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
- 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
- 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:
- CNCF Logos and Digital Assets
- Use the Kubernetes Logo to create a customized logo
Plan/build your Kubernetes Community Days Website:
- Start planning your Website in Hugo
- If you are new to Hugo here is a step-by-step guide
- 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
- 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:
- Please review the Kubernetes Community Days tool kit on the Kubernetes Community Days website and CNCF Store for ideas
- Stickers, pins, pens, and t-shirts are very popular
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
- Collect speaker bios, headshots, session abstracts. Continue to update the website with new sponsors, keynote speakers and distinguished speakers.
- 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.
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)
- 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
- 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)
- 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.