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Three ways we supported the last Signalen community meetup

On 22 March, one of the codebases we work with, the Dutch Signalen, organized its first public community meetup. The aim of this virtual get together was to meet municipalities curious about the solution for nuisance reporting as well as vendors interested in its implementation.

As part of the Signalen community, the Foundation for Public Code helped by advising on mostly three aspects.

Open source tools

To this day, Dutch civil servants still work primarily with the tools of a large American corporation - however things are starting to change. The Signalen community meetup was a day to celebrate the success of a public codebase, so why wouldn’t we encourage the use of open technologies to hold the event?

Eventyay

Following the example of FOSSAsia we decided to use Eventyay for the registration of participants. Eventyay is an open source solution for event organizers that features several options to customize your event, including a scheduler, call for papers, sponsors, etc.

For the meetup, the Signalen community offered newcomers a prepared demo environment to test Signalen beforehand, so it was very important to ask a few questions during the registration process.

Jitsi

For a while now the Signalen community has used Jitsi for their regular calls and steering groups and it works just fine, and so it was the chosen tool for the several breakout rooms in the event.

The machine (hosted on the Foundation for Public Code server) enabled a day with peaks of more than 50 connected attendees.

Moderation of market parties track

Our codebase steward Felix Faassen was asked to moderate the conversation happening in track 3, the vendors’ one. This virtual room was a crucial one since the purpose of the Signalen community meetup was not only onboarding potential new municipalities, but also new companies passionate about replicating the Dutch public code solution.

Read Felix’s notes (in Dutch) for more information on track 3.

Event management tips

Once someone decides an event is taking place, the immediate following step must be its planning. Even though the idea for this event was to keep it relatively small and intimate from the beginning, we wanted it to be perfect. We worked along with the community in Github and in several meetings offering them a content plan, a marketing schedule and a communications one. The promotion campaign also brought along other entities like the Foundation for Public Code and several Dutch forums and organizations in order to boost and reach out to more potential interested attendees.

After the event finished, it is time for the follow up actions coordination, a task we’re currently supporting.

We also published all public notes from the meet up.