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Designing and open event

This exercise is from the mozilla open leaders resource. We will complete this exercise to guide some of the planning of our collaborative hack days.

Defining Purpose

The first thing to plan for in convening others is to figure out why you’re meeting. The purpose of the gathering should help you determine its format and scope.

For example, if you need to meet with core contributors about the direction of the project, a small event might work best. However, if you want to invite your community to help develop stuff you need for your project, a larger event with a shared agenda might work best.

Selecting a Format

There are different kinds of events, and some are better for certain outcomes than others.

Questions to Consider

Once you have your purpose and format sketched out, you can use questions like these as a convening checklist.


  • What’s your goal for the event?
  • How does your format help you meet that goal?
  • When and where will you hold it?
  • Who should attend and how will they learn about the event and get there?
  • How many people do you want to attend the event, and do you, your community members, and your venue have the capacity to plan and hold an event of that size?


  • What’s the value proposition for attendees? How will attending help them advance the project or their own skills?
  • How can you emphasize your event’s accessibility and inclusivity in its advertising?
  • Whom can you recruit from your project community to help with these early stages of planning? How can you best reach them?

Moreover, you want to draw on your project’s contribution guidelines, established norms, and volunteer pool to plan for the following ahead of your event:

  • What are your guidelines for inclusivity?
  • What are your participation guidelines and code of conduct?
  • Who can serve as a safety officer in case of emergency?
  • What contingency plan will your safety officer implement in case of emergency?