High quality content, speakers and talk topics will determine event success.
Some basic guidelines for building a good event program include:
- Encourage bold, innovative thought-provoking subjects
- Recruit a diverse slate of speakers
- Make sure one organization does not receive too many speaking slotsMake sure that all content is sensitive and appropriate
- Promote fun and participation
- Encourage interaction between attendees
Along with sponsorships, this is one of the most challenging parts of running an event. The CNCF Speakers Bureau is a great place to start. Regardless you should anticipate spending some time recruiting speakers and speaking proposals. With this in mind, here are some ways to make recruiting speakers easier:
- Build a stock of proposal ideas for potential speakers either to adopt or use to spark their creative process
- Offer to brainstorm with potential speakers to help create content
- Reach out to known event speakers on the CNCF Slack and ask if they have speaking ideas (or if they want to speak at the event!)
Recruiting a diverse speaker slate requires extra effort. Some ideas for this include: * Contact organizations like Women Who Code and Black Girls Code * Check relevant meetups for past speakers * Consider bringing in speakers from outside the region to improve diversity * Make sure you have two female speakers on each panel (Kubernetes Community Days prohibit all maale panels so two women speakers means even in case of a cancellation you will have gender diversity) * Give speakers at least six weeks of notice so they can make travel arrangements
- Announce your “Call For Proposals” early to give speakers and your team the most time to find quality speakers and content ideas
- Minimize bias, by creating a transparent proposal rating system
- List proposal rating criteria (e.g. originality, big idea, new speaker, high-quality speaker)
- Have a panel of judges award each proposal points against each criteria
- Add up the points and award the speaking slot to the highest rated proposals
- Publish the names of the programming committee
- Be prepared to explain any programming decisions
- Give higher priority to content that has not been previously presented
- Try for a good balance between local and out-of-town speakers
- Prioritize new event speakers: Kubernetes Community Days is a supportive environment to encourage new voices in our space
Set up a clear timeline on content reviews
- Regularly check-in with speakers to ensure they are making progress
- Offer content development assistance and presentation coaching
- Review every presentation in advance to ensure appropriate content
- Schedule at least two live video run-throughs of presentations before the event
- Identify all A/V requirements for each presentation
- Do they need video playback?
- Live coding?
- Preferred microphone types?
- Check in with all speakers on event day to make sure they are ready
- Provide constructive post-event feedback with concrete advice