Organizing a successful event requires some effort. We've put together some guidelines to help you through this process.
Below are the first steps for organizing an event:
Decide if the event will be physical or virtual.
Put together a clearly outlined agenda.
Create a budget.
Find a location if it's physical event.
Find a time for the event.
Prepare a plan for promoting your event.
Prepare a plan for recording and sharing presentations from the event.
Plan on paper before doing anything else.
Find a handful of people that are willing to help you with the event.
Start with a hypothetical budget, and update it as you lock things in.
When securing a location, always ask for a breakdown of available equipment.
Consider your audience and plan the meetup in a way that fits them.
Be the catalyst and facilitator, not the featured speaker at every meeting (people will get tired of you if you do.)
Do your best to get people from outside the people who usually attend your meetings to present.
Include information about the speakers on your event page.
Shake up the format. Have presentations, panel discussions, roundtables, workshops, etc.
Set a consistent date, time, and location. Always have it there so people can get used to it.
If at all possible, never cancel a planned meetup or many people will loose faith in your ability and stop RSVPing to your events.
We've included several guides and also some additional resources to help you organize the event:
Once you have your meetup plan ready, speakers confirmed, the venue set, and the event promoted, it's time for the execution.
Send communications to all the essential parties early in the day.
Repeat promotional messaging across all of your channels on the day of the event.
Read through the Feedback Form beforehand, so you are familiar with the various details you need to keep track of.
Arrive at your venue early to prepare and test the equipment.
During the introduction, describe the agenda, introduce the speakers, and talk about the key takeaways participants can expect from the event.
Be welcoming and informative.
As part of the requirements for getting funding approved, we require hosts to provide information about their event after-the-fact in a Feedback Form. This helps us to better understand the impact of these events and what we can do to help make them better.
Organizers should read through the Feedback Form before their event so they can be prepared to answer the questions.