We'd like to think this is the first of many such gatherings...
Some notes here to provide a bit of a template for others to replicate this event. Here is what we did...
- ConferenceInvitation and Registration facility - feel free to reuse any or all of our invitation. We did registration via PayPal
- Meeting Space - a simple, accessible, functional space - we used a university space, but a church basement, hotel or school gym would work
- Snacks but not meals - participants can make their own feeding choices and form their own dinner groups, we provided water, breakfast breads, cheese, crackers, fresh veggies, some whole pieces of fruit, trail mix, and some sweets. One participant went out and got a jug of coffee to donate to the food table.
- Local lodging, restaurant, and attractions suggestions - we provided a diverse list of options, from home stay to nice hotels.
- Open Space Technology - lots of 'how to' details at http://www.michaelherman.com/openspacetechnology
- Meeting materials - flips, markers, tape, post-it notes, nothing fancy, just enough to capture what went on
- Technology - website(s), internet connections or wifi, participants bring laptops, we used 3-4 laptops plugged into the DSL jacks in the meeting rooms. a wifi network or even dialup access would be fine. we posted notes directly to this wiki website and printed pdf copies of all the pages. if you replicate this gathering in some way, you'd be welcome to post your proceedings here as well.
- Pre-Conference Gathering - we kept it simple and literally just met in the park nearby, while a jazz concert happened to be going on. it was a great, and simple, way to start.
- Budget - conference was (in part) made possible by some deeply discounted organizing time, but the direct out-of-pocket costs were less than $2,000, about 75% of this was for the meeting space.