I was recently answering the questions of a speaker at an upcoming Scottish Developers event that I suddenly realised that I keep answering pretty much the same questions over again. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to put them in a blog post that I can amend from time-to-time and point new speakers at that.
First, I should point out that Scottish Developers have a number of “branches” and we all do things a little differently to fit the local community. Take, for example, the starting time. In Glasgow we usually start at 18:30. In Dundee it is 19:00.
Before the Event
I usually have the venue booked for one hour before the event is due to start. This gives myself or Frank ample time to set the room up and the speaker ample time to set up. We will normally be there at least 30 minutes before the start, sometimes we’ll even be there the full hour before.
I normally advertise “Doors Open” to be half an hour before the event starts to give attendees good time to get here and get seated.
At Glasgow Caledonian University the room will have a lectern with power, a VGA cable and an audio cable. There is access to a whiteboard or flip chart but we need to know in advance in order to bring suitable pens.
The Event Itself
At the start of the event, either myself or Frank will go through the Health and Safety spiel, talk about upcoming events that Scottish Developers are doing and anything else in the community that may be important to developers. We will then introduce the speaker.
As a speaker you will have up to 2 hours to talk. We suggest that if your talk is over 75 minutes that you allow for a 10-minute break midway. The two hour limit is an absolute maximum. We must be cleaned up and vacated by 21:00.
If you are appearing on the same evening as another speaker, please be mindful of the time. If you overrun that means less time for the other speaker. If, unfortunately, you are starting late then we will have to ask that you still finish on time, especially if the evening’s schedule is tight.
At the end of your talk you would hand back to the host (either myself or Frank) and we’ll encourage the audience to fill in the feedback. We usually encourage this by entering the feedback forms into a prize draw and the lucky winner or winners will go home with a prize. In the past prizes have ranged from a pair of Microsoft socks, to t-shirts, books, software licenses for things such as DevExpress’ Refactor!Pro and CodeRush or JetBrains’ ReSharper. Our top prize to date has been a one year MSDN Premium Team Suite Subscription (that’s worth over £8000)
After the Event
We normally go to Waxy O’Connor’s for a drink after the event.
When I get home I’ll try and collate the feedback as quickly as possible and send out the aggregate results. The feedback to the speaker is always anonymised. Normally I’ll get the feedback out that evening, sometimes it will be the following evening before it is sent out.
Are you interested in speaking at Scottish Developers?
We are always on the look out for new speakers who may wish to speak at our events. If you are interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unsure, and don’t want to commit to a full length presentation we occasionally run open-mic nights (also known as Grok Talks) where you get 10 minutes to talk about something development-oriented.