How to Host a Conference
We often get asked. Can you host a conference in X country? I want to host the next conference in my country, how can I do it?
iDempiere is a community project. All conferences have been hosted by community members. Every person in the community can host it and we're always eager to help you do it. Organizing a conference can be an overwhelming task, especially if you've never done it before. But with the right knowledge and resources, you can create an event that brings together iDempiere professionals, academics, and enthusiasts from all over the world to share ideas and knowledge.
This wiki is designed to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to plan, organize, and execute a conference from start to finish. We try to cover everything from choosing a venue, inviting speakers, and promoting the event, to managing logistics, registration, and finances. This is not the only way to do it, in fact, we're learning in the process together with you. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please feel free to share them with us.
These are the steps that we have identified need to be done by the local host.
- Set realistic expectations on how many people will join based on your geographical location with the following factors:
- People who are in touch with you, your close contacts
- Accessibility to location
- Checking the cost from cities from which expected attendees are coming
- If you think the above can be met, then step no 2.
- Contact the marketing committee about permission
- Fix the dates or identify the tentative dates, because based on the dates some places' costs change.
- Provide the committee with a basic idea about the expenses
- iDentify a venue for the conference
- Gather at least 5 proposals from different venues (this is not mandatory but the more options you get, the better you can plan).
- Provide all proposals to the Committee for comparison, preparing comparison
- Book the venue
- Start the registration process. Have in mind the potential bank charges or other transfer fees when calculating the conference fee vs actual expense
Start preparing for the Conference
- Optional -> Taste menu from restaurants for meals you have agreed with restaurants. For e.g., if 2 coffee breaks and 1 lunch then make sure that you get the menu and taste.
- Optional -> getting special rates for the hotel for your guests
- Print the conference badges (ID Cards). Collect information to create them. Ideally, do this on the registration step, so that you don't have to trouble attendees again.
- Discuss potential giveaways with the committee, if you want to give any.
- Decide on how to record the sessions. Do you want to hire a professional videographer or do it on your own?
- Optional -> if extra activities are planned. Do this with enough time and communicate them on time with the attendants.
These are steps that can be done off-site, logistics, organizations, planning ... The Marketing committee can assist you with some of these steps if needed.
- Gather all the information from the local host, such as Venue, date, and costs.
- Create a website with all the information and a clearly defined registration process. It doesn't need to be a fancy website, a wiki page has been used in previous conferences.
- Call for registrations on official channels, Mattermost, google groups, Facebook, etc.
- Email people who registered, thanking them and notifying them that the registration was received
- Set the call for proposals process and announce it
- Collect session proposals
- Review proposals
- If needed. Ask for changes and contact the submitter to do the corresponding changes.
- Create a draft agenda based on the received proposals
- Review and complete the official agenda
- Contact speakers notifying them that they were selected and informing them about the given time slot.
- Answer any doubts that the attendants might still have
- Coordinate with the local organizer about recording the sessions
- Ask every speaker if they agree to be recorded and their videos to be published afterwards (in case they didn't reply that during the submission process)
- Keep posting on social media before and during the event to create awareness
All of these are optional but improve the conference experience
- Create a post-conference survey
- Thank you for the attendance email asking them to answer the survey
- Create a conference wiki page
- Publish videos of the conference on the official youtube channel
- Create a blog post wrapping up the conference