Difference between revisions of "Open Source Comes to Campus/Logistics"

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=== Getting Started ===
 
===== How much time do we need to plan? =====
 
This timeline spells out what needs to be done by when. Over the last few years of running events, we've learned that while you can rush things, events are far, far better with time to plan and take care of unexpected obstacles.
 
To be clear: missing deadlines doesn't always mean postponing the event - although that will always be our recommendation. But it may mean it'll be harder for us to deliver on our promises to you, such as finding volunteers or helping you find funding. We strongly encourage you to follow this timeline.
 
'''By 4 weeks before the event'''
 
* Date picked
 
* Suitable location reserved
 
* Tasks assigned to planners
 
'''By 3 weeks before the event'''
 
* Minimum # of local and remote volunteers recruited
 
* First round of publicity out
 
* Budget planned/funding secured
 
'''By 1 week before the event'''
 
* Minimum number of attendees signed up
 
* Attendee confirmations sent
 
* All volunteers recruited
 
* Publicity finished
 
 
=== Picking a place and time ===
 
=== Reaching out to mentors and attendees ===
 
===== How do you find staff? =====
 
In addition to plumbing the already-existing OpenHatch network, we reach out to:
* Professors and graduate students at the host school and other surrounding schools.
* User groups (for instance, Linux user groups and Python user groups).
* Other local groups (computing professional groups, STEM groups) who might have open-source-friendly members.
* National, open-source-friendly groups who might have local members.
 
===== How do you communicate with staff? =====
 
* Create a [[Mailing_listOpen_Source_Comes_to_Campus/Logistics/Mailing_Lists | staff mailing list]] to help you communicate. Add your host-organizers as well, even though they are not technically staff.
** We use mailman for our lists. I've found that it's useful to set the default response to the list, so when people respond to emails they automatically go to the full list. It's also useful to set no max limit to email size, otherwise in long threads moderators may have to process held emails left and right.
* We recommend finding staff as early as possible (as soon as you pick a date). We try to achieve a 4:1 or 5:1 staff to attendee ratio. This is particularly important during the afternoon workshop, and we often have staff who only come in the afternoon.
* Step 1: Save the date email - if there are groups you are especially hoping to reach, it's worth sending a brief "save the date/time" email as soon as you've picked a date.
* Step 2: Create publicity website
** Instructions for making sites like ours are [[Open_Source_Comes_to_Campus/Logistics/Publicity_Website | here]] (and [[Static_site_hosting/create | here]], if you want to see what's happening on our end.)
* Step 3: General Purpose Publicity
** Once the site is made, and ideally in the time frame of 4-2 weeks before the event, we do our main publicity push. We try to reach out to:
 
===== How do you communicate with attendees before the event? =====
 
** The low-effort communication strategy we sometimes follow includes:
All the emails asterisked (*'d) below have templates which can can be found in [https://drive.google.com/?tab=mo&authuser=0#folders/0B4HP1ey91UqPb1RrN25YOFA4V3c the Template google docs folder]. The [[Open Source Comes to Campus/Logistics/Email templates | wiki version of the templates]] is deprecated, but you might find you like them better.
*** A [[Email_templates#Quick_confirmation_email | quick confirmation email]] within 24 hours of sign up
 
*** A [[Email_templates#Form_one_week_out_reminder_email | one-week-out reminder email]] with event details
The low-effort communication strategy we sometimes follow includes:
*** A [[Email_templates#Form_day_before_reminder_email | day before reminder email ]]
* A quick confirmation email* within 24 hours of sign up.
** The high-effort communication strategy involves, instead of sending a one-week-out form email, sending one-week-out [[Email_templates#Personalized_one_week_out_email | personalized emails]] to attendees based on their responses in the sign up form. This strategy usually involves an extra 5-15 minutes of work per attendee but has the following benefits:
* A one week out reminder email* with event details
*** Attendees are much more likely to show up (our experience is that personalized emails double-triple the attendance rate.
* A day-before reminder email*.
*** As the personalized emails revolve around attendees' interests, it allows you to locate bugs for the contributions section that are especially relevant/fun for attendees.
 
A higher energy strategy involves asking attendees about projects they're interested in using info from the sign up form. (See here for [[Email_templates#Personalized_one_week_out_email | details and templates]].) This strategy usually involves an extra 5-15 minutes of work per attendee but attendees are much more likely to show up (our experience is that personalized emails double-triple the attendance rate.) (Note: this strategy may need to be adjusted as we focus more on including projects which we already have relationships with.)
 
We recommend using strong language ("You *must* confirm if you want to attend on Sunday.") to ensure higher attendance.
 
=== During the event ===
 
* Materials
===== How should I document the event? =====
** Resources for running the event can be found [[OSCTC_Resources | here]]
 
* Recording the Event
'''Taking attendance''': the classic method of the paper and pen sign up form works well for us. It may be useful to assign a mentor to keep track of late arrivals and make sure they sign it.
** Attendance
 
*** Taking attendance isn't strictly necessary, but I find it useful to help match faces to the names I've been emailing. It also lets you see what percentage of sign ups showed up, and what percentage of people who showed never signed up.
'''Nametags''': nametags can be very useful for identifying students to follow up with (ie students who seem engaged and excited). I will frequently make a note of such students, and later match their names to their sign up info.
*** If you have a whiteboard, a super easy way to take attendance is just to ask attendees to write their name on it. At the end of the event you can snap a picture, and transcribe later when you're less exhausted from running the event. :)
 
** Notes
***'''Notes''': Get as many staffers as are willing to take notes about the event. Prompts to inspire note-taking include:
**** What problems did people have? What made them seem frustrated?
**** What made people laugh? What did they seem to have fun with?
**** What questions did attendees ask? Were there any that two or more attendees asked (ie common questions)?
 
** Pictures
***'''Pictures''': It's important that students consent to having their picture taken. We tell students at the beginning of the event that we will be taking photos and posting them online. We ask them to let us know if they're uncomfortable with that, so that we can avoid taking photos of them/delete any we accidentally take.
 
*** To get a high quantity/diversity of pictures we tell the staff that if they've got nothing else to do we encourage them to grab the camera and take some pictures.
To get a high quantity/diversity of pictures we tell the staff that if they've got nothing else to do we encourage them to grab the camera and take some pictures.
*** Upload them! Right now they just go into a public folder on Asheesh's flickr account but we're hoping to get a bit fancier soon.
 
* Food
Don't forget to upload them! Right now they just go into a public folder on Asheesh's flickr account but we're hoping to get a bit fancier soon.
** Figure out ahead of time your food budget, and pick a place and make an order at least 24 (we aim for 48-72) hours ahead of time.
 
** Because our events start early and run a full day, we like to provide breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. This usually costs between $200-350, depending on the size of the event. Less, if we order pizza for lunch. Your needs may vary, but we like to get:
===== How do we order food? =====
*** Breakfast: 1-3 boxes of coffee + milk + sugar, donuts/bagels/pastries, fresh fruit
 
*** Lunch: If possible, order sandwiches and salads rather than pizza. Try to provide vegetarian/vegan/dairy/gluten free options even if no attendees have listed it. Make sure to order beverages!
Figure out your food budget ahead of time, pick a place and make an order at least 24 (we aim for 48-72) hours in advance.
*** Snack: Something light (people generally aren't that hungry or are willing to eat lunch leftovers) but fruit and chocolate never hurt anyone.
 
** When ordering:
Make sure to coordinate with the person managing attendees. Make sure you are taking into account allergies and dietary preferences. When ordering vegetarian/vegan food, get at least a few extra orders, as meat eaters may choose to eat vegetarian/vegan but the reverse is very seldom true.
*** Ask for plates, napkins, cups, and utensils (if necessary.)
 
*** Place the tip on the credit card you order with. If you need to adjust it, you can (presumably) do that after the fact.
Because our events start early and run a full day, we like to provide breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack. This usually costs between $300-450, depending on the size of the event. Less, if we order pizza for lunch. Your needs may vary, but we like to get:
*** Tell the vendor to bring things at least 20 minutes before the actual lunch time, if you have reason to believe that they might slip.
* Breakfast: 1-3 boxes of coffee + milk + sugar, donuts/bagels/pastries, fresh fruit
* Helping attendees (body language, etc.)
* Lunch: If possible, order sandwiches and salads rather than pizza. Fats and proteins are better for a long day of hard work than sugars and carbs. Try to provide vegetarian/vegan/dairy/gluten free options even if no attendees have listed it. Make sure to order beverages!
** '''Coming soon''' :)
* Snack: Something light (people generally aren't that hungry or are willing to eat lunch leftovers) but fruit and chocolate never hurt anyone.
 
When ordering:
* Ask for plates, napkins, cups, and utensils (if necessary.)
* Ask the vendor to label food as containing meat/vegetarian/vegan, as spicy or non-spicy, and as containing allergens if needed.
* Place the tip on the credit card you order with. If you need to adjust it, you can (presumably) do that after the fact.
* Tell the vendor to bring things at least 20 minutes before the actual lunch time, if you have reason to believe that they might slip.
 
===After the Event===
 
* Follow up emails
**=====How Todo I follow up with attendees?=====
 
*** [[Email_templates#Follow_up_email| Follow up email template]]
There is a template follow up email in [https://drive.google.com/?tab=mo&authuser=0#folders/0B4HP1ey91UqPb1RrN25YOFA4V3c the google docs folder]. Before sending it out, email your staffers and see if there's any information about their projects or organizations (or just opportunities they know about) that they'd like to see included.
*** We have a low traffic OSCTC alumni list that we add all attendees to as well.
 
** Don't forget to go through the [[Events/Logistics/Thanks_checklist | Thanks checklist]].
We have a very low traffic OSCTC alumni list that we like to add attendees to as well.
* Blog posts
 
** We strongly encourage writing up the event and posting it on your organization's blog. We'd also love to feature posts about OpenHatch-affiliated events on the OpenHatch blog!
We strongly encourage you to make note of attendees who seemed especially engaged, and follow up with them personally.
** For OSCTC events, we usually make two posts:
 
*** A summary-type post (unofficially titled the "bug report") - see [https://openhatch.org/blog/2013/umass/ this post]
=====How do I follow up with OpenHatch?=====
*** Infrequently Asked Questions, where we answer in depth novel questions we received at each event - see [https://openhatch.org/blog/2013/infrequently-asked-questions-wellesley-college/ this post]
 
We're happy to talk with you about running future events!
 
Additionally, our classic follow-up is blog posts. We strongly encourage writing up the event and posting it on your organization's blog. We'd also love to feature posts about OpenHatch-affiliated events on the OpenHatch blog!
 
For OSCTC events, we usually make two posts:
* A summary-type post (unofficially titled the "bug report") - see [https://openhatch.org/blog/2013/umass/ this post]
* Infrequently Asked Questions, where we answer in depth novel questions we received at each event - see [https://openhatch.org/blog/2013/infrequently-asked-questions-wellesley-college/ this post]
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