Last updated by Mediacurrent on Tue, 2011-10-25 17:20
Attached is a Drupal Summit Planning Guide, which processes how Mediacurrent and the local Drupal community organized the inaugural 2011 Atlanta Drupal Business Summit. The document is intended to help other organizers throughout the world plan a similar event - included in the guide is our budget, checklists, and other lessons learned.
We would welcome your feedback.
WHAT IS A DRUPAL BUSINESS SUMMIT?
While regional Drupalcamps have traditionally been targeted towards designers or more “technical” professionals, the Summit will provide a platform for those on the “business” side of Drupal. The Drupal Business Summit provides a showcase for those evaluating content management systems and open source software in general. There should be a cross-section of topics, time allotted for formal networking with attendees, and a morning keynote.
The overall goal is for attendees to leave the Summit with:
• An understanding of how other organizations have been leveraging Drupal
• New connections with peers and industry experts
• Knowledge of how other businesses evaluated Drupal v. proprietary platforms or other solutions
• Insight from actual peers on what to expect when undergoing an enterprise-level implementation
• Exposure to actual use cases from adopters of Drupal
WHAT ARE THE STEPS IN ORGANIZING A DRUPAL BUSINESS SUMMIT?
Organizing a Summit takes several dedicated volunteers up front to set the stage and get the word out. In general, these are the steps you’ll need to cover when organizing your Summit. They will be addressed in detail later in this document.
- Determine date (tie in with another Drupal event if possible)
- Identify venue and sign contract for usage
- Compile estimated budget for event
- Reach out to Drupal shops/organizations to become sponsors (cap # of sponsors)
- Build website with registration features, highlighting sponsors
- Promote Summit website once site is live via social media, blogs, etc.
- Market Summit to target audience via email, e-newsletters, social media, etc.
- Choose caterer for food/drinks
- Follow-up with everyone registered prior to event
- Set-up day of event
- Cocktail reception immediately after Summit ends (optional)
Also included at the end of this document is a general “To-Do” list for organizing a Drupal Business Summit.
HOW MUCH DO PARTICIPANTS PAY TO ATTEND A SUMMIT?
Drupal Business Summits are free to attend. The purpose is to evangelize the use of Drupal at a business decision-maker level, and a registration fee might deter their attendance.
Of course everyone’s budget will vary, but we’ve included the final budget for the Atlanta Drupal Business Summit to give you an idea of what your expenses might be. Once we had established an estimated budget, we then knew how many sponsors we needed to cover expenses. This gave us the cap for number of sponsors to recruit.
The hardest expense to estimate is food. Since this is a free event, a lot of people register to attend, but then do not show up due to change in plans, can’t leave the office, etc. We factored a 40% no-show for the Summit, which proved to be pretty accurate.
One item to point out – we chose to have a cocktail reception immediately following the Summit in the pre-function area outside the main room. This is certainly an optional expense, but was very well received by the attendees. It gave everyone more time to talk to peers about what they had heard during the day and perhaps get questions answered.
Another item that we included was Atlanta Drupal Business Summit notepads. These were a very inexpensive item (printed B/W) that we placed at each seat prior to Introductions (along with a pen). At the end of the day, we had very few notepads left at the event. Thus most of our attendees walked away with something they will use for awhile that will be a reminder of the Summit.
|Atlanta Drupal Business Summit Atlanta (2011)|
|Venue - GTRI||0.00|
|Domain name registration||24.34||GoDaddy.com|
|Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks, Drinks||1,800.00||continental bfast, coffee all day, boxed lunch w/fruit, tea, cookies|
|Bottled Water (10 cases @ $5 each)||45.00|
|Video Services||1,410.00||includes equipment setup thru publishing the edited material online|
|Vinyl Badge Holders||48.00|
|Name Tags||0.00||using extras from DCA order|
|Welcome Easel Sign||37.10||Specialized Printing|
|Signage for outside wall of interview booth||9.80||Specialized Printing|
|Yard Sign directing to parking||23.32||Specialized Printing|
|Laminated direction signs at elevators||9.54||printed at MC/laminate at Staples|
|NotePads (150 sets)||86.97||Specialized Printing - 150 notepads, 50 sheets each|
|Marketing/Advertising||0.00||only email marketing to current & partner lists; social media, etc.|
|Printed schedules: hand out at regis.||0.00||printed at MC|
|Total Summit event||3,653.15|
|Appetizers||1,500.00||includes set-up serve, clean-up, plates, napkins|
|Beer/Wine/Sodas||875.00||includes bartender, plastic "punch" cups for wine; nothing for beer|
|TOTAL:||6,028.15||total sponsorship income is $6,000|
|*based on 100 people|
Organizing this event is not heavily labor-intensive. You’ll need to have volunteers who are willing to take on the following tasks:
- email invitations
- event promotion
- signage (welcome/directional)
- name badges/handouts
- registration table (suggest 3 people)
Our choice of venue was easy. We used the same venue that we were using the next day for Drupalcamp Atlanta. This made it easier logistically to get everything to the venue prior to the event. It also allowed organizations who sponsored both events to leave their “booth” without having to put everything away and take to another location.
