I wrote a thing to get it out of my system but am now wondering what I've missed from this list.
What would you add?
@dajbelshaw Good post. Quick notes from the perspective of a speaker working against the grain of the mainstream:
- Point in #2 about sponsors is key.
- I’d add: pay your speakers (this will also help with the diversity bit)
- On debates: I’d add from personal experience that I have zero desire to be the token dissenting voice at a conference. e.g., If your event is 29 people from Silicon Valley people farmers, don’t invite me “for balance.” That’s not balance; it’s the illusion of balance.
@aral Thanks Aral! Have added to the bottom of the post: https://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2022/05/20/running-event/
Now that we know how, make all conferences hybrid in one form or another, and choose the location with good transport links in mind. Flying long distance to a conference is immoral anyway, but travel costs, disability, passport inequality, caring duties, and any number of other factors prevent really good people from participating in traditional conferences.
Two versions of this that I have participated in, both of which worked well, were:
a) Local nodes videolinked into the big gathering (this allows for locally negotiated childcare, disabled access, preconference planning, etc.)
b) Fully hybrid, with careful account taken of time zones, local languages, etc.
@yetiinabox Great stuff, have added to the bottom of the post! https://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2022/05/20/running-event/
@dajbelshaw I'd put more detail into the diversity stuff you've already mentioned, including "have a code of conduct" and "make clear how accessible your event is to different demographics". I wrote about this stuff at https://blog.mattcen.com/2018/01/26/diverse_events/
@mattcen Thanks! Have added to the bottom of the post https://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2022/05/20/running-event/
@dajbelshaw I think this is a great list. AND (ahem) on point 10 (community) I have some thoughts. Sometimes an event is just great on its own even if it doesn’t generate or foster a community. Sometimes that’s because those communities already exist and people don’t have time in their lives for another community. I’ve seen it work both ways. When a community builds from or is fostered by a event or can be great. But it’s also ok if it just exists at that point in time I think.
@torgo Thanks! Have added to the bottom of the post https://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2022/05/20/running-event/
@dajbelshaw also see with @ada had to say about making sure events are inclusive: https://ada.is/blog/2018/04/16/help-someone-has-pointed-out-my-conference-has-diversity-issues/
@torgo Thanks! I've added that to the bottom of the post as well: https://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2022/05/20/running-event/
It's a good list, Doug, in theory. But there are big unsuspecting traps here that will not only reduce true accessibility for ND's (neurodivergents -ADHD/autistic/trauma/etc). NT's (neurotypicals) ideas of participation are often poorly-thought out things that serve to exclude ND. Similarly, often "community building" does the same. In my exp, the prob is worse w/ NT's who believe themselves paragons of "open" and "critical" based on race or gender.
@dajbelshaw great post! I did think it interesting the suggestions are based on conferences. while a conference may have been the inspiration for the list, there are other types of events.
Expanding on themes, the way you design an event contains multiple opportunities to explore a theme. Make it fun/interesting - work it into your physical space and website.
creating smaller events around a larger one help foster community. For a conference, this could be a kickoff meetup
@awoodsnet Thanks Andrew, I've added your suggestions to the bottom of the post! https://dougbelshaw.com/blog/2022/05/20/running-event/
Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.