FAQ: Organize your own MozCamp+ event
MozCamp is an event anyone can put together, anywhere in the world which brings together people who are passionate about the open web.
This FAQ list has been specifically compiled to help you hold a MozCamp+ event in your local area. The guide will help anyone who is currently thinking about holding an event, but needs more explanation on how to get started. Or if you have already made up your mind to create a MozCamp in your town or city, we hope this Q&A will give you further advice.
- 1 Doc Status - v 0.01 - Feb 5th 2009
- 2 How do I get started?
- 3 Your MozCamp Wiki Page
- 4 Logistics
- 5 Sponsorship
- 6 Communicate
- 7 Get ready
Doc Status - v 0.01 - Feb 5th 2009
This is the first version of this document. We'd be glad for anyone to add / revise the content. * Please do change the document status to reflect the revision date and version number.
How do I get started?
You might think in the beginning that organizing a MozCamp event is going to be a lot of work, to be frank it will involve some coordination; but the event should be fun and from the very format of the event, others should soon be volunteering to help you. MozCamp is all about sharing and participating in the open Web, we are sure you will soon find like-minded people to help.
Select a date
First things - put a stake in the ground a choose a date for your MozCamp. As a rule of thumb try to plan 6 to 8 weeks ahead of time. Try to check there are no special events going on in your town or city, and maybe check there's no major sporting event on TV that day too! However, you may want to consider selecting date when you know an another event is taking place to mix your attendees from locale people and new visitors from out of the area.
The best way to choose a date is really what works for you, and your community. Check in with a few other people who you have already identified who may be able to help with the organization. But don't worry too much about finding the perfect day, it is quite certain some people will come, and some people will not be able to make it this time. Hopefully, they will join the next one!
As soon as you know the date planning becomes much easier.
Its a good idea to set up a group email list so you can communicate with your fellow organizers and/or attendees easily. They may not always be checking the wiki page, and you may well need to ask for help, or communicate news and updates. You can also use this list to remind people a week before and the day before of the event taking place.
Add your event to the MozCamp Wiki
Add your event to the MozCamp Wiki under "Upcoming MozCamps" (****URL needs to be added***). This will allow you to be able to promote your event, and also provides a space for your event collaboration wiki. Also see Your MozCamp Wiki Page
Your MozCamp Wiki Page
As noted you should add your event to the MozCamp Wiki - see here
Create a MozCamp Wiki
Start by creating an agenda page at a URL like this:
Just type the URL into Firefox, hit enter and then edit the blank page you are given. Make sure you have some basic details noted such as the date and eventually the location and timing etc.
Feel free to expand the wiki as you see fit, maybe take inspiration from other wiki event pages - see Create an agenda. Just remember simple is better, people will struggle to find all needed information if it is several pages deep.
Create an agenda
- Check out our MozCamp Sample Agenda page for some talking points to get you started. https://wiki.mozilla.org/MozCamp/SampleAgenda
- Its also fine to have your event come together in an organic form. With a smaller group, you might want to create a schedule when you arrive for the event (just make sure participants are prepared to come and share / speak)
- Your sessions can be brainstorms, more technical discussions, inspirational talks about the open Web and much, much more.
- Find more materials for inspiration on Session ideas and look into available Slides you can use.
If you are considering being a speaker, check out our Public Speaking Guide on the Mozilla Community Marketing Guide, including tips on honing your speaking skills. https://intranet.mozilla.org/Marketing/CMG#Public_Speaking (***NEED new URL***)
Ensure you have a 'Participants' section, where attendees can find an email address to sign up to join you. You will want to make sure they email you their First Name, Last Name. Once a person has emailed to join the event, send them a note back, and add their name only to a roll call list of attendees shown in the Participants area.
Once you have selected a date and found some people to help you organize the event, you should feel less pressured as you assign / people volunteer to take on certain responsibilities. It would be a good idea if one person could work on each one of these tasks.
Finding a venue
The best way to make a start with a venue, is to already have an idea how many people you want to attend your MozCamp event. If you want to have a small and imitate event, look for a similar type of venue. If however, you are keen to hold a larger MozCamp for perhaps 50 or even 100 people, you will need to do some research. Often work places are possible venues, so are town halls, youth centres and even the back room of a restaurant.
It will help to find a venue owner who understands what you are trying to achieve. You should aim to get the location for free if at all possible, however, you may be asked for a deposit against damage, have to take our insurance for the day and even cover the cost for a cleaner (unless can /want to do this yourselves).