Overall you’ll need to find a venue that will comfortably hold 150+ people. Most of the Summit will involve either speakers with presentations, or panels of experts. However, a third component is the networking opportunity which can be led by a team-building expert or one of the organizers of your event. That having been said, here’s what you’ll need.
• Seating for 150+: can be auditorium or large ballroom, with areas for small groups to gather during the networking segment
• A/V: Podium with laptop connection, lavaliere microphones (enough for panel, too), large screen & projector
• Area outside room to serve breakfast, lunch, etc.
• Area outside room to conduct/video several one-on-one interviews if desired
For this event, you want a finite number of sponsors who are willing to make an investment in the evangelization of Drupal. We capped ours at eight, with the cost of a sponsorship at $1,000. The first sponsor would, of course, be your company who is volunteering all the time and effort to pull off this event. Acquia may be a second sponsor - providing assistance with Drupal Gardens and marketing, rather than cash. Beyond that, reach out to those in your area (and beyond) whom you know to be proactive in promoting Drupal. This is a unique opportunity for all Drupal firms.
Below is the Sponsor Benefits Package information that was sent out to all potential sponsors.
Acquia generously allowed us to use their Drupal Business Summit template in Drupal Gardens as our base. We then added our own text and theming. This site already includes everything you’ll need – just personalize for your event. http://www.atlantadrupalsummit.com/
We added a “Visit Atlanta” tab for those coming in from out-of-town.
Attendees easily registered for the Summit on the Atlanta Drupal Business Summit website. They were required to provide the following information.
• First Name
• Last Name
• Job Title
• Job Function (chose one option)
• Company Name
• Email Address
They were also asked to choose how they heard about the Summit (8 options included)
Ensure all sponsors and speakers also register on the site to keep your total head count correct.
The reason Drupal Business Summit’s are unique, is that they are targeted to those individuals with CMS decision-making responsibilities for their company/organization or their clients. Most Drupal events target the developers and technical individuals who actually use Drupal on a day-to-day basis (or are learning to). Who do you want to attract?
• Business Owners
• Marketing Professionals
• C/V Level Personnel
• Project Managers & Directors
• Ad Agencies
• Social Media Consultants
• Graphic Designers
This is the tricky part for the Summit. You basically want to attract the same people that you would want to talk to as potential customers: the ones who are making the decisions about which CMS to use/propose/switch to. Here are some ideas:
• Send an email invitation to everyone on your e-newsletter mailing list (these people already receive emails from you, so no spam involved)
• Find a Drupal’r in the P.R. business to send out an official press release
• Work with the folks at Acquia to have them send announcement to their targeted lists for your area
• If possible financially, purchase email list of CIOs within a radius of your event
• Tweet, tweet and tweet again…
• Include information about the Summit on all of your social media pages
Initial Invitation Email
General Reminder Email
Final Reminder Email
Based on the location of your venue, signage needs will differ. We produced a 24”x36” welcome sign that we placed on an easel near the front entrance so that attendees would know they were in the right place. To get them there, we needed a “yard sign” that directed attendees from the street to the parking deck. (18”x24” coroplast sign, printed one side, with wire stand) We also printed out several 8.5”x11” sheets and had them laminated to place at the elevators on the first four floors of the parking deck. These directed them to the Ground Floor, around the corner and to the front entrance of the correct building.
FOOD & DRINKS
As mentioned previously, the hardest part to estimate is food and drinks. Throughout the day, we had bottled waters in containers of ice throughout the hallway, as well as hot coffee.
• Breakfast: assorted pastries, coffee, juice, napkins
• Boxed Lunches (choice of ham/salami/provolone sandwich, turkey/swiss sandwich or veggie wrap): all include chips, apple, napkin
• Drinks: coffee (all day), sweet/unsweet tea (lunch only)
• Afternoon Snack: cookie trays, napkins
Because numbers have to be given to the caterer usually a week prior to the event, we used 100 people for our overall order – then added 25 boxed lunches. Make sure you have a true vegetarian option for lunch. We ordered 60 turkey, 40 ham, and 25 veggie wraps. Lunch was first come, first served and each attendee simply chose a boxed lunch.
