Event Roles

These roles describe the work that needs to be done to organize a Write the Docs conference according to the model that’s in place for NA (Portland) and EU. Depending on the amount of work required, one person can hold multiple roles.

Primary Roles

  • Conference chair
    • This role wrangles all the wranglers
    • Handles budgets and accounting
  • Swag Coordinator
    • Coordinates swag designs
      • Shirts
      • Stickers
      • Badges
      • Extra fun stuff
    • Order swag
      • Find local vendors, or work with pre-existing WTD relationships
  • Speaker wrangler (details: Speakers and Call for Proposals)
    • Arrange the CFP panel and proposal evaluation
    • Write/edit and send emaails to accepted speakers before conference
    • Make sure speakers are cued up before their talks
    • Provide for any speaker’s special needs
  • Infrastructure chair
    • Makes website updates
    • Takes care of CFP app registration
    • Updates ticket purchase link and site
  • Local chair
    • Should be someone local to the city where the conference is held
    • Find venue; coordinate reservation and payment with conference chair
    • Arrange/order meals
  • Writing Day coordinator (details: Writing Day)
    • Contact projects about participating
    • Present intro to the Writing Day at beginning
    • Write up after the event
    • Make it easier for folks to talk about the event, join projects, etc.
    • Coordinate with volunteers during the event for welcoming, directing, etc.
  • Unconference coordinator (details: Unconference)
    • Set up space
    • Make boards for unconf
    • Post schedule online, promote onstage
    • Wrangle volunteers, making sure someone is welcoming folks to the space and orienting
  • Lightning Talk Coordinator (details: Lightning Talks)
    • Set up lightning talk sheet
    • Point person for lightning talks
    • MC lightning talks on stage
    • Coordinate with lightning speakers prior to the slot (announce coming to stage during lunch)
  • Communication chair (details: Communications)
    • Write & send emails to the larger community
    • Coordinate tweets about emails, events, etc.
  • Volunteer coordinator (details: Volunteers)
    • Recruit volunteers
    • Keep communication going with volunteers
    • Maintain volunteer shirt spreadsheet
    • Serve as volunteer point person and backup during conference
  • Sponsorship lead (details: Sponsorships)
    • Coordinate sponsorships
    • Invoice sponsors
    • Arrange day-of setup of sponsors, questions, etc.
    • Get sponsors on stage for their 30-60 sec slots
    • Follow up with sponsors after event to get feedback
  • Explore <City> coordinator
    • Put together list of dinner/places to stay recommendations
    • Help organize like-minded dinners
    • Coordinate city tours, recommended sights
  • Welcome Wagon Coordinators
    • Update welcome wagon guide
    • Do Welcome Wagon events day of
    • Be a shiny happy face
  • Social media chair
    • Handle Twitter announcements before, during, and after the conference
    • Monitor and retweet community talking about event, etc (Twitter, blogs, more)
  • Speaker gift coordinator
    • Confirm gift budget with conference chair
    • Purchase gifts
    • Put together gift bags
    • Write/coordinate writing thank you cards (personalized)
  • Saturday Event Coordinator
    • Write up hike/boat tour
    • Message attendees

Other Important Roles to Remember

  • Proposal reviewers
    • In 2016 this group was expanded to include folks who weren’t otherwise organizers, and the process was streamlined. It’s still time-consuming and intense, because we try to decide pretty quickly after the CFP closes.
  • Emcee
    • Historically this person hasn’t necessarily been one of the main organizers. Must be someone personable, with good voice and stage presence, but also good at keeping things brief, getting out of the way, and helping troubleshoot speaker issues as needed.