Activate Event Planning Guide

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Who you target, where you host and how you promote your event will all depend on the type of event you’re running.

  1. Decide which activity you will run
  2. Estimate how many people will attend
  3. Define objectives

Find a venue

When considering where to hold your event, look for a comfortable, flexible space that’s appropriate for the number of participants you expect. Be creative – cafes, community centers, co-working spaces, libraries and hackerspaces are great places to start. Since your event will hopefully have more than one or two people, you’ll need tables for each participant and room to move around. Ensure there is reliable Internet, enough power outlets and good lighting.

Design a fun experience

Your event should feel like a party! A few simple tricks to help create a welcoming, creative atmosphere include playing music, bringing snacks and providing name tags. Having an intro activity or icebreaker is a great way to get everyone socializing.

Schedule

Plan your schedule ahead of time but be flexible; your participants might surprise you with interesting questions or challenges to explore. Identify early on what materials are needed for your scheduled activities to run smoothly. A checklist of things you will need for set-up/during/after is very useful. Don’t forget to leave yourself adequate prep time and if you’re a Rep don’t forget to set up the event on the Reps Portal (instructions).

Promotion

There are many ways to promote your event that will create attention and draw more attendees.

Recruitment Strategy

Online Promotion and Press

Tech

When you’re teaching the web, having the right tech set-up and a good plan B is vital to the success of your event.

Equipment

Determine your tech needs early on and decide whether you need laptops, projectors, AV equipment, extension cords and power cords. Some events are BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) in which case it is good to send a reminder to individuals to not forget their laptops the day before the event. If individuals are unable to provide their own laptops, consider using a space where you can access a computer room or laptops. Another idea is to contact local tech organizations or community computer labs that have access to computers and ask them to sponsor equipment for the event in exchange for promotion. When deciding how many computers you need don’t forget that you can have participants working in pairs or bigger groups. It’s a good idea to try and have an extra laptop on hand for participants just in case of any technical problems.

Back-Up Plan

Unfortunately, tech problems are an all too familiar part of events. No matter the preparation, wireless networks or computers can cause unexpected issues. If a few computers are malfunctioning, perhaps ask participants to buddy up on computers and work in groups. We suggest having a couple offline activities prepared in the case of an emergency.

Running Your event

Set-up

When preparing for event, be sure to arrive early to set-up the space as needed. Doing a walkthrough before the event will make things much easier when it’s time to go. This will allow you plenty of time in case unexpected issues arise. Remind your co-leads to welcome newcomers, and make sure your co-leaders know what their jobs are.

Welcome & Registration

A good first impression goes a long way towards helping someone feel comfortable and happy at your event.

Welcome

Sign-in

Documentation

Events happen quickly and it’s often impossible to capture or get links of all the awesome things being made. Identify a process to capture and share makes early on and share it with volunteers, facilitators and attendees.

Wrap-Up

When it’s time to wrap-up, your attendees will be feeling inspired, energized and ready to share what they’ve learned. You’ll want to take advantage of this moment.

Demos

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Clean-Up