Simon Willison’s Weblog


106 items tagged “events”


NumFOCUS DISCOVER Cookbook: Minimal Measures. NumFOCUS publish a guide "for organizers of conferences and events to support and encourage diversity and inclusion at those events."

It includes this useful collection of the easiest and most impactful measures that events can put in place, covering topics such as accessibility, speaker selection, catering and provision of gender-neutral restrooms.

# 19th May 2024, 6:24 pm / diversity, events


What are good event venues to have a 100 person weekend hackathon in San Francisco?

As a general rule, tech companies in San Francisco are very supportive of hackathons and keen to host events. Eventbrite have hosted this kind of event in their office in the past, and I’m certain there are a bunch of other companies with decent spaces that would be worth approaching. Does the hackathon have a specific topic? I suggest approaching companies related to that topic as a starting point.

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Why was LinkedIn Events shut down? Why isn’t there now a social network for business events?

Our site Lanyrd offers LinkedIn signin and works as a social network for business and professional events. You can read more about our LinkedIn integration here: Use Lanyrd and LinkedIn to get more out of professional events and conferences

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Calendars: When posting a facebook event page for an event that is repeated on two dates, should you use one page or two? (The events are games that are identical and should not have overlapping players)

I would use separate pages. The most valuable part of a Facebook event page is being able to see who is going to that event (and hence which of your friends will be there). If there are two events on two separate days you want to be able to maintain two separate lists of attendees.

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How do I network with speakers at events?

I’ve spoken at loads of conferences, and I can tell you that speakers WANT you to approach them. They’re definitely interested in talking to you—that’s one of the main reasons they speak.

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Can Meetup be used to organize virtual events?

I don’t think so. From

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Can I promote an online/virtual/ webinar event through Meetup?

No. That’s specifically mentioned as something Meetup should not be used for in their community guidelines: Meetup’s Community Guidelines

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Will it ever be possible to know all the variables involving a specific chaotic event, like the lottery numbers?

IANAP (I Am Not A Physicist) but my understanding of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is that it is impossible to know both the exact position and the exact momentum of a particle at the same time. So no.

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Which event gave you a real happiness?

The Maker Faire in California, and the Mini Maker Faire in Brighton, UK. The enthusiasm for making things for the sake of making things is delightful and infectious.

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Who would like to help set up a Wordpress site that is event focused?

Eventbrite (my employer) recently worked with to provide an integration between the two services which you may find relevant—it makes it very easy to set up a hosted site which ties in to the Eventbrite API to promote and enable ticket sales: Integrations for Eventbrite

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What are some creative way-finding methods for events? Besides the usual signs.

Add a venue map to the inside of the conference badge.

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Other than CL, Yelp and Eventbrite, what are some good online event calendars to post to?

Make sure you are listed on—and don’t forget to add you event’s speakers and tag it with the relevant topics (e.g. )

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Event Planning: What are some useful books and resources on professional events and conference planning? is fantastic. It focuses on running small tech conferences, but there’s plenty of advice in there that applies to all sizes of event.

Event Planning: What can I do to protect myself from a keynote speaker not showing up?

My hunch is that if a keynote speaker doesn’t show up it won’t be for financial reasons—and they wouldn’t expect their fee to be paid. Much more likely it would be a family emergency or unexpected travel problem.

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Events (leisure): What are the best places in San Francisco for organizing a small meetup?

If it’s a technical event, there are dozens of tech companies with excellent facilities who might be convinced to host the event for free.

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What are the most exciting sporting events in the world?

That’s easy... The Mongolian Golden Eagle Hunting Festival, held every October.

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Events (leisure): How do you organize a conferencce?

Read—and good luck!

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How can I successfully organize a conference?

PPK’s conference organisers handbook is crammed with useful advice on running this kind of event:

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Events (leisure): What platforms based on sharing/creating users’ future plans with friends have been successful?

The founder of Plancast wrote an extensive post mortem discussing the challenges involved here:

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What do you offer to a high-profile speaker when inviting him to an event?

Unless they live locally it’s almost rude not to offer flights and accommodation—they will certainly expect it.

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What is the best conference welcome video you’ve ever seen?

Webstock always have awesome opening titles. Here’s their 2013 one: Webstock ’13 opening—it’s worth hunting around for previous years as well.

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What tech conferences will be taking place in Seattle the summer of 2013?

We have a list of upcoming (mostly tech) professional events and conferences in Seattle here: Conferences in Seattle | Conferences & Events | Lanyrd

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What are some personalized ways to search for an event?

For conferences and professional events, try out our service—if you sign in with Twitter (or LinkedIn) we’ll show you events the people you are connected to are speaking at or attending, and we can make further recommendations based on your interest graph if you let us know which topics you are interested in.

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What should tech conferences, events and planners do to add diversity?

JSConf did something very clever that helped them get 25% female speakers last year: Beating the Odds—How We got 25% Women Speakers for JSConf EU 2012

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What are the best web solutions available for coordinating people you send out for events?

We recently released a product that solves exactly this problem. Lanyrd Pro is designed to help companies that promote themselves through attending, speaking at and sponsoring events co-ordinate their event strategy internally and promote it externally.

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What are some cool and cost-effective things to do for and at a wedding reception?

Lawn games! Croquet, pétanque, coits and the like. Cheap, fun, easy for people to pick up, won’t ruin any suits and (at least for a UK wedding) traditional without being overly cheesey.

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How do conferences make money?

Ticket sales and sponsorships.

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What are Startup Friendly Event Venues in Berlin?

We have a list of conference event venues in Berlin here (it’s a semi-unreleased feature, so I’d love to get your feedback on if it helps solve your problem): Venues in Berlin | Lanyrd

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Where do I find out about interesting upcoming events in London?

I’m a big fan of Ian Visits: London Events Listings Guide for finding out about some of the more obscure events going on. Ian is an excellent curator with impecable taste in cultural events, and frequently lists guest lectures, guided walks, tours and other events that you may not hear about anywhere else.

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What concert would you wish to go back in time to witness?

Queen Live at Wembley Stadium in 1986

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