Camps Planning Guide

8 Weeks until Camp

The purpose of this document is to provide Organizers with a step-by step guide to organizing a Camp in their neighborhood. We’ve broken activities down into an 8-week Project Plan that includes (a) Key Milestones/Dates and (b) Key Tasks for Organizers.

Week #1: Developing A Plan

The point of activities during week 1 is to dump all of the interesting ideas you have about making your Camp successful into a single document for a couple of reasons. First, you want to organize your ideas, and create a space for new ideas to live when inspiration strikes. Second, the plan provides you with something to share with people who care about what you’re working on. The sooner you’re able to share the news about your Camp with people, the better.

Get Week 1 Resources.

Key Milestones:

  • Establish how you’ll be capturing ideas related to Organizing Camp. Said another way, now is the time to define what Project Management tool or process you’re going to adopt to make this project a success. Publish your localized version of this 8-Week Activity Plan on the wiki (see Resources for example)
  • Announce your intention to Organize NetSquared Camp on Net2 blog (see Resources for example)

Tasks:

  • Define Key Milestones (Example of Project Milestones)
  • Create Task lists (Example of Key Tasks)
  • Share Project Plan with NetSquared and Advisors
  • Identify Key Partners/Supporters

Week #2: Crystallize Concept + Secure Venue + Define Dates

Now that you have a rough outline of a plan, you’re in a good place to build upon the concept paper to serve as an anchor document you can use in your day-to-day activities moving forward with potential speakers, participants, venue owners, sponsors, etc. Once you have customized the document based on WHERE and WHEN your Camp is happening, you can begin outreach to identify a venue for your Camp.

Get Week 2 Resources.

Key Milestones:

  • CITY CAMP 1-pager published
  • Venue secured
  • Date chosen

Tasks:

  • survey possible locations
  • contact locations for pricing, availability, restrictions
  • select a venue and confirm date
  • send venue and date information to Net2 team for promotion
  • Select a format (unconference, conference or hybrid)

Week #3: Sponsorship and Promotion

With your venue and date confirmed, it’s time to let people know about it! This is a great time to get started on recruiting sponsors as well as attendees. This week you will focus on starting the promotion of the event, including setting up the Meetp event page, sharing announcement via local outlets, and connecting with your NetSquared Local network to share the news. You’ll also distribute the sponsorship proposal to potential sponsors.

Get Week 3 Resources.

Key Milestones:

  • Event page published
  • Event announced locally & online
  • Customize Sponsorship Kit to accommodate local context
  • Build list of local Sponsors
  • Outline content protocols

Tasks:

  • Create event page using the NetSquared Local Meetup.com group
  • Announce date, venue and concept locally via organizations, listservs and other social media outlets
  • Distribute survey for community feedback on topics, speakers, formats, etc.
  • Contact potential sponsors with invitation to participate
  • Connect with sponsors for details by phone, email or in person
  • Share sponsorship details with NetSquared team for inclusion on website and add any sponsorship details to local event page
  • Create protocols for creating and sharing content leading up to and during your event including hashtags, accounts and platforms

Week #4: Organizing Key Contributors

After announcing the event and offering the chance for speakers and other contributors to step forward, you’ll need to evaluate the responses that come in from interested parties, and respond accordingly. Some people will know exactly how they want to contribute (Example: ”I want to host a session on Open API’s”) and others will need you to offer suggestions. This is a chance to find people to present or share formally, as well as those who can blog, tweet, or take video during the event.

Get Week 4 Resources.

Key Milestones:

  • Select session speakers
  • Select content volunteers
  • Respond to any sponsorship

Tasks:

  • Vet Camp Contributors and define volunteer roles
  • Gather/segment list for appropriate Outreach messages and follow up
  • Update event page to include session speaker list

Week #5: Agenda

Now it’s time to focus in on just how the event will work: from the overall format to the specifics of speakers, presentations, discussions, or facilitated open space. This is the fun part!

Get Week 5 Resources.

Key Milestones:

  • Publish outline for the event
  • Identify any remaining topics or opportunities for speakers

Tasks:

  • Review possible event formats
  • Measure community needs and experience
  • Craft agenda or event schedule

Week #6: Reserve the Food & Beverages

If you’re having an event for more than 4 hours, you’ll need to supply some food or hold the event in a venue where people can access fresh food. No matter how long the event, you’ll want to make sure there are beverages (at least water and juice, coffee and tea) to be sure people have the energy to contribute. Never underestimate the power of water cooler discussions!

Get Week 6 Resources.

Key Milestones:

  • Food ordered or secured.
  • Beverages ordered or secured.

Tasks:

  • Identify possible vendors/suppliers to make food or beverage donations
  • Check food/drink requirements of venue
  • Purchase/order/reserve food and drinks whether donated or not
  • Update the event page to highlight any donating vendors/companies

Week #7: Registration Push

Now that all the pieces are falling into place, it’s time to give a big push for registration. You’ll be able to answer most any question and share many details of the event at this point so it’s a great time to blog about the event, ask volunteers and supporters to get the word out, and share a message with speakers to promote the event to their colleagues and networks.

Get Week 7 Resources.

Key Milestones:

  • Goal registration # reached

Tasks for Organizers:

  • Event page updated with all event information
  • Event promoted to and by local groups, lists, organizations, partners and sponsors

Week #8: Event Prep

The week before your event is a perfect time to gather all those who will be helping facilitate, speak, or organize the event to review responsibilities, agenda and so forth.

Get Week 8 Resources.

Key Milestones:

  • Venue, food/beverage, and other resources checked
  • Speakers & volunteers prepared for event

Tasks for Organizers:

  • Confirm arrangements with venue and vendors
  • Schedule and conduct meeting with speakers and volunteers at the venue to prepare for event, answer questions, review agenda

Post-Event

After your event, there are a few “house keeping” items to be sure to do; both to circle back with the NetSquared team and to continue the conversation with your local community.

Get Post-Event Resources.

Tasks for Organizers:

  • Thank your participants
  • Thank your speakers and volunteers
  • Thank you local sponsors
  • Share an event evaluation with all attendees
  • Complete the Pilot Learning Evaluation and Event Reporting