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Meetup Organizers

Organizing events for your local DoKC meetup is a rewarding experience and a great way of giving back to your local community while enhancing your own learning. Anyone can organize local DoK events so long as it meets two main requirements:

  1. Firstly, your group is focused on talking and learning about running data on Kubernetes.
  2. Secondly, your group is vendor-neutral and your talks are not merely vendor pitches. This doesn’t mean you don’t have sponsors or you don’t mention any companies, but so long as your content is focused on the mutual learning of the local community then you’re on the right track.

Recognised and supported groups will be listed on the meetup groups page and events will be listed on the upcoming events page. If you would like your group or event to be listed, please submit the details in this form.

While those two requirements are all that is strictly required for a DoK meetup group to be formally recognised, the handbook below provides more detail and guidance for organizing meetup groups.

Submit your DoK group or event

Join the speaker database

The handbook below includes guidelines for organizers, and it is by no means prescriptive.

Guiding Principles

The overarching principle that informs these guidelines is simple: Community events are all about the DoKC community.

While that may feel obvious to say, it’s an important point that will underpin all of the decisions you will make as an organizer – keep the community at the forefront, and everything else will fall into place.

There are three key guidelines to back up this core principle:

  1. All actions taken as an event organizer are with the best interest of the community in mind.
    • Example: Speaker spots are not for sale. Sponsors do not automatically get to speak – all speakers are selected on their experience, the merit of their topic, and the value it will provide to the community.
  2. Membership in the local meetup group is open to all who wish to join, regardless of ability, skill, financial status or any other criteria.
    • Example: People don’t need any prior knowledge, skills or technology to attend local DoKC events.
  3. Local meetup groups allow events to be organiszed by any reliable/trusted member of the community.
    • Example: If someone in the community expresses an interest in organizing events, they should be encouraged and empowered to do so.

Organizing DoK Events in an External Group

If you are an organizer for another meetup group that isn’t exclusively about DoK (a cloud native group, for example), and would like to organize DoK-related events within your existing meetup, then we would still love to promote your events to the DoK community. You can submit your event details to us, and we will add them to the central events calendar.

Building an Organizing Team

A diverse organizing team is important for building a diverse and inclusive community; it also helps distribute the work of organizing amongst more people. Remember the core principle – DoKC events are organized for the benefit of the community and not a single person or organization. This means that your organizing team must include people from more than one company or organization, reducing the risk of people using the community to promote themselves or their business.

You can find additional organizers for your team in the DoKC Slack group, by posting on social media, or by asking people you know who are interested in data on Kubernetes.

Promoting Events

It is strongly recommended that you finalise your event details (date, venue, speakers, etc.) at least one month before the event. The earlier you can start promoting your event, the better, so it’s best to get those details finalised well in advance.

You can use any platform you like for your group’s local events. If the platform incurs fees, then you should find local sponsors to cover your costs (see the Finding Sponsors section below). You may use any advertising platform or format you like for promoting your event, provided you use the correct DoKC and sponsor branding where appropriate.

Once your event is published on your platform of choice, submit the details via this form to be added to the central DoKC calendar. If the platform allows for automated posting, then we will look into enabling that so you don’t need to submit each event individually.

Selecting Speakers

Anyone can apply to speak at a local DoKC event. Organizers can publish a formal Call For Papers (CFP) or just make sure the community knows they can reach out to apply at any time. Speakers and topics can be anything relevant to the local community, and organisezs can select what they will is in the best interests of the community.

After you launch your local meetup group, we will review your first three events before you announce them – that will ensure that the content remains relevant and follows the program’s guidelines. After that, you won’t need to check in with us before announcing any events, but we will continue to support you and answer any questions you may have.

Here are some things to consider when selecting speakers and topics:

  • Speaking spots cannot be bought by sponsors under any circumstances – speakers on selected solely on their merit and the value of their content.
  • Sessions must never be purely a sales pitch.
  • Focus on new content – if something is already published elsewhere, it will be less attractive to community members.
  • Favour new speakers where possible – new voices are interesting to listen to, provide new points of view, and facilitate diversity in the community.
  • Make an effort to find and encourage speakers from underrepresented groups where possible – diverse viewpoints make everyone richer.
  • Speakers don’t have to be active in the local community, and they can be from out-of-town, but familiarity with existing community members generally means they will be more well-received than others.
  • Sessions can be presented in any format that is relevant or useful for the topic – we encourage you to be creative and mix up your event formats.
  • Slides must use a plain DoKC deck that doesn’t include excessive vendor info and branding – if you aren’t sure whether slides are appropriate, please contact DoKC staff to ask about it.

Finding Sponsors

If you need a sponsor for your events, any company can come on board as a sponsor for your local DoKC meetup; however, it is best to select sponsors that offer relevant products or services to DoKC members. Sponsors can come on board to cover any financial costs related to your events – venue hire, refreshments, etc. – or they can provide material sponsorship – venue, workshop materials, etc.

In return for sponsorship, sponsors should receive some benefits. Some ideas for this are:

  • Promotion in event communications
  • Branding posted at the event
  • Discount codes for products/services provided to attendees
  • Distribution of company swag

Organizers can be creative with the benefits they provide to sponsors, but please bear in mind the following non-negotiable restrictions:

  • Speaking spots are not provided to sponsors in return for their sponsorship under any circumstances.
  • A list of attendee names or contact details may not be given to sponsors (or anyone else) – aggregate demographic data is fine to share, but specific details about attendees are not.

Finding a Venue

Organizers can use any venue that is appropriate for the event and the people attending it. Here are some things to consider when selecting a venue:

  • Ensure that the venue has adequate accessibility features for all potential attendees.
  • The venue should be able to accommodate the number of expected attendees with seating for everyone, as well as include any features that are required for the format of the event (e.g. desks/tables for workshops that require attendees to use their laptops)
  • Avoid venues that could be potentially problematic for some attendees – this could include political or religious venues.

Running Online Events

Organizers may choose to run online events. The same guidelines apply to online events as to in-person ones. When selecting a platform to use for online events, ensure you select a platform that has adequate accessibility features for all attendees, as well as any features that the event format requires. Online events should be streamed on the DoKC YouTube channel.

Producing Swag

You may produce an event or community-related swag for your community members at your discretion. While there are no restrictions on this, here are some guidelines to help organizers make good choices:

  • Only produce swag that you are certain will be useful to the majority of attendees – conference and event swag is routinely discarded into landfills, so be conscious of the environment when selecting swag. You could even poll your local community on what swag they want in order to ensure real interest in the items.
  • If you are producing t-shirts as swag, make sure to select a vendor that provides shirts in fitted and straight cuts from size XS to 5XL – this ensures that you will be able to cater to all members of the community.
  • Also, if you are producing t-shirts, experience has shown that people generally don’t want to continue wearing shirts that are covered in sponsor logos. It is better to stick to designs related to DoKC or the community.

Recording Content

Organizers are encouraged to record sessions at their local DoKC meetups and publish the recordings online, either as audio or video (or both) – please contact DoKC staff to submit recordings to be published on the DoKC YouTube channel. All recorded content is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License – in practice, this means that anyone can redistribute the content, provided they provide attribution to the DoKC community, use the same licence (and link to it), and indicate any changes they may have made.

Code of Conduct

The code of conduct applies to all DoKC spaces, including events: