Some great advice from Dave Noderer:
A week or two ago a few guys wanting to get some ideas about running code camps. It has taken on a life of it's own but here are some notes I made based on running code camps in South Florida. I'll edit and add to this as the discussion progresses. Organization Very important not to try and do it all yourself, get others involved. Planning is key Start at least a few months out, lining up venue, sponsors Pay attention to basics. Venue, signage, food, directions. Venue Free is good! Devry universities around the country seem to be open to dev events for no charge. In Florida community colleges charge some fees Best if you can have one large room or auditorium to accommodate everyone and then a bunch of classrooms. Don’t forget plenty of signage the day of the event. Speakers Local / new speakers (chance to grow the community) MVP / RD MS DE’s can help a lot! We still use a word doc signup Promotion Pull in all local user groups Promote to your members MSDN Flash Blogs Sponsors Anti-manifesto but I claim there has never been a code camp without sponsors (Microsoft is a sponsor too!) The cheaper you can do the event, the less you have to worry about this. Recruiters, training companies, hosting companies and some component vendors will supply money. Don't need a full schedule, just a date to get going. All sponsors want to know an approximate attendance. We don't (no code camp I'm aware of) share the registration list with sponsors. Volunteers User group members We get students from the university where we have the event Many times spouses are willing to put in a Saturday Food Pizza is the easiest (3-4 people per pizza) No food is an option but not normal Easy on breakfast, not everyone will show up at 8am Swag Microsoft (we use as a last resort) Recruiters Component vendors (Infragistics, ComponentONe, Nevron, Ideablade) Magazines (asp.net pro, code, msdn) Publishers (apress, wrox, wiley, sams, etc) Some will give money all will give product. Local companies (training, consulting, large corp) Website We have a beat up site passing from group to group if anyone is interested Microsoft group events for registration is enough if you don’t have a web site: https://www.microsoftgroupevents.com/groups/default.aspx Lorin Thwaits has published their code camp website on codeplex. It has a bunch of really great / advanced features and may become the standard we all use! http://www.codeplex.com/unconference Resources Local DE’s are very important MVPs and RDs in the area Evals Can keep it simple, just have blank evals for the speakers to give out and collect for their own use and then have one for the overall event. Don’t get roped into having people spend time manually entering evals afterwards, removes all the fun of code camp! Some have tried online evals after the fact Some use a composite eval with say six sections + a section on the back for the overall conference and use it to give out swag at the end. These are a trade off between easy, response rate and tabulation overhead.
A week or two ago a few guys wanting to get some ideas about running code camps. It has taken on a life of it's own but here are some notes I made based on running code camps in South Florida. I'll edit and add to this as the discussion progresses.
Running Code Camps
Very good list and link Andrew!
Code camps are great for starting or building developer communites. I was first exposed to the concept is Florida (Jax) and we had help from the good folks down south.
Thanks to all for sharing.