Make sure to ask the organizer/host what the technical setup is going to be. This is the checklist of equipment we usually ask about:
- Projector for a presentation with slides or a demo
- Optional: If you prefer to advance your slides with a clicker, find out if one will be provided or if you should bring your own.
- Common connector cables: It’s a good rule of thumb to bring your own just in case, and ask ahead to make sure the venue has the right ones for your laptop.
- Access to WiFi or wired Internet and if it is stable enough to run a demo.
- Microphone, especially if the space doesn’t have very good acoustics, or you tend to be soft spoken and don’t want to worry about volume.
- Optional: Get details — what kind of microphone do you they have? Is it on a stand, hand-held, or a lavalier? If you like using your hands or walking around when you speak, having a lavalier mic will be important.
- Recording capabilities –– having a recording to share with the community, and use for your own portfolio is a great opportunity. If being recorded is not something you're comfortable with, just let the organizer know.
- If the space doesn’t have a built-in recording setup, try out a portable, low-cost method the Elastic Switzerland organizer wrote about on his blog.
- If presentations slides are not your thing, check with the space to see if they have a whiteboard or poster boards to take notes or diagram things out.
Things can go wrong, so try to have a simple back-up plan. For example send your slides to the organizer, put them on USB drive, or save them as a PDF. Lastly, arrange to arrive a bit early to test things out and make sure you or the venue have the right cables!