Hosting a Kubernetes Community Days Event

This is a suggested planning timeline for running a successful event. Use the Kubernetes Community Days Conference Action Items and Assignments to assign tasks and deadlines to team members.

8-9 MONTHS IN ADVANCE

Begin to Plan for the event:

  • Make a pull request on GitHub to notify the Cloud Native Computing Foundation you intend to host an Kubernetes Community Days.
  • List out the the goals and objectives for the event (include # of attendees, # of sponsors, # of tracks and speaking sessions, etc.)
  • Name your event: Kubernetes Community Days + Location (e.g. Kubernetes Community Days Sydney or Kubernetes Community Days Australia).
    • This name will be used on the website and all outbound communications.
  • Select a date or dates for the event.
    • The event can be one-day or two-days.
    • It can include various tracks, upstream training, sponsor exhibit area, VIP event, happy hour, etc.
    • If this is the first event, we recommend you start with a one-day event.
    • Make sure there are no other Kubernetes events, related conferences or holidays scheduled at the same time

Recruit an event team and sponsors:

  • Begin to recruit members for your Kubernetes Community Days Advisory Board Steering Committee.
    • This team should be at least 4 individuals from 4 different companies
  • Look for co-organizers with event expertise to help organize (Some organizers have decided to hire an event coordinator for this purpose
  • Recruit the three required sponsoring companies (usually they are where co-organizers work)

Guidelines, Toolkit, and support:

  • Once your event is approved, CNCF will do the following:
    • Give you a Hugo Template to build out the site.
    • Add you to the Kubernetes Community Days Organizers Slack Channel (so you can ask questions and best practices from other KCD organizers)
    • Use the tools at the bottom of the organizing page

Select and reserve a venue:

  • Choose a venue with a reception area for registrations, a room dedicated for keynote presentations, and at least one break out room.
    • This allows you to run 2 event tracks
    • You can use the break out room for demonstrations, trainings, or workshops.
  • Consider hosting the Kubernetes Community Days event at one of the organizing company’s offices
  • For first time events, consider starting with a maximum of 200 attendees

Communications:

  • Create a private slack channel for the group.
  • Join the Kubernetes Community Days Public Slack channel
  • Get an event Twitter handle and announce the event there as a placeholderPublish the event on the Kubernetes Days schedule page
  • Create a placeholder Webpage for the event announcing date(s) with an email contact address
  • Get email address from CNCF for your organizers

6-7 MONTHS IN ADVANCE:

Budget and finance:

  • Prepare a preliminary budget including:
  • Total event costs (Venue costs, hotel room blocks, catering, signage, graphics, promotion, A/V, travel for speakers, etc.).
  • Required sponsorship money
  • Expected attendee fees
  • 10% extra for incidentals/unforeseen items

Team roles and responsibilities:

  • Create an advisory team to help organize the event and define roles and responsibilities
  • It’s advised that you invite at least one Kubernetes Ambassador as a planning member.
  • Announce the formation of the advisory group to local Kuberenetes User and MeetUp Groups in order to recruit more members

Keynote Speakers:

  • Identify from potential keynote speakers to attract both attendees and sponsors.
  • See if anyone in the Kubernetes Speakers Bureau would be a good keynote and check availability.
  • Focus on pulling diverse keynoters as much as possible.
  • Assign outreach to potential speakers and get confirmations ASAP (note: be cognizant that if you ask multiple speakers simultaneously and they all accept, you may have to cancel which is not great. Far better is to request a quick response and ask one at a time until the slate is full)

Identify possible sponsors:

  • Create a target list of possible sponsors to contact
  • Look at employers of CNCF Speakers Bureau members and CNCF Ambassadors or potential sponsorship
  • Identify companies that have sponsored or are sponsoring related events
  • Build an outreach plan and assign contacts

Get your Kubernetes Community Days logo and digital branding kit:

Plan/build your Kubernetes Community Days Website:

  • Start planning your Website in Hugo
  • Build the first page
  • The web page must include the:
    • Kubernetes Community Days Logo
    • Event date and location
  • Create a Pull Request to have an event added to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation website after the first web page is live with relevant details.

Build additional pages including:

  • About: description, sponsors, sponsor packages and how to sign up ,sponsorship agreement form.
  • List of speakers
  • Program schedule
  • Registration Page via Eventbrite

Registration page should include the following:

  • What is the current Organizational Role at the company? (please check one):
  • Business Development / Sales / Marketing
  • CEO / Executive Leadership
  • CIO / CTO / IT Manager
  • Cloud Application Developer
  • Cloud Architect
  • Engineer
  • Kubernetes Community User / Operator
  • Operations / SysAdmin
  • Product Management
  • Product Strategy
  • Upstream Developer
  • Other, please specify

The registration page will include an opt-out option to subscribe to the CNCF newsletter.

