It is happening, a first-ever AsyncAPI Online conference. We start on 22 of April, at 11 AM UTC. The event is going to take 7 hours with 12 talks from all over the world. We start in sunny Sydney and finish in cloudy Vancouver. The event is for free, online, in your favorite quarantine room.
How do you organize an event like this in such a short time
There are two requirements you should fulfill behind you start organizing a conference:
Gather a few people that like to walk off the beaten tracks. Best would be to involve your whole core team, as we did in AsyncAPI. All three of us got involved
Make sure you have a fantastic community behind your back that supports your efforts
First baby steps to kick off the event
- Consult your community if what you plan to do makes sense
- Set a conference date and call for proposals deadline
- Get your community involved
We decided on a tight schedule. Our community had only three days to submit proposals. Oh boy, they exceeded our expectations. In total, we got 18! proposals. We were happy and proud but also afraid that we can't accept all talks.
We wanted to establish as many fair rules as possible in such a short timeframe. We decided to form a committee of people that could join Fran and vote for talks that they found most interesting:
- They could give 1-10 points per talk.
- They had no idea who is behind the talk. They knew only a title and an abstract of every proposal.
After voting, we applied the following additional rules:
- We did not accept more than one talk from the same company. We choose the one that was most popular among voters.
- We did not accept talks that were either not related to the theme or other talks accepted for the conference.
In other words, we did not want to favor any company and wanted to have a schedule with talks around a similar area.
As a result, we accepted 11 talks from the community. We did it thanks to the support of this amazing group of people:
We decided to enable companies and individuals to support the event financially.
How to collect money? Do it transparently with tools that you already know. We decided to use Open Collective because we use it already to collect money for AsyncAPI
We created a dedicated event using Open Collective events. This approach allows us to collect money and share expenses explicitly for the event only. The sponsors in exchange get much more than just being listed in our conference sponsors list, and it is clearly described under our event page.
What is the money for? We want to spend it mainly on:
- Prizes for the community involved in the event.
- Paid event marketing. We are doing our best to promote event on our own, but we know that we could do much better using paid channels too. More people know about the event and indirectly about AsyncAPI, better profits for the community, and the sponsors.
Logistics aka connectivity issues can kill your event
These are coronavirus times. ISPs are having stress tests. Netflix is probably hitting view records. Kids are running around the house all the time. We took it all into account, and this is how we want to solve those challenges:
First of all, we asked our presenters to record their sessions upfront and send them to us. We want to stream them live to YouTube, and we are exploring platforms that might make it easy to stream not only to YouTube but also Twitter and others. Presenters still join their sessions, and they are going to engage with the audience in conference chat in real-time during the whole presentation. What is so great about it?
- The audience doesn't have to wait until the end of the presentation with questions as it works in traditional conferences
- Presenters have much more time to engage with their audience, to exchange thoughts, and get more questions. They can also ask their teammates, organization members, or experts in their field to provide support during the talk.
Don't be afraid to organize your event; just find some freaks that follow you to organize it. I'm a proud freak that bought the idea immediately. It is worth it, even if you do not know the outcome yet, the experience you always gain profits in the future.
In the name of the whole AsyncAPI community and the core team, I'd like to invite you to join our event on 22 of April, at 11 AM UTC. The conference line-up suggests that the AsyncAPI Online conference is going to be epic!
#stayhome #staysafe #staycurious