Organising a satRday
Here is high-level information about actually running a satRdays event. You should also check out our blog where organisers post their lessons learnt and reflect on their events, and reach out with questions on the relevant Slack channels.
Here are the requirements that every event must adhere to:
- The main event must happen on a Saturday
- The event must be branded as a satRday and use the logo (although a customised version is fine!)
- The event must operate under our Code of Conduct and have a strong commitment to increasing the diversity of speakers and attendees
- The ticket price to attend the Saturday for an industry person must cost less than 8 hours of minimum wage work
- You should have a pot of free tickets available for people who can’t afford the full cost
- Speakers should not be required to pay the attendance fee
- You should have a mechanism to encourage and mentor new speakers
- The event should be volunteer run
- Excess funds should support your local community whether that’s the user group, holding the funds over for your next satRday, or arranging a big name speaker to come do a workshop during the next year
Venue and dates
Perhaps most importantly, the event must not clash with another R event in the same area and you probably don’t want to clash with any R events that have folks from all over the world attending and speaking.
It’s a great idea to use a free venue if you can. Microsoft and other big software houses are good people to contact. Universities and other educational institutes are also good places to talk to.
The event is your own so you’ll be responsible for handling cash both income and expenditures. You should give thought to the best solution that minimises your financial risk and tax liability. Do you have a company that will process things, are there legal structures you can easily adopt, can you get someone else to be responsible for the finances?
You’re also the one responsible for the event from a liability perspective so you should also look at event insurance to ensure that if anything goes wrong, you’re covered.
This is a really important area for you as an organiser and it’s unfortunately one of the areas we can give the least advice on because of how many different countries there are, each with differing rules.
You can set up sponsorship from people however you like. There’s a template available that you can use to build your sponsor pack.
Companies with open sponsorship applications include:
- Jumping Rivers - exclusive to satRdays sponsorship offering
- R Consortium - sponsorship offering
- Sticker Mule - sponsorship offering
Please note that at this time, DataCamp are blocked from sponsoring satRdays events. You can still accept individual employees as speakers but no material support should come from the company whether that’s stickers, funds, or compute power for workshops.
You are free to use your personal accounts, a new acount specific to your satRday, and/or or a central account to market your event with. By convention, most events have settled on a hashtag of
#satrdays[Airport code or common TLA] for their event to facilitate tracking social media about the event.
Please remember that communications about the events are also governed by our Code of Conduct and our mission to be inclusive and diverse. Read Everything You Need to Know About Inclusive Design for Social Media for some great insight.
We have a central twitter, linkedin, and youtube so make sure to ask Steph via Slack for access to whatever accounts you’d like to utilise. You shouldn’t use these more than once a day to avoid swamping the other event’s messages.
We have a Hugo site template that we can get going for you. You’re free to also use your own template, design, and tools but the site must be deployable via netlify.com for us to get host your website and give it a subdomain. As we don’t believe a given city should run an event more than once a year1 each event will get a repo name and subsequent sub-domain like
[city][YYYY] on the satRdays.org domain.
If you use the template we’ve developed, here is associated guidance for customising the template. Note it expects you to have Hugo installed locally.
If your website isn’t building properly, or if updates you made locally are not showing up on the published site, you can check the Netlify deploy logs for your website at https://app.netlify.com/sites/[yourcity][year]/deploys.
For example https://app.netlify.com/sites/chicago2019/deploys shows the deploys (both successful and failed) for SatRday Chicago 2019.
Call for papers / speakers
We have a deal with sessionize.com that enables us use the platform at a heavily discounted rate and is paid for centrally. Sessionize is a nifty platform for managing your CFP and it it makes it easier for speakers to submit to multiple events over time. If you’d like to use it, we can either do the initial creation for you, or when it comes time to activate the event you can send the payment url to us.
Due to the different rules around payment providers and systems in different countries, this can often vary. Most commonly folks use Eventbrite or TicketTailor but please make sure you get one that works for you. It’s a good idea to consider the different fees a registration system will incur as your event has low ticket prices - you don’t want a large chunk being taken in fees.
- This is because of organiser burnout, distribution of knowledge, and encouraging speakers around the world [return]