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Remember that you have tons of volunteers eager to help, allow them to help by delegating!
- Post the wireless SSID & password often and visibly.
- Post the installfest link as well, as many people will have ignored instructions and will need to install it when they get there.
- Power outlets will guide how the space is set up, but RailsBridge's rolling chest of power cords should help with. The Installfest should be one big room with different tables, ideally marked with OSs so that folks with similar issues can help each other. (This usually means getting more granular than just Mac/Linux/PC and breaking out older Mac OSs into their own pods.)
- People will show up early. Sometimes 30 minutes early. Be ready. Depending on the space you are in, it's easy to let people slip by without checking in. Don't let them! It helps to have signage stating that everyone, including volunteers, needs to check in and make a name tag.
- Tip: set up the welcome desk (with clear signage) before setting up the rest of the Installfest. People will make themselves at home, so if you need to bail on that setup to check people in, do it!
- Use the Bridge Troll Organizer Console to check people in. You can easily add multiple volunteer 'checkeriners' to help speed things up. The check in page works very well on mobile, which is great if you are having WiFi issues (which you will). If someone comes in who didn't register and RSVP, ask them to get out their laptop and do it right then and there.
- When volunteers check in, have them mark their name tags in some way (star stickers or a drawn star have worked). Make sure the students know they should not be shy about asking anyone with a star (or your chosen signifier) for help.
- When people check out for the evening, you can tell them their class level for the workshop and a brief description of what it means. People tend to horribly underestimate their skill levels, so encourage upward shifts. Emphasize that they can always change classes during the workshop.
To Do: further questions to get people to admit their actual skill level
One (or two) people should own the updates. If you have someone around who has commit rights, they can merge your pull requests live. If not, fork the Installfest and use your own app like so:
- Fork the installfest app somewhere in here: https://github.com/railsbridge/installfest
- Create a heroku app named like: http://installfest-railsbridge46.heroku.com, push to that app
- Make changes and every time a change is made, push and tell the organizer or announce the change
- Submit a pull request (Even if a pull request is not accepted as is, it still helps prompt a solution, so don't worry if your requests don't get accepted verbatim.)
- At the end of the evening, delete the Heroku app, and tell students the canonical URL is http://installfest.railsbridge.org
To Do: More detailed instructions on doing this, for people new to Github.
- Wireless bandwidth is always difficult at workshops. Preparing for this and communicating it repeatedly to your students is the best bet, but people will still show up at the Installfest not having downloaded gargantuan necessary files. Having said files on flash drives will help dramatically, so make sure to have those. And don't lose them!
- As an organizer, people will expect you to solve their problems. Help them if you can, but if someone asks you about something outside of your expertise, delegate swiftly and without guilt. If it's 7pm and it looks like it's going to be 6 hours for a student to download a necessary file, this probably isn't the weekend that the workshop will work for them. Since we do this regularly, telling people that they can't do the workshop this time isn't the worst thing in the world. It sucks, but it's better than having someone sitting in the workshop on Saturday unable to do anything or derailing their section because of their incomplete install.
Organizers - Take This Time To Get Your Ducks In Order
Carve out some time to review your Schedule for Saturday:
- Count your Logistical volunteers so you know who you can count on. Cross reference the Workshop task list and to sort out the tasks that can easily be taken care of (door greeting, Signage (WIFI & hashtag, Class Room Levels), time keeper, etc.)
- Know (or sort-of know) who is working the Registration desk, (if they're not there,at best send them a quick email) let them know how much you appreciate them for taking on a very important position & that you'll see them bright and early on Saturday.
- Teacher Training Night is a good time to do this also