Member post by Hrittik Roy, Platform Advocate at Loft Labs
Hosting an event can be beneficial for both the community and the organizers, as it provides a valuable learning opportunity for both. Today, I would like to share my experiences and key takeaways from organizing the first in-person event in Hooghly as one of the organizers.
Let’s go about how we hosted it, the challenges we faced, and the things you can learn from us to host an event – as a student, as a CNCF ambassador, or as someone who is excited to give back and expand your local community.
Over the past three years, I have had the privilege of attending and speaking at numerous events, including various KCDs. I have written about some of my experiences in my technical blogs, which you can read here.
I am proud to have become a CNCF Ambassador with the Spring 2023 Cohort, and I recently joined Loft Labs as a member of the platform advocate team. I am honored to have been awarded the Dan Kohn Scholarship twice, once in Detroit and once in Amsterdam. Finally, this year, I was able to attend the conference in Shanghai, China, without any issues as a scholarship recipient 🙂 You can assume I was touched by the talks and knowledge shared in a conference like that. Here’s a quick photo of the other scholars whom I shared the stage with:
During the conference, I had the opportunity to meet Ronit, who had some exciting ideas for the chapter.
With Manish, one of the organizers, and my close friends, we hosted an event called KubeKloud to help students and beginners with all the knowledge we have gathered since we started in the community.
Planning the Event
Planning an event is a huge task that involves multiple aspects such as selecting a venue, sponsors, speakers, creating an agenda, arranging for food, and many other things. These aspects can create a lot of changes and can affect both the attendees and the speakers, resulting in a bad experience. As this is the first event of the chapter, we will also required to take care of the promotion and outreach to attract a suitable audience, considering limitations such as sponsorships and venue capacity.
In order to tackle these situations efficiently, we formed different teams, and I personally focused on creating a sponsorship and agenda creation form. Starting with this approach should be a good way to begin, and as the team matures, we can hand over more responsibilities. Teams at this instant managed venue communication, arranged equipment and materials, and handled registrations and communications.
Here’s a quick WhatsApp snapshot of a simple structure having a lot of excited and inspiring community members:
For the most part the event went quite smoothly, including the sponsorship aspect of it. As a CNCF Ambassador, I receive a monthly budget of 150 USD to host events, which we utilized for this particular event. Additionally, my company, Loft Labs, joined in as a sponsor as well. While there were a few minor challenges, such as delays in obtaining stickers and swag for the winners, everything arrived in time for the event.
However, there were a few logistical errors regarding the banners, as we had not divided the responsibilities correctly. We were required to pick up a banner from our vendor, but it proved to be quite challenging due to the distance from the venue and the deadline being only one day before the event. Despite this, we managed to obtain the banner in time. Going forward, we decided that it would be best to keep the due dates more flexible for such logistical tasks.
Reflecting on the overall experience, there was a lot of love from the community. Students, as well as a few professionals, enjoyed the speaker line-up, and the swags were loved by everyone. We found a lot of love and plan to host similar events around the cloud-native ecosystem.
We received mostly positive feedback, and a few people showed interest in volunteering. Finally, If you want to host an event, start with the knowledge you want to share, and then things will turn out smoothly as you start planning more. Form a team, and then share the knowledge.
Now we’re excited to host the second edition of the same after the semester exams 🚀 Meanwhile, Feel free to reach out to me for any help while in the organizing process or just for virtual coffee/ brainstorming on Twitter/LinkedIn.