Free Software Event Checklist

I am being part of some of the Free Software Events happening in Chennai.

Sometimes the events are small gatherings and some times they are really huge.

Many times, we have missed some critical stuff and we were running behind them in the last minute.

Hence, this post to not down all stuff we need for any event.

1. Event Team

Create a event team with some volunteers. They are the pillars who are going to share the following tasks.

Make the team’s contacts like phone number, email are shared with all and announced publicly.


2. Venue

Fix the venue for the event.
Check with Colleges, Private Office, Govt Offices and Auditoriums.

Some times we get the hall for free. Sometimes, we may need to pay.


3. Date

Fix the date of the event.

Make sure that there are no big political, social, national, devotional or any other “al” event matches on the same day.

This is to make sure that the traffic is free for people to attend the event.


4. Web Page

Set a website or a blog for the event.

Post all the event planning and announcements regularly.


5. Posters

Create some digital posters on the event and share them across.

If possible print handouts/posters and share them too.


6. Marketing

We need people to attend the event.

Make sure your marketing team announce the event in the following channels.

  • Mailing lists
  • Social Media groups/events/pages
  • Event websites
  • Newspapers [ event of the day ]
  • If possible, Advertisements on TV and FM


7. Agenda


Plan the agenda. It may be a training, talks, cd/book release, etc.

Fix the time for event start/end/sessions start end/lunch/break times


8. Call for participants – Online regisration


Set up an online space to register, if it requires.

A wiki or google docs or similar can be used.


9. Update the participants


Keep on updating the participants via email on the event progress.


10. Freebies


  • ID Cards
  • Tshirts
  • Stickers
  • Books
  • Pamphlets
  • Flyers
  • Printouts
  • CDs/DVDs
  • PenDrives

can be given as freebies. Prepare them all two days prior. Put them all as packs to share easily.


11. Venue


Visit the venue one week before and check the following stuff.

1. Power

2. Chairs

3. Projector

4. Screen

5. Ventilation

6. Water Supply

7. Food Supply

8. Rest rooms

9. Place for banners

10. Mike/Speakers

11. Lights

12. Internet Connectivity

13. Shops nearby for stationary/medical/food

14. First Aid & Safety

15. Emergency contact person from the venue.

16. Stay facilities nearby



12. Call for Donations


We need money for all the events. We can call for individual donations or sponsors.

Check for interested companies and contact them to sponsor the event.

Then, Announce a call for donations with all the account details to do online money transfer. Send the receipts to the donors.



13. Press Release


Write up a press release and share it to all the media like TV/Newspapers/FM.

Make sure that they come to the event and cover the event.


14. Chief Guests


Fix the chief guest.

Check for their stay/travel to the event.



15. Gifts


Plan the gifts for the guests /participants/winners and buy them in prior.




On the Day of the event


16. venue


Make sure one or two persons reach the event in 3 hours before to check the venue for all the 15 items told before.


Tie the banners in front of the venue, hall and on the stage.

Check for power supply/lights/chairs/Rest rooms/Mike/Speakers

Store all the freebies in a room

Stick Posters around the venue.

Place route map/arrows to reach the hall, all around the venue.



17. Registration desk:


Setup a registration desk.

Use notebooks or laptops to get information about the visitors

Give the freebie pack



18. Food


Arrange for Food/Snacks/Cool Drinks/Water from nearby canteen or hotels.

Make sure that they reach on time.


19. Photos/Videos/Audio


Make sure that you have colunteers to capture the event via Photo/Video/Audio.


20. Live telecast/blog/tweet


If possible arrange for live telecast of the event. Live blog/tweet also fine.


After the event:


21. Upload Photos


We may be endup with 1000s of photos.

Check them and delete all the unwanted/blurred photos.

Resize them to 2048 resolution or lesser.

Upload them in online photo repositories like picasa/flickr/facebook.

Make sure that they are in creative commons license.

Give proper tags for the albums for easy searching.


22. Upload Videos


Resize the video.

Amplify the audio.

Upload them in youtube or similar sites.


23. Upload Audio


Check and remove the silences, noises of the recorded audio.

Amplify the audio.

Upload in soundcloud of similar sites.


24. Event Notes


Write the event notes with the following details.

Event Minutes

Links for Photos/Videos/Audio/Live blogs/tweets etc

Links for the various press that covered the event.


Update them in the website.


25. Send mail to participants/guests


Send mail to all with a Thanks note and Event Notes.



26. Celebrate


Wow. Congrats. The event is over and you and the team can have some celebrations.

Goto near par/beach and play some games.

Have some food together.




Dont Do:


If it is a event about Free Software like GNU/Linux demo day/Software Freedom Day, make sure that nobody uses any proprietary operating system or software for any of the demo or talk.

Check for any other Don’t do stuff and announce it in all the announcements.


Hope this list will help us to avoid any last minute tensions.

Form a team to take care of each activity and have great team works.


Reply here if you have something to add.




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