In case you were wondering where I have been for the early part of 2019, it’s been planning World Information Architecture Day in Dallas. After much hard work, planning and organizing, I can say that WIAD Dallas was a huge hit. I am very pleased with the outcome.
Planning and Organizing
Thankfully I did not pull this event together alone. I had a small group of volunteers and a co-organizer that helped me with the logistics. There are a lot of details that go in to organizing an event. And I am proud of myself for taking on such a challenge and surviving to tell the tale.
I worked on the planning committee for WIAD in Los Angeles in the past. I forgot how much work and event can be. Along the way this time, I did learn a few valuable lessons about process, organization, teamwork and myself.
Start early. Even though I got a lot of people interested in volunteering months in advance, it pays to get those people active in duties asap.
Share the duties. I took on too much for this event. I needed to delegate more of the responsibilities to the volunteers who where eager to actually pitch in.
Did I say start early? Get sponsorship locked down and payments submitted weeks, if not moths in advance. Secure the venue and give yourself time to check it out and make sure all is ok. Nail down the details of the meals as to not be worried about these details at the final hour.
Give the volunteers specific roles and tasks. If people are not responsible for a specific duty, they will not do it. That is why a lot of the small stuff fell on me to knock out for the event.
Relax. Everything will come together in the end. We got food ordered. We had a venue. We had a lot of RSVPs and a great turnout. Weather was great (last year we got hammered by rain.) And everyone seemed very pleased with the entire event. Well done you!
- I survived!
- I raised about the amount of sponsorship that had been raised the previous years. Last yeah all funds came from on source. This year we had support from over 10 companies, recruiters and community groups.
- I secured 7 high-profile and reputable speakers that talked about a variety of topics and shared valuable insight. Our fabulous speakers covered several different topics from research, to empathy, to content to Slurpees! Yep Slurpees.
- We doubled the attendance from the previous year.
- We had some pretty cool sponsors like 7-Eleven donated breakfast and brought a ton of cool food and drinks.
- We had fun swag and great raffle prizes to give away like a BigD ticket, plenty of Amazon gift cards and cool UX books.
- People seemed pleased with the diversity of the speakers’ topics.
- Overall, attendees were happy with the day.
Whew! So now that I’ve had a little time to recover and play catch up, I am finally sharing my experience with you. Thank you for all who helped me make WIAD a success. It truly does take a village, and I am lucky to have suck a cool UX village of support.
Check out the details of the WIAD Dallas on the website.
Listen to the Project UX Podcast where Jeff interviews most of the speakers and organizers.