Be kind to your organisers


Having had the joy of experiencing organised events etc from both sides of the coin, as a participant and as an organiser, I have had ample opportunity to notice one thing — people in open source communities can do one thing that makes the experience of organising so much more pleasant: commit early.

I see again and again organisers of conferences, from small meet-ups even up to DrupalCon itself, worrying whether people will buy the tickets they need for the event to be a success, right up until the last few weeks (and days!)

Have you any idea how stressful that makes organising events? How it makes it difficult to plan ahead? It can even have the effect of making organisers of a potential event call it off if they don’t think they will get to the numbers needed. Making the decision early means that you create security in the minds of the organisers, and provides them with the evidence they need to get further investment from this like sponsors — it makes for a better event!

It is not just buying the ticket, either! Everything that has a deadline seems to “entice” people to commit at the last moment. Take submitting talks, for example. Why wait? Why put the organisers through the pain of wondering if they will have anything to show until the last moment? Submit that talk at the opening of Calls for Papers, not at the end!

I know plenty of organisers who have given up simply because they find the way that people leave everything to the last minute too stressful. We lost great organisers this way. You are losing great events because of the time it takes you to commit. 

How can you change behaviour for 2020, so that instead of leaving it until the last few weeks or days to commit to events, you make a mark early? If you are going to go to the event anyway, in the end, how have you lost out by making that early commitment?

Think out it. And when you have thought about it, take action. Now.