This can be one of the most difficult choices. Do ask for help with recommendations on your wiki. Hopefully someone will come forward with an idea and even 'donate' a venue.
Advice on the location set up:
Ideally, (and this will depend on the type of event you want to hold), the venue space will have both the possibility to have a larger meeting room where you can meet as one group. And the additional possibility to have “break-out” areas/rooms, so smaller groups can collaborate and discuss in a quieter setting.
Good check list to keep in mind:
- Is there a wireless internet connection? How fast is it?
- Its better if there isn't any furniture which is nailed down, participatory / collaborative events are much better when you can organize the space how you want to.
- When can you get access to the event? You may need an hour beforehand to get things set up and the same time or even longer to clear things away.
- Bathrooms! Are there plenty of them for the amount of people you want to invite?
Food & Drinks
You don't need to have food and drinks at your event at all, but its certainly nice to offer something to your participants. Before getting started, check with the venue if you can you bring in your own food/catering, or must you use the venue's catering facility?
You'll seen posted everywhere - most people like a decent cup of quality coffee - if you get this sorted out ok, you'll be on the right track!
In terms of costs for catering, this will vary from location to location - a good range in US$ would be $10-15 per person per day. This would include breakfast and a light lunch and drinks (coffee/ tea) for the day.
You will want to let people know up front that there will be a cost for food. Try to keep the costs for this as low as possible.
Quick tip: If the venue permits - you may want to encourage participants to bring their own sandwiches and drinks.
As mentioned above in making sure the venue has wifi - the types of people who are going to attend a MozCamp are sure enough going to want and expect a wifi connection. Nominate a 'Wi-Fi Master' who will set up a stable system, and can keep it going smoothly through the day.
Name tags are almost essential - allows people to break the ice and make connections. A large white sticker is a good start, make sure the name is written in bold capital letters - use only the first name. For an event with 50-100+ participants you may want to consider printing name tags in advance. In either case, having names on display will make introductions easier - people will soon be chatting.
If you are going to include brain storming and breakout session at your MozCamp, it would be a good idea to have an array of materials on hand:
- 1-2 Flip charts depending on the number of attendees
- Post-it notes
- Pens / highlighters
- Note pads
- white board if possible
Quick tip: participants should be encouraged to bring their own materials where possible.
- Paper towels/Kitchen Roll for spills
- Bin bags for rubbish
- extra toilet paper
- Worktop cleaning product
- kitchen tools if preparing sandwiches / breakfast etc
Quick Tip: try to get participants to sign up to bring as much of this as possible, why not add this to the wiki page?
Materials from the organizers
If possible, it might be an idea to print out the agenda (you can also write this on a large sheet of paper somewhere and stick it to a wall / door with masking tape).
At the end of the event you could also consider handing out feedback forms to learn what people enjoyed and thought we could do better next time.
- USB sticks - for sharing information / documents
- Projector - if possible to organize at least one projector would be advised for group presentations or demonstrations
- Additional routers might be needed to get a solid Internet connection
Quick Tip! Borrow where you can!
Ideally one would try to organize a MozCamp with little or no expenditure at all. In the case where one would like to apply for assistance from the Mozilla Foundation, please go to (XXXX).
We can provide modest support up to US$250 to assist with venue rental.
Where to post?
- Post your event on local Mozilla mailing lists and other locale developer group forums and mailing lists
- Also think about adding your event on your social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Xing among many others
Blogs and the Press
- Blog about the event, and encourage other participants to also blog
- You may want to consider letting local bloggers know what you are doing, and invite them to attend. However, whilst it is important to let people know the event is happening and secure a good attendance - getting press coverage should not be the main objective of a MozCamp. Read our guidelines on talking with the press on the Mozilla Community Marketing Guide (***need to add the URL***)
Seek every opportunity
Work really hard with the people who respond to your postings, and ask those who want to help to take on tasks as soon as possible. Allow people to choose the tasks they want to help with wherever you can. Be as open and honest as you can, and don't forget to thank people for their hard work. Let them know it is appreciated.
It would be advised to send out an email reminder one week before your MozCamp event. You may also want to send a note to all the day before event, as a gentle reminder.
Encourage people to let you know if they can no longer make it. Do bare in mind often 20% of people will not end up attending.
A week before, a loose agenda should be finalized and participants who said they would help out should know what they will be doing, and are all ready to go. All the hard organization work is done.
Last but not least - have FUN!
==Last Note: you might not want to organize your event following the structure of this wiki - it was created as a simple guide to help you create your event quickly and easily. Do things in the order you think are best for you. :)