Looking back at MeasureCamp Prague 2015 from the Organizer’s Perspective
The main reason I write this article in english is the fact that the attendees voted for more international participants next time. For this reason I want this post to reach as broad audience as possible.
How it began
I was part of the organization committee since the days when a group of other Czech analytics enthusiasts (I believe those were Petr Havlík, Pavel Jašek, Adam Šilhan, Jan Tichý, Michal Pařízek and Jarda Vojna) that attended the original London’s MeasureCamp decided to bring this event to Prague. The guys wanted the organization to be inclusive. I suspect that the main reason was that they didn’t want this event to be driven by a particular agency that would show off. So that brought me – Lukáš Čech – into the committee as well and I want to thank them for that. Then Petr Havlík contacted Peter O’Neill and he agreed and supported us with a nice package of experience and premade infrastructure like website and e-mail templates and inspiration from previous materials for sponsors. And finally on March 4th we started to plan everything.
Něco pěkného analytického se chystá, o.p.s. pic.twitter.com/enCTs0RBGV
— pavel jašek (@paveljasek) March 4, 2015
How we made it possible
The brand itself guaranteed us some momentum and helped us a lot with the initial negotiations with the possible sponsors that came into our minds. This is the right moment to say thank you one more time, because thanks to the sponsors we were able secure food, drinks, coffee, t-shirts, lanyards and a great afterparty. Thanks to them, the only thing left for the attendees to take care of during the event was the content itself. From the reactions you can tell that this paid off well.
Decisions that we needed to make
From the beginning we wanted this event to be international, so english as the main communication language was the obvious choice. Later on we decided to announce particular things also in czech and I think that we need to do this to not to scare attendees that don’t feel confident about their english. Quite early on the idea of Etneteria as the venue came to my mind. After I showed the other guys our offices and we checked with the management that it would be possible, everybody started to like this idea. This choice meant that the capacity of the event would be limited, because from Etnetera’s previous experience it wouldn’t be feasible to stuff more than 100 people into the place. The decision about the venue meant pretty significant responsibility for me. I needed to handle everything that somehow related to the venue. I also tried to help with the other tasks as well and I can tell that there is a lot to do, when you want everything to run smoothly.
The limitation for the maximum attendees was the hardest one. We really wanted to make this event for as much people as possible. The first round of 50 tickets disappeared in 5 minutes.
It energized us so much that we started to think how we could motivate candidates for the second round to participate more so we decided to push ahead and opened a Waiting List with mandatory description of the presentation.
We started a waiting list. Still few tickets left for those with most interesting session. Apply via: https://t.co/jimxQTAuHi
— MeasureCamp Prague (@MeasurecampCZ) August 21, 2015
But as the day D approached, it started to be clear that to hit the limit as close as possible was undoable. When we received a couple of resignations days before the event, there was not much we could do, because everyone else already had their plans for the weekend. Let this be a lesson learned for the next edition. I think that we will rather risk releasing more tickets without much pressure on the presentations.
Approaching the finish line
About a week before the event tasks related to the venue started to multiply. We had to secure logistics of all the catering, we had to plan how to reassemble the venue so the event wouldn’t interfere with the normal operations of the office space and we needed to prepare about a hundred little details that were necessary. At this moment I need to say thank you to all the volunteers in Etnetera Group companies (mostly colleagues from Etnetera Activate) that helped us. On Friday 11th we even decided to stay overnight so we can prepare every little detail from seats in every room, navigation in and outside the venue and branding the space according to what we have promised to our sponsors.
The event itself
I will say one last thank you to all the attendees! The program was colorful and I believe that even people that considered themselves shy were soaked into discussions or even persuaded to give presentations and I am convinced that they liked the experience after all. So far the response is beyond expectations and I am starting to be a little nervous about how high we set the bar for the next round. Thanks to my colleagues I was able to find a time to give presentation about why I do like Adobe Analytics so much and the intended controversy drove the discussion I wished for.
And finally we all could enjoy the highlight of the afterparty:
— Petr Havlik (@petrhavlik) September 12, 2015