We suggest holding an open event in a public, community space– at a library, school or university, makerspace, community center. These spaces are often familiar, neutral, friendly spaces. For people who are new to your community, these spaces will likely feel more comfortable and less intimidating than coming to a private space, like someone’s home or corporate office. Working with a public space is also a great way for you connect with a community organization.
At minimum, your space should:
Depending on the kind of event you’re running, you may have other needs, such as
If you are using a community space, like a library or school, they may have some of these resource available for you to use.
For any venue, you’ll probably have to do things like: set-up and break down the room or rooms, post signage directing people to the space, help participants connect to wi-fi, direct them to restrooms, etc. You’ll need to communicate respectfully with the person responsible for the space (if using a public space, like a school or library) about opening or closing the space, any security concerns, and any rules about what you can and can’t do in the space.
Depending on the length of your event, you might want to provide snacks,coffee or tea, and water. Or you might want to point participants to somewhere nearby where they can get their own food and drinks.
You might use some online collaboration or event management platforms, depending on the needs of your event and what your audience is most familiar with. Examples of collaboration platforms or tools include GitHub, Etherpad, Google Docs for collaboration; Evite, Eventbrite, Meetup, Ti.to for event management. Each platform has its benefits and drawbacks, but what’s most important is that you meet communities where they are, and select tools that will enable lots of people to participate. If a tool is too complicated or the sign-up process is difficult, you may be creating a unnecessary barrier to participation.