15. Team Structure
    Core
    Invasion
    On-site Crew
    After trying several approaches we
    ended up with layered team structure

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  16. 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.

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  17. 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.

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  18. Size
    3 team members → 3 connections

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  19. Size
    4 team members → 6 connections

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  20. Size
    N team members → N * (N-1) / 2 connections
    Amount of connections => time spent for meetings, logistics inside team
    is growing exponentially

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  21. Size
    Take it as a SCRUM team
    Ideally 3-9 people
    DevFest Ukraine Core team is 7 people

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  22. 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.

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  23. Tooling
    Task
    Management
    Document
    Sharing
    Team
    Chat
    Slack is better option, but our team is fed up with amount of
    messengers on the phone

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  24. Invasion
    Team

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  25. Who?
    People who can't
    fully commit
    People
    interested in
    specific
    organisation
    aspects

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  26. Size
    No limits, due to nature
    #dfua team is 22 people

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  27. Structure
    Core
    Media Speakers etc.
    Invasion

    e.g Core team member responsible for media creates sub team from
    Invasion team.

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  28. 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

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  29. 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

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  30. On-site Crew
    Team

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  31. Who?
    Core Team
    Members
    Invasion Team
    Members
    Volunteers

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  32. Volunteers
    Public registration form
    Start recruitment 1 month prior event
    Motivate with 30-40% free time
    Sample: bit.ly/dfguide-callforvolunteers

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  33. IS
    MORE
    BETTER
    DevFest Ukraine Crew ~30 people
    It is better to have too many volunteers rather then not enough.

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  34. 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

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  35. Media Promotion

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  36. Why?
    Media Promotion

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  37. SALES
    TICKET
    DRIVE

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  38. VALUE
    CREATE
    FOR
    SPONSORS / SPEAKERS / GDG

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  39. How?
    Media Promotion

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  40. Build Info Partners Network
    GDG DevFest Ukraine 2015 Partners

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  41. 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

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  42. 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

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  43. ALL
    LEVERAGE
    SOCIAL NETWORKS
    We’re GDG, and G+ is important, but come on, you audience is not only
    there

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  44. 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

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  45. Create Media Plan
    Sample: bit.ly/dfguide-mediaplan
    Media plan will make sure all important information will be
    communicated in time

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  46. Measure all the things!
    Analytics is the only true source of information what media channels are
    working

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  47. What?
    Media Promotion

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  48. #DFUA
    Create short, memorable, unique hashtag and use it to tag all your
    social media posts

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  49. Speakers feedback from previous year can drive your c4p promotional
    campaign

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  50. Speakers ant topics announcements increase interest in the event and
    drive ticket sales

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  51. Sponsors always appreciate extra media exposure. Happy sponsors will
    most likely support the event next time

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  52. Social media is also a great way to support important information
    communicated via emails

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  53. 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

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  54. You want to in trend

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  55. Website
    Media Promotion

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  56. 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

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  57. 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.

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  58. SIMPLE
    MAKE IT
    Make logistics for attendees as simple as possible. One location,
    schedules everywhere, etc - the best option.

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  59. 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?

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  60. Second: content. Show off the speakers, schedule, etc

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  61. Show the content (photos, videos) from the previous year to add
    credibility to the conference

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  62. Last for attendees, but not least for the organisers: how to get a ticket?

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  63. Partners are not that important for attendees, but for the partners

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  64. 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.

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  65. 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.

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  66. Proprietary + Confidential
    Speakers

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  67. Good speakers can transform average
    event into amazing one
    — Vitaliy Zasadnyy

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  68. 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

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  69. 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

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  70. Brand
    Speakers
    Two Types of Speakers
    Experts
    Unicorns
    Ideally you want to get best of two words, you want to get “Unicorns”.

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  71. 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

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  72. Lviv
    We invite you to Ukraine
    Sep 9-10
    с4p is open
    Fill c4p at: bit.ly/df16-c4p

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  73. Help speakers
    Information about
    audience
    Information about
    equipment
    Slide
    templates
    Deadlines for
    slides submission
    Feedback on
    each submission
    Practice on
    stage

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  74. If you will follow all the best practices, there is a chance that you’ll get
    feedback like this

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  75. 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

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  76. 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

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  77. 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

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  78. …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”

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  79. 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.

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  80. Thank you.
    Vitaliy Zasadnyy
    @zasadnyy
    Presentation is available at
    v.zasadnyy.com/slides/

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  81. 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

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  82. 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

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