Tasklist for Conference Organizers [Quick Guideline]

From our past experience of organizing FOSS conferences, we have created a tasklist for the people who are interested in organizing a conference.

Sl. Tasklist Timeline Deadline
1. Define event agenda Day 0 -
2. Estimate event size (no. of participants, speakers and volunteers) Week 1 -
3. Outline event structure - By Week 2
4. Define volunteer roles By Week 2
5. Fix date, time and venue Week 1 2 months before the event
6. Design website and poster templates Start from Week 1 By Week 2
7. Estimate budget - By Week 2
8. Decide ticket prices - By Week 2
9. Define sponsorship tiers and create a sponsorship deck - By Week 2
10. Release Call for Proposals(CFP) with a deadline Keep the CFP open for 3-4 weeks -
11. Review speaker proposals, confirm speakers and close CFP - 3-4 weeks before the event
12. Finalize event schedule - 2 weeks before the event
13. Plan outreach After the tickets sale are live 1 week before the event
14. Get Community Partners After the tickets sale are live 1 week before the event
15. Find vendors for food and refreshments - 2 weeks before the event
16. Secure photography, videography and audio/visual team and equipment 2 weeks before the event
17. Design and print tags and stationery At least a week before the event 2 days before the event
18. Design and procure goodies for volunteers and participants 2 weeks before the event A week before the event
19. Collect speaker presentations Request them to submit the presentation once it’s finalized A day before the event
20. Assign roles and responsibilities to volunteers for the day of the conference A day before the event -
21. Email event schedule and code of conduct to the participants A day or two before the event -

We’re assuming you’re planning the conference 2 months prior


Min of 6 volunteers are required, alteast one for each of the following workgroups:

  1. Outreach: Social Media (SM) posting, engagement, getting reposting from different companies/people and reaching out to colleges
  2. Talks: Managing proposals, reviewing, finalising and coordinating with speakers
  3. Website management: schedule, webpages, sending emails or newsletters necessary
  4. Designer: Poster and SM card
  5. Logistics: Venue, Printing, Food, Videography/Photography
  6. Overall Manager: to overlook everything and coordinate among the teams

Type of Talks:

  1. Talks - 10/20 min
  2. Panel Discussion - 30/40 min
  3. Networking sessions
  4. Ice-breaking session

Things to remember:

  1. Create a checklist for volunteers to do
  2. Weekly meeting for volunteers
  3. Creating a community of participants (Telegram group) - for FAQs, meeting other participants, and announcements.
  4. Participants are supposed to follow the Code of Conduct.
  5. Students’ ticket prices are to be subsidised.
  6. Keep a minimum of 5 minutes of buffer time between two sessions.

Common pitfalls:

  1. The food or any vendors might back off last minute. Talk to a backup vendor too.
  2. Some speakers generally go 10 mins or so overboard so keep 30 mins buffer time in the pre-lunch and post-lunch section so that lunchtime can stay on track.
  3. Participants may come in waves, so ensure that there are multiple registration desks set up.

Important Links:

  1. FOSS Conference Standards
  2. How to Submit a Talk Proposal for a FOSS Conference?
  3. Telegram group for queries
  4. Conference Organizer Handbook
  5. Organize a conference

Outline Credit: @Sejal_Jain & @adithyaanilkumar


This looks great Vishal

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