Working Group: How to host Awesome Summit

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Revision as of 22:24, 8 March 2016 by Dough (talk | contribs) (Initial dump of notes)
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Rough Schedule


  • Social events to organize people, also a travel day for some


  • All-day summit stuff
  • Party


  • All-day summit
  • Some sort of after-party

Things you need to run a summit:

  • Places to have events
    • Main venue
    • Venue for the big party, different in style and shape than
    • Alternative places for other parties (as needed)
  • People
    • Attend
    • volunteer
    • (It also helps if you have a city that people want to go to)
  • Early Announcement
    • Travel and housing assistance (bulk of SEA budget was travel assistance)
  • Food
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
  • Parties
  • Alcohol
    • Something that can be had a parties
  • Swag


Helps if you start about 9 months in advance, getting funding assistance. The longer runway you have, the easier it is to get starters Planning events long-term is essential!


In all fairness, didn’t go great in Seattle Bailouts are not a sustainable way to do business Put together a letter talking about the summit, what the foundation is, had tiers of sponsorships

If you want to run a summit

  • Have a project manager and a schedule
  • Have a bunch of people to do the work
  • Would have been great: have somebody who could do scheduling and resource management
  • Helps to know what people are good at

Every summit is a little smaller than before--first summit in Boston had 200, New York had 100, Ottawa had 50, Seattle had 67

Second time we ran the summit, extra day of external-to-Foundation partners, was a little weird because it wasn’t quite an Awesome thing, may be a backburner thing


MailChimp has historically donated money Historically it’s been local businesses Chapters that are equipped to run a summit may not be equipped to fund a summit (Unsolved problem across multiple foundations)

Other options

Running a “New Philanthropy” conference on the side: happened for the New York Summit had that but it was problematic

  • Winning the next summit
  • Presentations to IHAS

What opportunities are there to NOT have it in North America?

  • Or what about multiple summits for various countries? Stable established chapters are all in North America, for better or worse right now
  • The travel assistance alone for Europe would be crippling

Timeline of Summit Preparation

9-12 months in advance

  • Hey, we’re having an event!
  • (The event choosing process that we have right now doesn’t really give it enough runway: what if we announced the next two bids?)
  • Start asking for money and venues, follow up weekly
  • Used Proximate to get the registration site up and running
  • Get trustees to add their registration to the site

6 months in advance

  • Everything nailed down
  • Confirm travel assistance confirmation (Seattle had about 12 needing assistance)
  • Travel and housing assistance can take many forms, some were PayPal sending of message
  • Decide what kind of in-kind donations you might want

3 months in advance

  • Start working on housing assistance
  • Start booking hotels in advance

Inside of 3 months

  • Not planning, executing on plan
  • Designs complete, printing complete, ideally weeks in advance to avoid rush fees
  • Any in-kind donations done by 2 months
  • If you want things from a major brand or a local brand that has been acquired by a local brand, leadtime is helpful there
  • Relationship with Kind began when they wanted to send stuff to Awesome Foundation

Two weeks out

  • Food for lunch
  • Take advantage of Costco memberships

Day Zero

Have the Summit!



Documents to create

  1. Brands that are worth reaching out to
  2. Kinds of letters sent to people

Deciding the program

  • Decided partially because the exact same conversations happen in the same order almost every time
  • Breakout sessions are the things that people normally want to talk about
  • Having facilitators is helpful
  • Think about making a bit more Unconference style with pre-filled boxes

Questions / Thoughts

  • Why are we not pulling together a super-committee of Awesome Summit folks?
  • Can we reach out to designers outside of the chapters, for example?
  • Not everybody has been to every conference, would be helpful for people to have some knowledge
  • Documenting the experience--sometimes the stuff from the conference ends up in the New Chapters Handbook
  • How do we take the gems of stuff and transfer it over to the working committees?

Awesome Summit Audiences

Two audiences for Awesome Summit:

  1. New people who have never been to one before
    • Approach the summit with the wild optimism of Awesome
    • Meeting new people
  2. Old hands who have been to them before
    • Don’t need to go to the “what challenges to chapters face?” meetings because they’ve lived those questions before
    • Value is to see old friends, make new ones
    • Get tactical things done

Would be great to have some sort of way for people to make an opt-in to contact people


Had access to the budgets, verbal communications But that was about it