Community, conferences, and donuts: do you really want to know how they are made?

By Tracy Hinds and Catherine Lopez

Catherine’s path

I sort of fell into it. Juan Pablo asked me to help out with the first JSConf Colombia as we had had previously worked on Coderise together. CodeRise, an in-person event series teaching kids to code through identifying a real-life problem and exploring a tech solution for it concluding with a demo.

CodeRise students and organizers programming arduinos using scratch on One Laptop per Child

Tracy feels useful

I’m a career-transitioner. My first engineer gig was in Portland, Oregon. There was a new meetup started every week. People were chomping at the bit for the latest and greatest technology and happy to share it with others. I found a group was starting that I had been keenly interested in starting myself — I offered support. Well, I emailed and messaged those I knew who were forming the group. No response. Hrm. Message on meetup. No response. After sharing how excited I was to help out(I had been recommended to do so by a mentor — that a newbie may have a hard time starting a group themselves), I thought I’d have it in the bag. After all, who turns down help?

PDXNode, Cascadia, and Empire
  • When to compromise and spend a little more(AV is a big one here, videos, streaming, childcare, transcription, etc)
  • Venue (contract negotiations, getting your preferred dates)
  • Parties (space, everyone is enjoying themselves that doesn’t revolve around alcohol)
  • Swag (making sure they do not end up in the donation bin, size t-shirts)
  • Timeline
  • Call for talks management, speaker declines, and speaker experience
  • Marketing
  • Website
  • People gotta eat
  • Accommodations
  • ….this is not comprehensive. We provide a few detailed recommendations to be wary of here.
  • A reporting app(watch out for no signal if this uses SMS lol)
  • Code of Conduct agreement that gates a purchase for registration to attend
  • Execution guidelines. Recommend that a lawyer review these.(we are not lawyers)
  • Open Twitter DMs
  • Identifiable clothing and badges for organizers– identify them throughout the conference as safety crew to talk to
  • All volunteers should be educated in who they should walk someone to(an organizer) in order to escalate a report. Volunteers should be instructed to not handle this on their own, and to not dismiss it ever.(even keep an eye out for behavior that isn’t being reported)
  • Having an incredibly diverse organizing crew because people will report to who they feel safest around.
  • Review the code of conduct and reporting guidelines before the conference with all organizers and volunteers together.
  • Protesters, police with teargas
  • Food poisoning
  • Hurricanes
  • Intense, unseasonable heat during an outdoor event
  • Power outage
  • Last minute speaker cancellations
  • Logistics/Venue coordinator(vendors, hotel, transportation)
  • Speaker experience(cfp, acceptance/decline)
  • Website
  • Content and Program Curator
  • Workshop Curator
  • Artist/designer/branding

@hackygolucky | Director, CFO @OpenSourceOrg | Head of Platform @SamsungNEXT | VP of Data-based Sass | Inciting confidence one convo at a time.

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