2014

Mar

17

Mon

eurucamp Speaker Mentorship Program

 

eurucamp as a conference wants to be a learning experience, both for attendees and speakers. We always tried to provide speakers, especially new ones, with as much support as possible, including an offer to provide mentorship for them.

Last year, return on this offer was low. But, before the date, we had multiple seasoned speakers provide small workshops for those already in town before the event. These had a very good response.

We think we can do better in that regard. For that, we need your help.

Issues

There was definitely interest in mentoring, as the workshops showed. However, no speaker took us up on the offer for providing mentorship beforehand. We can only speculate on the reasons, but a big one seems to be that people didn't want to be a burden to us.

To combat that problem (and at the same time make things more structured), we came up with a solution that we'd like to try out this year. As always, we are taking the direct approach.

Announcing the eurucamp 2014 mentorship programme

At eurucamp 2014, there will be no speaker without someone to turn to. We will reach that goal by unconditionally assigning a mentor to everyone. How speakers use this opportunity is up to them, the only thing we suggest is to definitely stick your heads together after the talk for a round of feedback.

See the eurucamp CFP mentorship page page for details.

The mentors job

Mentors are expected to assist the speaker in all questions about laying out the talk, giving feedback on slides and maybe for a small session to rehearse before the event. Expect around 4-5 hours of work per speaker.

What's in for the mentors?

The only thank-you we currently have is that we will definitely make sure that you will be at the conference by letting you skip the line at ticket sales.

Because eurucamp operates at a very low margin per ticket, we have to be very conscious with monetary incentives.

But you can be sure that we will come up with something special on top.

How do you find each other?

First of all, we need mentors.

There are multiple ways to be a mentor:

  1. Sign up in our CFP app. In your profile app, check the mentor field. We will get in contact with you.
  2. You know someone you'd like to mentor. Sign up to the CFP app and use the "Propose speaker" function. By that, you also agree to mentor that person. Bonus points if you also submit.
  3. If you are submitting a talk and you already found a mentor on your own, mention that in the appropriate field.

After speakers are decided, we will contact you all and assign speakers to mentors.

Wrapping up

eurucamp has brought a number of new people on a conference stage during the last few years with great success. We'd like to build on that tradition and improve the process even further.