Volunteer coordination and outreach/Event planning

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Merging to Hackathons/Hackathon tips for organizers...


(in progress)

For hackathons[edit]

We'll want to cater to:

  • participants with an existing agenda who want to consult or pair with experts
  • curious and openminded participants, who like activity suggestions and prefer to interact with experts most of the time
  • curious participants who like hearing activity suggestions but may not take them, prefer to absorb information via one-to-many lectures & digital resources, and like being able to consult experts as needed

With this in mind, I think we should provide participants with a few seed activities and a schedule skeleton that includes some tutorials and one very-optional-to-attend showcase of our flagship work. And then the rest of the activities would be participant-led and unconferencey.

We would prepare:

  • activity suggestions with accompanying tutorial resources on mediawiki.org
    • one-minute spiels that activity leaders can give orally to pitch their activities to newbies, 1:1 or on a stage
  • a survey of signed-up participants a few weeks ahead of time, asking them what they want to work on/hear about, with a few suggested options & a blank textarea
  • the How To Hack MediaWiki intro tutorial, possibly with multiple teachers teaching it multiple times over the weekend, and with an accompanying digital resource (Guillame & I are preparing this)
  • a How To Use Our API tutorial/Q&A (ask for feature requests!) and improvements to our documentation
  • a slick 45-minute overview presentation of Our Cool Tech, to happen in a side room (attendance very optional) and to showcase our innovations in MediaWiki, mobile, Labs, ResourceLoader, the API Query Sandbox, whatever we really think deserves to be shown off. I know some participants will think that such a presentation is kinda useless, but they won't feel any pressure to attend, and some subset of participants will take the opportunity to learn how much we rock and go home wanting to apply for a job with us or integrate their functionality into ours.

And if we actually get about 100 newbie participants, then I'd like for us to have at least 15 experts in the room, preferably 20. Waiting for an expert was a bottleneck in Mumbai and decreased newbies' effectiveness.

Three months before[edit]

  • Wifi
  • Power

Two weeks before[edit]

  • Ahead of time: file a ticket with Freenode in advance of the event, including dates & the expected number of attendees (and IP address, if possible). iline@freenode.net
  • T-shirt sizes + design + printer
  • Giveaways: buttons, stickers, flyers, buttons, certificate or postcard proving attendance
  • Dedicated note takers for event - reach out to local volunteers/students
  • Poster of URLs for photos

One week before[edit]

  • Catering: food/coffee
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Extra plates, napkins, utensils
  • Power strips, extension cords
  • VGA cables to connect laptops to projectors
  • Ethernet cables
  • USB flashdrives
  • Flyers/posters to guide people to venue
  • Paper towels and trash bags
  • Camera
  • Nice pens to sign Hackathon posters