Improving Long Tech Events: Priorities

Intentional Improvement

kaizenEvery events wrangler wants to put on fantastic events people find so worthwhile, engaging and amazing that they talk about them for years. But achieving this level of quality and impact can only be done through intentional improvement. Managing the next event in essentially the same way as the last event, making only minor changes, is unlikely to take you to the next level.

The purpose of yesterday’s post on this blog was to get you thinking about specific ways we can make long tech events the best experience possible for participants, speakers and sponsors.

Today’s post is an attempt at listing the top priority areas on which many or most long tech events wranglers should focus (in addition to their standard checklists). This post will be somewhat of a living document, getting updates as my experience, reading and conversations lead me to revise the order of items on the list, add or remove items from the list, or edit the post content in small ways to help it clearly and concisely convey my understanding on this subject.

hackathon logoA couple of the improvement areas relate primarily to hackathons, but many of the items on this list are relevant to most long tech events.

YMMV. Your experience may be that the long events you’ve been involved with in the past did great at all or most of my “excellence opportunities.” If so, you’ve been very lucky. Everyone has different reasons for participating in a long tech event and different expectations for what the experience will be. Those reasons and expectations will influence whether you agree with the list below or see things quite differently.

Prioritized Excellence Opportunities

With the above caveats, here is *my* prioritized list of how we can upgrade long tech events:

  1. Expectations
  2. Participant and speaker diversity
  3. Event facilitation
  4. Health
  5. Relationship building
  6. Follow-up
  7. Storytelling & Documentation
  8. Learning
  9. Levels of Commitment
  10. Ongoing projects
  11. Participant contributions
  12. Fair competition
  13. “Flow” for coders

Upcoming posts will individually explore the top seven priorities, followed by a combined post presenting a few points about the remaining six items. (Although I might also get carried away and write a separate post for each of the thirteen items listed.)

Your Input Is Requested

helpBecause I haven’t been a full time, or paid, events wrangler, there are likely aspects of this whole “improving long tech events” topic on which I have a skewed or incomplete perspective. Please take the time and energy to share your thoughts about the topic and the priorities by emailing Bob Waldron, bwaldron (att) gmail [dot] com.

I hope to present as balanced a view of these issues as is possible, with the ultimate goal being many future long tech events that people find totally worthwhile, exceeding all their expectations and previous experiences. I look forward to your help in making that happen!


Posts in this “Improving Long Tech Events” series:

Making Long Tech Events Better
Improving Long Tech Events: Priorities
Improving Long Tech Events: #1 Priority
Improving Long Tech Events: #2 Priority
Improving Long Tech Events: #3 Priority
Improving Long Tech Events: #4 Priority
Improving Long Tech Events: #5 Priority
#6 Priority: Follow-Up For Greater Impact
Priority #7: Storytelling & Documentation
Improving Long Tech Events: Priorities #8 – #13


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