Proposing a new Hackfest or Event

You are always welcome to propose new Hackfests or other GNOME events to be sponsored by the GNOME Foundation.

The GNOME Foundation can support Hackfests and Events and help with:

  • Identifying and inviting the right attendees.
  • Understanding the processes of setting up a hackfest.
  • Finding sponsors.
  • Finding a venue.
  • Managing the travel budget.
  • Reimbursing attendees.
  • Publicizing the event.
  • Announcing it as an official GNOME event.

We rely on the organizers to do much of the work but we are here to help! Your proposal should describe your plans the best you can and identify how you would like the GNOME Foundation to help.

Organizing a Hackfest or Event

  1. Let us know early! First of all, please let us know as soon as possible that you are planning a Hackfest, it's much easier to help you get sponsors if we have plenty of time to work with you. You may also ask for contact information of people who have already organized an Event so that you can profit from their experience.
  2. Create a general plan. There are some general considerations for organizing Hackfests, for example: how many people would be available to travel? is there a good venue here? good airport connections? could anyone else on the team host the venue at their city? Discuss with the people interested in your potential Hackfest about this and other ideas like topics, dates, people to invite, etc.
  3. Officially propose it. Now that you have a clearer idea about the Hackfest itself you can start planning for it; your very first step should be filling the New Hackfest template page. You should copy the template to a page under Hackfests, for example if you are preparing the Hackfest for BananaPlayer you should name the page: Hackfests/BananaPlayer2010. Don't forget the year. This page will be the permanent homepage of your Hackfest and you'll be responsible for keeping it up to date. After creating the page for your Hackfest and filling in most -if not all- of the information you can contact the Board as described in the step-by-step guide below and go on with the following steps.

Step by step guide

  1. Organizers get together to fill out a template for their Hackfest or Event. You should consider things like:

    1. Venue. If you don't have a venue and would like help finding one, what requirements do you have for infrastructure and size? Is there a preferred location? Try to get at least two quotes from hotels; ask them for a conference rate.
    2. Attendees. Who do you definitely want to attend? Who has committed? What costs will they have? Do you need help reaching out to other groups or identifying participants?
    3. Costs. You must include an estimated budget if the GNOME Foundation is being asked to help find sponsors! Avoid making public statements to the effect of "all active developers will have their hotel paid by the foundation" since other people may interpret this differently than you meant it. The travel and accommodation sponsorship is handled by the Travel Committee.
    4. Agenda. Topics to be covered. Why do you want to have this Hackfest? What do you hope to accomplish during the Hackfest?
    5. Schedule. It helps to have an idea of when you expect things to happen. This will help set everyone's expectations and can allow people to comment if they think something is unreasonable or of concern.
  2. Organizers send the link to their Hackfest page to for consideration.

    1. Please be clear about what you'd like from the board. If you have everything covered, the board may simply approve your proposal so that your Hackfest is an official GNOME event. If you would like help find a venue or sponsors or anything else, please call that out in your email.
    2. The Board will let the organizers know if there's need for any additional information in no more than 2 weeks.
  3. If you expect attendees to need travel sponsorship, you should send an email to the Travel Committee to let them know and make sure the attendees send in their request as early as possible.

  4. The Board and the organizers exchange emails with question and comments over the original proposal.
    1. Organizers send an updated version of their estimated costs, as close to final as possible.
    2. Discussion happens in board-list about the Hackfest: budget is discussed, possible sponsors are approached, etc. This goes on for about 2 weeks.
  5. Board sends a final decision to the Hackfest organizers.
    1. If approved, the Board notifies the organizers about the amount approved for sponsorship. The amount approved will depend on the sponsors found and available funds from the Foundation.
    2. If not approved, the Board will explain to organizers what additional work is necessary before the event can be reconsidered.

      (!) NOTE
      Sponsorship is subject to some conditions as explained in the Travel Committee documentation. Please ensure that attendees requesting travel sponsorship read and understand the documents, requirements and duties.

  6. Organizers notify the Foundation if there is any cost to be paid beforehand, like hotel or venue reservations
    1. Please ask the providers to invoice the Foundation directly, it is much easier if the Foundation can pay them directly by bank transfer.

      (!) NOTE
      If a direct transfer cannot be arranged, don't panic, please contact the Board to find the best solution.

  7. Organizers work on announcing the hackfest
    1. The Hackfest can be listed on the front page (contact the Engagement Team ;-))
    2. The Hackfest should be announced on foundation-list and mailing lists relevant to the topic of the Hackfest.
    3. (There are probably other ways to promote the event, think about it!)
  8. Hackfest happens.

Miscellaneous notes about reports, blogging, etc

Sponsored participants are expected to generate content about the event and their sponsorship in their blogs, dents, tweets, etc. The goal is to attract attention to your event, let people know what's going on even if they are not there and creating awareness about the support given by the Foundation for cool events like yours.

Note that the Travel Committee asks you for at least one written report of the event you were sponsored to participate in. This written report should summarize the entire event. It can link to blog posts. This report is used to report back to the sponsors, including the general GNOME Foundation sponsors, and help generate funding for future events.

Here are some guidelines:

  • You have a Sponsored by the GNOME Foundation badge (available on the Travel Committee page) for your blog, avatar, tweets, etc. You are even invited to create a few real-life badges with the SVG made by Vinicius Depizzol.

  • Try to write a report for each day of the Hackfest, be detailed about what was discussed, some keywords that help for this type of writing: who (said it/did it), what (is it/does it do), why (is it being done/it needs work), how (is the goal progressing/the team organized).
  • Take a lot of pictures!
  • Create a tag/hashtag for your event in flickr, twitter,, facebook, with the same name as the wiki page if possible, for example: #bananahackfest2010 or #BananaHackfest2010, whatever reads better in the service you are using.

Hackfests/New (last edited 2014-11-26 11:03:00 by EkaterinaGerasimova)