Drum roll please…
And now, at long last, the much anticipated list of common assumptions that lead to a miserable conference experience:
1. There is reliable wifi available.
2. Your event is famous. There’s no need to tell anyone about it.
3. You can let sponsors take over your event.
4. You don’t need to check out the venue beforehand
5. Participants don’t need help finding accommodation.
6. You can invite the same presenters as last year. Everyone wants to hear from the usual suspects.
7. You don’t need to provide coffee or refreshments.
8. You can restrict access to water and food.
9. Your volunteers don’t need to know anything about your planning for the event.
10. You don’t need to bother with a budget.
11. No one needs power plugs.
12. You don’t need to set up the space properly for the event.
13. Everybody loves pork.
14. You can start planning at the last possible moment.
15. One toilet is enough.
16. Invitees from other countries don’t need any logistical assistance.
17. You can shamelessly plug your own organization at your event.
18. Big groups self-organize. So you don’t need to facilitate.
19. You don’t need to provide event info on a website.
20. Everything will fall into place eventually.
The above list is derived from the “Top Tips for the best event ever” Sprint (view brainstormed list on an etherpad) at the Global Melt Workshop in Berlin. Sprinters: @effeietsanders @cyberdees @atopal @tobiaseigen
The idea was to encourage event organizers to avoid common pitfalls so we never have to experience them again. We would provide a website that displays the very bad assumptions interactively on a website along with pro tips, something like the “What The Heck Has Obama Done So Far?” site.
I still think that besteventeva.com would be useful to do but in the meantime want to share and discuss the list we came up with. Can it be improved? Are there links to pro tips for avoiding these mistakes you’d like to share? Are there other mind boggling mistakes you’ve experienced that you’d like to never see again?