We are eager to share our lessons learned from HashiTalks with the community in a time where organizations are pivoting to virtual events in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
HashiTalks is a community focused virtual event, specific to HashiCorp products and the community practitioner audience, but our lessons learned can still benefit others. We want to share our learnings and best practices that can be replicated by others who may not have previously done virtual events, whether it be HashiCorp focused or not.
As community builders are increasingly focused on online connections, there is a new pressure to deliver worthwhile, useful, valuable virtual experiences to bring groups with similar interests together. We are sharing the HashiTalks project plan in hopes that others will feel empowered to host virtual events.
What is HashiTalks?
HashiTalks is a free, 24-hour virtual HashiCorp User Group event produced by the HashiCorp Community Team and is hosted annually on the second-to-last Thursday in February. The first HashiTalks was in 2019 and the program continues to grow with the community year-over-year.
In 2020, we saw exponentially more talk submissions and even more community engagement as we reached an audience of more than 10,000. Additionally, we supported our CFP submissions with speaker enablement sessions hosted by Wesley Reisz, and saw a more balanced schedule across time zones and topics. HashiTalks represent a special opportunity for growth for its speakers.
The CFP is open to the community for submissions that focus on how they utilize HashiCorp tools in their workflows: unique use cases, technical talks, culture talks, and demos highlighting on our tools and community.
Accepted submissions give brief 30 minute talks from the comfort of the speaker’s chosen setting - without the intimidation factor of a stage in front of a live audience. HashiTalks speakers are encouraged to submit to the CFP for our in-person conferences: HashiConf and HashiDays.
Planning a virtual event
In GitHub, you will find that we have outlined a project board for a lo-fi virtual event. Where possible, the project plan is agnostic but as this is modeled after HashiTalks, some details are HashiCorp specific but are encouraged to be applied elsewhere.
Check out the project plan that highlights:
- Getting started
- Virtual platforms to evaluate
- Admin tasks
- Call for Proposals
- Speaker confirmation
- Speaker enablement
- Promotional efforts
- Engaging user groups
- Digital assets to create
- Post event wrap-up
- Accessibility Considerations
Review past HashiTalks
You can find many of the slide decks from these presentations embedded in the HashiCorp resource library posts.
We encourage you to apply our lessons learned to your virtual events and hope that, in return, you will share your lessons learned with others.
The next regional HashiTalks is HashiTalks: Japan that will be hosted Thursday, July 2nd. HashiTalks 2021 will return Thursday, February 25, 2021. Follow HashiCorp on Twitter and join your local HUG chapter to stay up-to-date.