3 questions to ask yourself before making a big Tech Conference
“Before starting anything, always ask yourself, WHY do you do this thing” — sounds very obvious and a bit dull, isn’t it? But when we asked ourselves “Why do we organize DevFest?”, each organizer had different answer to the question. Even more, that’s not the only one question you have to ask yourself.
- “WHAT?” (The subject of all our activities. Why tech conference? Why GDG? What is the purpose of this event?)
GDG Lviv started as a volunteer community of geeks in 2012 and it stays so. We like technologies and share our passion with other people. And we love our city :) That’s why GDG DevFest Ukraine was moved to Lviv in 2014 and stays here.
GDG DevFest is huge comparing to usual local events, and lasts longer (2 days comparing to 3h lasting of a small event). So we have an opportunity to invite real rockstar speakers and our attendees have an ability to know each other better. Also, tickets for this event are paid (all our other events are free), and the level is much higher than on usual meet ups.
2. “WHY?” (Why do we do this?)
Short answer looks like this:
Ok, and what about a long answer?
It’s an ability to do something really cool. When you are running your 10th circle through demo zone sometimes it’s hard to focus and realize that there are smart, talented and passionate people around you, who do incredible things: they solve hard technical problems, raise startups and inspire others to make this world better. And all these people are here because of you (maybe not directly, but you’ve participated in it).
You’ll meet incredible people and expand your network. Really, we can give you a lot of reasons to do a big tech event and the biggest part of them will be about people. That’s a great pleasure to see it in every detail and an opportunity to be proud of: you just see amazing geeks around, all the rest they will do by themselves. Even more, you meet experts in your field and that’s a great ability for your professional growth.
Step out of your comfort zone and prove yourself that you can do anything. After a few conferences you can plan budget with 4% error, solve complex problems in minutes before attendees will notice something. Now you know how to build stands for banners, hang curtains, set up sound and light, negotiate with partners and much much more (or at least you know people that can do that for you). Every second of the DevFest is stressful, exciting, shocking and unforgettable. This experience will never be repeated in your life. And each DevFest is different from previous.
3. “WHO?” (Who is in organizers team? What about volunteers? Who will be your contractors?)
Good idea is not enough without people around you. Moreover, you have to trust these people. Jim Collins in his “Good to Great” book emphasizes: “First Who, then What” — and we can’t say it better.
Org team. Each and every member of the Core team has unique personality with his own goals and matters. But there is something that connects us: we all want to organize events, advance our skills and make people happier.
Volunteers. Volunteers are the face of the conference, its main representatives, the most powerful force and main creators of our incredible demo zone. We are very lucky to find such people in GDG chapters all over Ukraine (80% of our volunteers are from GDG). That’s a quintessence of Google Developer Groups: people do some great stuff by their own, come together and achieve synergy of their ideas.
Subcontractors. Just a short story to describe how important it is to have good subcontractors and make them your friends. For the GDG DevFest Ukraine 2016 we decided to do a silent party and rented 300 special headsets. After the party, person who spread them, just took them and said: “I’ll count them later, I trust you”. And you know what — all 300 pairs were returned! As mentioned our friends from other GDG chapters: “If you were in another city, your subcontractor would definitely tell you that all 300 headsets are stolen or broken”.
We are pretty sure that before the big start you have your own list of questions and your own answers. We’ll be glad if you share them with us in comments as it’s very important for us to improve our approach.
BTW, we’ve already answered all the questions above for ourselves and we are very proud to announce that some tickets to GDG DevFest Ukraine 2018 are still available (hurry up, all Pre Early Birds tickets were sold out in less than 7 hours)!
Get ready to rock and we hope to see you on October 12–13th in Lviv ;)