I love to organize events! I organized pretty big parties before coming here, and I loved to plan graduation parties for my friends (in the North-East of Italy graduation parties are held in a very folkloric way, not common at all… I’ve never seen anything like those parties and behaviors in the rest of the world. Pure insanity).

But this JS CodeRetreat is something completely different. Here we are dealing with German computer geeks and programmers, who expect to learn, enjoy and eat all day long.
We’ll make it? Of course we’ll make it! (At least until Murphy decides to lay down the law).

After having explained me with amazing patience how the JS CodeRetreat was supposed to work, Wolfram and me went to a brief meeting in Mayflower, another company partner of the event, where there was Martin Ruprecht waiting for us (actually, to be honest they were both waiting for me only, as I got lost on the way there…thanks Google Maps to go crazy every time I need you).
There were many things to decide: from the choice of the Kata to use and the detailed planning of the sessions, to other issues regarding the amount of food for our guests or the number of chairs we needed.
All this might seem trivial, but it’s not at all. Our main goal for the 8th of February is to see dozens of satisfied faces, and to achieve this it’s very important to focus on the details that can make a difference.

In addition, I remind you that the event is free for everyone, except for us and for the sponsors: we will organize everything and pay whatever it takes, while attendees will only have to enjoy a day out of the ordinary, learning and having fun at the same time. There are lot of expectations from all parties involved, and the aim is not to disappoint any of them.

During our 4 hours meeting, we took several decisions: we’re going to use “the game of life” as the kata, and we’ll split the event into 5 sessions. Each session will be using the same kata, but with different restrictions.
After a while, we have planned the whole event’s timetable (you can see it here)

We also made some decisions regarding food and beverage, step that seems to be much more challenging than expected… basically, the problem is that we always get really excited when it comes to talk about food, so every single thing that comes into our mind seems to be the greatest idea ever: from pizza to wraps, from bretzel with butter to indian food… we’ll see what the future is going to bring.

An additional difficult decision concerned the “global retrospective” moment: during the event (that, as said, is going to take palce in different places at the same time), we’ll connect with the other cities, with the goal of having a real time overview of the partecipant’s opinions through all locations. But: how to connect? Which technology shall we use? How can we get in touch at lunch time if in Spain people eat much later than in Germany? (As you can see, food is always an important topic).

It ended with me suggesting to use huge colored blank billboards and rainbows markers, relating sessions to colors or something….I don’t even remember. I only know that when I start talking about rainbows and other crazy stuff I’m usually hungry.

The last topic of the morning regarded promotion: social networks, specific websites for promoting events, and other websites mainly in German language, concerning Germany and Munich in particular.

During the afternoon we basically created our mind map, of which we are quite proud. I really think that it could be useful to whoever wants to organize an event, so I’ll write the next post explaining how our mind map actually works. Stay tuned!