Events/Logistics/Wrap up

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In the last 5-30 minutes of your event, it is often helpful to get everyone's attention. Here are some things to think about a few days before the event wrap-up.

[edit] Goals of wrap-up

These can vary, based on your event. Still, usually you'll need to plan for the following things:

  • Thank attendees for coming. They are there! You are glad they are there.
  • Thank volunteers. (oops, can't believe I forgot this before)
  • Get attendees to fill out your exit survey. Typically, you should plan your exit survey in advance of the event. At the wrap-up, you can use a projector and project a URL of the exit survey (preferably shortened with a meaningful name, using a service like http://bit.ly/ or http://smarturl.it/ ).
  • Thank sponsors. They made the event possible.
  • Hand out tokens of appreciation, if you can. Attendees often love to receive T-shirts, books, or other goodies.
  • Consider how attendees will stay in touch. The moments after the event are the ones where a community can most easily form between your attendees, so respect that possibility and make sure you provide an email discussion list for attendees to chat on, a Facebook group, a form option through which you will email attendees' names and emails to each other, or something of the sort.
  • Think about follow-up events. If follow-up is obvious -- like inviting people to a "project night" after an introductory workshop -- great! Make sure to share that recommendation, and do so with high clarity. Perhaps put the URL on a projector, and give people 90 seconds to check their calendars and sign up for it. If the follow-up methods are less obvious, think harder: for an open source outreach event, are there conferences nearby that are coming up? Is there a programming user group that welcomes newcomers that might be a good fit? Mention them, because attendees new to the community are likely to have never heard about them.
  • Think about next actions. Are there specific non-complex tasks they can sign up for now that will retain their momentum? For example, for an open source event, perhaps tell them about codetriage.com.
  • Ask attendees to share their successes. Find a few people (perhaps 5) to stand up and speak for 30sec to 1 minute about what they accomplished during the day.
  • Thank volunteers. (oops, can't believe I forgot this before)
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