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hosting a regional event FAQ

Page history last edited by Jason Powell 8 years ago

So you want to host a regional CITRT style event eh? :-)

 

This doc will serve as a helpful guide for those wanting to host their own regional/local CITRT event.  Nothing is written in stone, but here are things we've done in the past that have worked well.

 

Schedule

The event itself looks something like this:

Evening before - optional meet-n-greet dinner and hang time (xbox/wii gaming?)

Day of - 8:30 registration.  9:00 kickoff. Lunch. 5:00 roundtable ends.  6:00 optional dinner.

 

Costs

We've found $35 works great for a 1 day event.  Starting 2011 we'll being using centralized registration for all sites.  We want to make it inexpensive, but cover all your expenses (food, room, mailers, photocopies, snacks, etc)...try to engage local vendors to offset costs (especially vendors not familiar with CITRT).  Checks will be mailed to host sites at a determined date prior to the event.

 

Promotion

CITRT leadership will promote from our venues (TheCITY, twitter, facebook, etc), but you'll need to find ways to reach IT peeps in your area not familiar with CITRT.  Mailers, personal phone calls, whatever you can do to reach out .. do it!

 

Registration

  • CITRT leadership will provide centralized online registration for each site.
  • To cover your costs but not make it so cheap that its not a "value" that people commit to, we've set $35 as the price for a 1 day event. 

 

The Day

Opening

  • Welcome
  • Prayer at some point before discussion starts, A challenge or devotion time lead by our CITRT Keynote speaker.  (Will be coordinated by CITRT and delivered via video and distributed prior to the day of the event.)
  • Go over Roundtable Guidelines with the group .. download a copy of the Guidelines
    • REMEMBER - the key is that nothing is written in stone ... be flexible and have fun!
    • Vendor participation? 
      • We encourage vendors to participate in the discussions, but NO SALES PITCH!  This is worth repeating more than once!  To help with this you could give each vendor a 5min(?) time slot during lunch to pitch to everyone while they eat ... especially if they helped cover your costs.
      • We all can recognize a pitch, the host isn't the only person who can simply say 'I think this information should be provided at a break'
  • Collecting discussion topics ... several options you could try ... FWIW, here's a huge list of past topics to jump start thinking 
    • Capture topics/questions on the fly .. spend 10mins max writing down topics/questions from the audience on a whiteboard or whatever so everyone can view.  Have people quickly vote for each topic, then work your list from most interest to least.
  • Identify at least one person to take notes, most people get caught up in the conversation and then later ask for links or names of tools or products, it has proven very helpful for one person (or people rotating) to take notes and publish those notes for the entire group to go back to later (also helpful to share those notes with the entire CITRT community).

The Moderator's Job

  • Start working through each question/topic.  Feel free to merge questions together, address questions out of order when there's a natural segway ... again nothing's written in stone.  Let the discussion be organic vs. mechanical.
  • It's the moderators job to discern which questions are most beneficial for the whole group and which would be best answered by "experts" during a break.  For very narrow specific questions ask the audience who has been there, done that and have them pair up with the requester during a break ... unless many people are interested in answer too.
  • Try to not let any one topic take up too much time.  Some topics like storage/backups/DR could take all day :-)  The moderator will have to, from time to time, ask that the group move on to another topic.
  • Stress that people be on time after breaks ... you'll have to be persistent on this as geeks tend to like to yak a lot with each other :-)

Closing

  • Take a group and individual photos!  We're trying to create a CITRT database and the more info we can collect the better.  Putting a name with a face is helpful down the road :-)
  • Push people to connect with other CITRT peeps on theCITY as well as twitter, IRC chatroom, podcast, etc.  

Door Prizes

  • Everyone loves a freebie even if its just some silly swag donated by a vendor.

 

Post Event

Email everyone and thank them for attending ... again promote CITRT.org and encourage them to connect with other peeps on theCITY.

Send CITRT leaders a copy of your attendance and pictures ... we'll add it to the database.

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