FUDCon organization

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This page documents things FUDCon organizers should think about when putting together an event. It covers the newer type of FUDCon, which includes group hackfest sessions as well as one or more days of BarCamp-style technical sessions.

Contents

Budget

This is the absolute first priority. How much do you have to spend? The answer to that question guides every other decision in the process.

Budget for FUDCon is as follows:

  • $20,000 USD for FUDCons in NA and EMEA.
  • $15,000 USD for FUDCons in LATAM and APAC.
  • This budget comes from the Premier Fedora Events line item in the Community Architecture budget, and should be considered a fixed amount unless any different information is confirmed in writing and in public.
  • See the FUDCon budget template page for more information.

Dates and Location

Figure out the city in which the event will be held, and the dates of the event. Sometimes this will be contingent upon the facilities available for the event.

Remember: no one can book travel until they know the dates and location!

We have a separate page on which we track potential FUDCon locations.

Facilities

The most difficult part of organizing a FUDCon is securing facilities to actually host the event. Once this step is completed, everything else tends to fall into place!

For every FUDCon that we have done so far, we have always sought to find some local organizers to help us with logistics. We also try to form relationships with universities or organizations who are capable of hosting us year after year. For example, we have held several FUDCons at Boston University, and each FUDCon we hold there is easier to plan because the local organizers have done it all before.

From a facilities point of view, consider the following needs:

  • space in a useful configuration
  • projectors
  • power for the electronics being used
  • sound amplification (if needed for speeches in a larger room)
  • internet access
  • signs to direct people to the rooms (coordinate with show)
  • white boards

Set up for all these things may cost money -- figure it into the budget.

A typical BarCamp day of FUDCon requires one large auditorium (150 - 200 person capacity), an open area for registration and lounging, and 4 or 5 smaller rooms capable of holding 20 - 30 people each.

A typical Hackfest day of FUDCon requires several rooms (or one big area that can be subdivided) with access to whiteboards, power, one or two projectors, and internet access.

Advertise FUDCon well in advance. Put together fliers or other materials so that people attending the event know you'll be there, and where to find you. Put up posters or signs in many visible locations indicating dates/times, and pointing the way to the event. Remember these may cost money -- figure it into the budget. Advertise both on-line and at local LUGs or Universities.

If there will be any featured or keynote speakers at the event, be sure to advertise their presence early, as it will help to drive signups.

Preregistration

Preregistration is important to discover how many people you'll be hosting. It's OK to set a preregistration limit, as long as you maintain the important principle that FUDCon should be free and open for anyone to attend, regardless of whether they preregister. Have a small token gift for people who do preregister, to encourage them to do so. Just use the wiki for this. Have name tags for preregistrants and blanks of some sort for people who just show up, so others can learn their names easily and make them feel welcome. This may cost money -- figure it into the budget.

Subsidizing Attendees

Part of the FUDCon budget is typically allocated towards providing subsidized travel and/or room for attendees. This money is typically allocated via a ticketing process, whereby the prospective attendee pre-registers on the wiki, files a ticket in the fudcon-planning trac instance, and provides information on what they are going accomplish. Funds are given out in a subsidy meeting, and tracked in a spreadsheet.

Lodging

Try to make a deal with a local hotel to give Fedora a block of rooms at a discount. Allow people to sign up for rooms and roommates on the wiki, and indicate to people what the cost per person, per night, of the rooms in the hotel will be.

Include directions for traveling from the hotel to the FUDCon location on the wiki.

Refreshments

You may want to think about refreshments for the attendees, as simple as snacks or beverages during the day to keep people from having to continually wander far away when they get hungry or thirsty. Remember this might get expensive at certain venues, so make sure you get the cost estimates in advance and figure them in your budget. With a larger budget, consider bringing lunch to the event, so that people don't wander off and potentially not come back, or miss out on time that could be used for another session.

Utensils

For a BarCamp, have the following things available:

  • blank paper and Sharpie markers (for marking session signs)
  • blue painter's tape (doesn't leave traces on a wall)