Venue location and direction:

  • Determine attendee registration fees:
  • Decide in attendance price (100USD or less recommended)
  • Consider offering promotions (earl- bird pricing, team pricing, student pricing, etc) special pricing for students, diversity promotion, etc.
  • Set up policy on diversity pricing (free or heavily discounted)
  • Announce diversity scholarships (post on CNCF Slack, Twitter, other channels)

Create your sponsorship prospectus and agreement:

  • Create an event-branded sponsorship prospectus with different sponsorship levels, prices and benefits.
  • Recruit and confirm speakers:
  • Create a list of targeted keynote speakers.
  • Leverage the Kubernetes Ambassador, Kubernetes Speakers Bureau, local community, and meetup groups.
  • Consider including 1-2 End Users as well.
  • People who often contribute to the community on Slack and are in your region are another good bet

Pick your swag:

Estimate signage needs:

  • Event Signage
  • Sponsor logo signage
  • Welcome signage in the registration area
  • Track signage
  • Other random signage

Confirm venue costs and catering costs (this may be with the same vendor):

  • Ask about complimentary charge for a venue when food and beverage minimums are met.
  • Venue network and WIFI
  • Confirm there is enough bandwidth to support all attendees at the event simultaneously. (Use this bandwidth calculator: http://www.psav.com/bandwidth_estimator/)
  • All attendees will have high bandwidth requirements
  • Hire a professional videographer (highly recommended)
  • Hire a professional photographer (optional)
  • Calculate and confirm any extra labor costs

4-6 MONTHS IN ADVANCE:

Call for presentations and select your speakers:

  • Publish and promote your “Call for Presentations”
  • Word the call simply and cleanly
  • Consider creating a theme for the event
  • Actively and repeatedly promote your call across as many relevant channels as possible
  • Consider recruiting Customer/End User speakers for the event.
  • Do a blind review of submission to narrow down the group
  • Have a team of 2 - 3 people to review and vote
  • Create a fair and open review and selection process

Website:

  • Collect speaker bios, headshots, session abstracts. Continue to update the website with new sponsors, keynote speakers and distinguished speakers.
  • Agenda
    • Begin to finalize and publish the agenda.
    • Consider creating 1-2 main themes for the event.

Complete venue walkthrough and detail assessment:

  • Confirm actual needs for A/V, signage, projection, wireless network connection, etc.
  • Identify any potential venue troublespots and begin to plan to deal with them
  • Create event registration page:
  • Use Eventbrite to create your registration page. Note: Eventbrite will not release the funds collected for the event until 5 days after the event so plan finances accordingly.
  • Be sure to add in the demographic questions to the registration page listed above.
  • Be sure to include the privacy policy on the registration page.

Plan out and launch event promotion:

  • Identify the ways to promote the event in as many useful channels as possible - social media, meetups, blogs, emails and posted flyers
  • Ask your sponsors to help promote the event in their channels
  • Consider issuing a local Press Release to promote the keynote speakers. (you may also just want to post a blog - it will save money and hassle
  • Please note there is a Press Kit on the Kubernetes Community Days Tool kit.
  • CNCF needs to review and approve any press release before it is distributed over the wire.

Conduct initial sponsor briefings: * Brief sponsors on booth details, benefits, promotion, collateral needs, logos, signage and timelines * Set up a regular check-in cadence with sponsors (probably every two weeks until you get closer to the event)

Social Media:

  • Create a dedicated Twitter hashtag for the event.

2-4 MONTHS IN ADVANCE:

  • Track registrations on Eventbrite, Meetup, and/or other registration page.
  • Determine who will be at the registration desk to check people in.
  • Task 2 -3 dedicated people to check attendees
  • Make sure all giveaway items / swag are received and prepped.
  • Determine how and where giveaways (2 person logistical task).
  • Brief speakers and send out master agenda walkthrough plan.
  • Continue promoting event via all relevant channels.
  • Finalize arrangements with all event vendors, including venue, catering, A/V, videography, and material suppliers.
  • Follow-up with sponsors who have not paid their invoice yet
    • Do not issue them their tickets until after payment is issued
  • Decide if you would like to hand out surveys to attendees to get feedback
    • If yes, create a simple online survey requesting a numerical rating of speaker effectiveness, an overall event rating, and general comments what to include/do better next time, etc.

1-2 MONTHS IN ADVANCE:

  • Finalize signage and printing requirements
  • Track registrations to ensure event is on target
  • If registrations are moving slowly, consider additional marketing activities or giving away more tickets to deserving people (students, diverse individuals, etc)
  • Collect last minute sponsor requests and inform them of request cutoff date
  • Revise and review the budget based on registrations, sponsorships and cost estimates
  • Work with sponsors to make sure their speaking session is not a n product/sales pitch.

2-4 WEEKS BEFORE THE EVENT:

Begin final checks to make sure event is ready to go:

  • Download the Kubernetes Community Days Slide Deck in the Kubernetes Community Days Repo for the welcome/registration and break time slots.
  • Confirm guest count with catering.
  • Suggestion: Print guest-list in alphabetical order by first name.
  • Print name badges at least 48-hours in advance
  • Print event survey to be ready to distribute with swag / giveaways (optional)
  • Check that all materials (agendas, event signage, collateral) are printed and ready.
  • Draft thank you emails for sponsors, attendees and speakers.

ON THE DAY OF OR NIGHT BEFORE THE EVENT:

Perform final preparations:

  • Set up clear directional signage throughout venue.
  • Run a complete walk through checking the following
    • A/V setup
    • Lighting
    • wireless network
    • Furniture placement
  • Put up the floor plan for booths.
  • Set up video live stream (recommended but optional).
  • Set up the registration table/area.
  • Brief volunteers and sponsors -help with set-up.
  • Brief the photographer and video person (if applicable)

POST EVENT:

  • Retrieve photos from photographer.
  • Post photos on Flickr and event website.
  • Share videos with CNCF so they can be posted on the CNCF YouTube channel.
  • Send the complete registration lis to CNCF, including demographic question responses.
  • Send thank you emails to speakers, sponsors, and participants.
  • Collect all outsstanding invoices and process for payment.
  • Determine planning for the next Kubernetes Community Days event.