In addition to the main presentation room, you will need the following:
• Tables outside the room for each of your sponsors to set up their “booth”
• Two chairs for each booth
• 2-3 tables in this general area for food/drinks
• Note: If your presentation room does not allow food inside, then you will need an area for attendees to eat their lunch. Maybe adjoining meeting rooms with tables and chairs.
• One long table with three chairs to serve as the Registration Table for check-in.
• Easel near front entrance/registration desk for Welcome Sign
You’ll need the normal conference essentials to run this event. MyBadges.com has name badges, inserts and lanyards at a competitive price. They also have a Badge Carrying Case that allows you to alphabetize your badges ahead of time, insert them into the foam slots and carry them in the case to the event. No need to mark attendees off a master list, just hand them their name badge. Those left at the end are the no-shows. Keep list of attendees for whom you had to hand-write name badges.
• Name badges (print out 15-20 blanks also)
• Lanyards (unless name badges are pin-on)
• Large paper pads on easels for each breakout group during networking segment
• Markers for easel pads
• Pens/sharpie for registration table in case you need to create name badges for those who didn’t register
VIDEO PRESENTATIONS (OPTIONAL)
Hire a professional videographer (look within your Drupal associates) to video everything from introductions to the last presentation. In addition, we are conducting some one-on-one interviews during the event with some of the attendees. The videographer is providing the set-up and equipment. We are providing the interviewers and questions. The videographer will need to be able to record, edit, clean up and provide final video files of everything.
COCKTAIL RECEPTION (OPTIONAL)
In Atlanta, we hosted a short cocktail reception immediately following the closing remarks in the open area outside the auditorium. Nothing too fancy, just some hot appetizers, beer/wine/sodas/water. This gave attendees a little more time to network and possibly get questions answered.
DRUPAL BUSINESS SUMMIT EARLY STAGES CHECKLIST
- Identify and sign contract with venue
- Put together estimated budget based on options (free food, reception, video, etc.)
- Get estimates from caterer for breakfast, lunch, snack and possible reception
- Get price quote from videographer if using
- Approach potential sponsors with unique opportunity
- Obtain logos from sponsors to use on website and printed materials
- Develop theme for website and printed materials
- Recruit speakers for all parts of agenda
- Update website with current year information
- Obtain bio/picture from all speakers
- Purchase target email list for CIOs within 100 mile radius of Atlanta
- Create initial invitation email and send to purchased list and partner lists
- Purchase lanyards, name badges, inserts and carrying tote (mybadges.com)
- Send general reminder email to those registered to ensure event is on their calendar
- Send final reminder email to those registered asking to advise if cannot attend and giving details re parking, registration, food, attire, etc.
DRUPAL BUSINESS SUMMIT 48-72 HOUR CHECKLIST
- PPT slide deck for Auditorium completed (continuous loop with Welcome slide, then sponsor slides)
- PPT slide deck for Dave's intro completed
- Housekeeping notes to Dave for introduction
- Print name tags
- Alphabetize last-minute name tags where necessary
- Insert name tags into badges
- Place ribbon on volunteers, speakers, sponsors, etc.
- Place alpha in badge holder boxes; separate into 3 groups matching Post-It Registration signs
- Print out master name of all attendees, including who swapped, cancelled, etc. for reference if needed
- Take Sharpies and pens for registration desk
- Take blank name tags (use sharpie)
- Remove any cancelled name badges; insert new if replaced
DRUPAL BUSINESS SUMMIT DAY OF EVENT CHECKLIST
- Place yard sign near street directing to parking area
- Place laminated signs at elevator banks directing to entrance of Summit
- Place welcome sign inside near door
- Move flip charts to appropriate areas in Auditorium; add paper pads if necessary
- Put bottled water in 3-4 round, rolling coolers with ice; place coolers throughout hallway
- Place sheet of paper with sponsor name on designated tables (tells sponsor which “booth” is theirs)
- Hang Post-It registration signs (A-K, L-R, S-Z) above registration table
- Set up sheet/sign for Interview booth; push pins/duct tape for sheet/sign (we used black sheet for backdrop)
- Put out handouts on registration table
- Put out name badges divided into three sections matching Post-It Registration signs
- Put out lanyards and extra name tags with Sharpies for use at Registration table
- Man Registration Table throughout day
- Put notepads/pens on tables in Auditorium
- Check water bottles throughout day; refill coolers if necessary
|Business Summit Sponsor Benefits.doc||45 KB|
|Summit Home Page.jpg||73.9 KB|
|Summit Initial Email Invite.jpg||88.54 KB|
|Summit General Reminder Email.jpg||56.21 KB|
|Summit Final Reminder Email.jpg||71.18 KB|