Are you interested in hosting an OpenSSF Meetup? These guidelines act as a handbook for organizing a recurring meetup for OpenSSF. You will find information about the format, content, frequency, promotion, requirements, and how to request starting an OpenSSF meetup in these guidelines.
Format of a Meetup
The format of a meetup can vary, but most of the meetups will have some key activities including talks, panel discussions, networking sessions, or activities that involve more hands-on participation like dev sprints or workshops. A meetup can also be the combination of any of the above provided that there is enough time.
No matter the format, the core benefit of a meetup should be learning and networking opportunities in the industry. In OpenSSF’s case, it should be advocating for improving Open Source Software (OSS) security. Examples of good topics to cover are how to develop and maintain secure OSS and security awareness when using Open Source Software.
The best time to host a meetup is in the evening after office hours on a weekday. Please be mindful of the time and avoid the meetup ending too late so the participants can get home safely and have enough rest for work the next day. Usually, a meetup will be around 2-3 hours long.
Meetups are meant to be free to attend. Ideally, there would be a sponsor that provides an event space (very often their office) for the meetup. Some venue sponsors would also sponsor refreshments (e.g. food and drinks). If a meetup is organized at a public place (e.g. a park, a cafe, or a pub) and attendees are expected to bring or purchase their own food and drinks, make sure you share this information publicly and the attendees are aware of it.
All OpenSSF meetups must be on our Meetup network.
Meetup contents would be determined by the organizers. Here are a few that they can consider.
Speakers for the meetup can be recruited by invitation or open call for talks. No talks may be accepted that are considered “sales pitches.” Make sure there is educational value in each talk presented for the benefit of the attendees. The duration of the talks can range from 5 minutes (lightning talks) to 45 minutes. Usually, a meetup will have two 30-minute talks and a break or networking session in between. If the meetup only has shorter talks then there can be more talks (e.g. three-five 10 minute lightning talks). At least one speaker at the event and one speaker on every panel must identify as under-represented (see the Diversity and Inclusion section below). For this reason, we recommend confirming under-represented speakers early on in the planning process.
Generally, a panel discussion will have 3-5 panelists and a moderator who will facilitate the discussion. A panel session will typically last for 40-90 minutes. It usually starts with prepared questions for the panelists and if there’s time left, the floor can be opened up for the audience to ask questions.
The number of prepared questions depends on the length of the panel sessions and the number of panelists, it is the moderator’s responsibility to make sure all the panelists have an equal amount of time to express their views. The panel will be more interesting if there is a broad representation of panelists with various points of view on the topic being discussed.
Dev Sprints or Workshops
Dev sprints or workshops can last for 1-3 hours. There will usually only be one per meetup evening. If a workshop needs to be longer, it can be split into parts and completed in multiple meetup evenings. A list of requirements, both hardware (e.g. charged laptops) or prerequisites (e.g. prior knowledge) should be communicated to participants clearly prior to the event. Make sure the required equipment (e.g. internet access, laptop charging points, stickers notes, etc) is provided at the venue and the layout is suitable for workshops (e.g. enough spaces so people can sit in groups).
Networking sessions are usually part of the meetup and should be either after programming or during breaks, occasionally, there can also be meetups that just have networking sessions, but this is usually not the case. If possible please provide dietary options for people with different needs.
Frequency of the Meetups
Consistency of the meetup is a key to success. We generally recommend meetups be organized monthly on a certain date (e.g. the 1st Tuesday evening of every month) with a few exceptions for breaks (e.g. no meetup in December as it is a national holiday season).
We recommend an organizing team of more than one person to share the responsibilities related to hosting regular meetups. In case one organizer is not available to organize the meetup at any period of time due to personal capacity, other organizers can step in. Organizers can take turns to organize meetups or work together on each one, depending on the preference within the organizing team of the meetup.
Promotion and outreach are important to a successful meetup. Make sure to promote the event on the meetup network well in advance with details (e.g. speakers information and agendas). After onboarding, you will have access to our Meetup organizers’ Slack channel. You can let us know about your meetup with details, so we can help promote it on the OpenSSF official social media channels.
Diversity and Inclusion
All OpenSSF meetups must follow the diversity and inclusion guidelines of the Linux Foundation.
Code of Conduct
All OpenSSF meetups must follow the Code of Conduct (CoC) for the Linux Foundation.
How to Start Organising an OpenSSF Meetup
If you have read through the above and would like to organize a meetup, simply fill in this form, and we will do a brief review and let you know if your application has been accepted. If there is one already in the city or region that you would like to start, we will invite you to join the existing organizing team. If not, then we will onboard you, and you can start a new chapter at our Meetup network. We may also invite you for a short Zoom call to get to know you better and an opportunity for you to ask us questions. You are also welcome to join our Slack to be connected to our global community.
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the above, please feel free to get in touch with Cheuk Ho, OpenSSF community manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Will OpenSSF sponsor the venue? Unfortunately, we are unable to sponsor in-person meetup venues, it is the responsibility of the organizer to look for a venue sponsor locally. However, we can help to ask around with our network but there are no guarantees. If a sponsor cannot be confirmed to provide a meetup venue, organizers can consider using public venues like cafes, public parks, or pubs for their meetup.
- May I use the OpenSSF logo and branding for the meetup? Organizers who want to organize an OpenSSF-branded Meetup need to fill in the form (see How to Start Organizing an OpenSSF Meetup) and obtain approval. We require all meetup organizers to be onboarded, comply with these meetup guidelines, and inform the OpenSSF staff about the meetup (e.g. joining our meetup network). Use of the OpenSSF logo and branding is subject to our brand guidelines.
- Will OpenSSF sponsor the meetup refreshments? After onboarding, organizers can get in touch with us if they need sponsors regarding refreshments for their meetups. We will review each request individually.
- Will OpenSSF provide swag like stickers for the meetup? While swag is not essential for a meetup’s success, after onboarding, organizers can get in touch with us if they need promotional materials like stickers and swag. We will review each request individually.