Welcome Organizers! The SPARKcon Organizer drive has the information and documents you need to help with your SPARK!
On the drive you will find:
- Sponsorship forms and benefits descriptions
- Information! Maps, events, contact lists, press release templates AND the SPARK checklist.
New this year: financial forms are online!
January: Let’s get started and organizer introductions
Training: SPARKcon overview, best practises and models for success
Benchmark: Organizer introduction to connect new members to SPARK committees. New SPARKs meet with bobbleheads. SPARKs arrange to meet before the next meeting to start planning.
February: First Meeting Challenge!
Benchmark: All SPARK’s to host an open, informational meeting to start planning as well as meet new friends.
March: Your to-do list. Get to work.
Training: Overview of upcoming benchmarks and what is expected. Also, who wants to help us with the calendar and apps?
Reports: SPARKs report on their ideas from their February committee meetings about the kinds of activities they are thinking about and present a broad report on what they want to accomplish.
April: Calls for Talent! Fundraising!
Trainings: 1. Structuring and marketing a call for talent. 2. Fundraising and budgets: procedures, forms and expectations. Handling special events.
Reports: SPARKS report on their committee structure and the final vision for their activities including their calls for talent.
Benchmark: All calls for talent should be sent to VAE for public posting by month’s end.
May: Collaboration! Venues! Accessibility!
Training: 1. Collaboration is cool. How to make sure it works for everyone! 2. Venues: Finding and contacting venues, sharing resources, rain plans, rules of the road for the main footprint. 3. Having an accessibility plan: what is that? What should we do?
Reports: SPARKS announce their calls for talent and report on programs, space needs and fundraising
Benchmark: Submit their first draft budget.
June: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing!
Training: Marketing your events! Getting your activities listed in all the places. Social Media.
Report: SPARKs report on their event plans, budgets and fundraising progress. First draft of the event footprint announced.
Benchmark: Each SPARK page on the website has been updated with current information about calls, contact info, events, and planning information.
July: Final Program Plans. Logistics.
Training: Program planning tips and treats. Logistical nightmares and how to avoid them.
Reports: Final Talent Line-up, detailed plans so we can worry about who is going to run over everyone.
Benchmark: Final talent line-ups and detailed plans on website and submitted to bobbleheads.
August: Volunteers! Be nice to them! And tell all your friends.
Training: Volunteer management. How to blow up social media! Getting press.
Report: Current state of affairs. Hail Mary asks for help.
Benchmarks: All event listings in the calendar are complete and reported to the SPARK communications team. Final sponsorship forms and information has been submitted. You have put ALL your plans in writing and sent them to someone.
September: GAME ON! All the little things.
Training: How to stay sane during the event! How to update organizers, volunteers, & participants if there are schedule changes/cancellations/delays.
Reports: Reports on final plans and logistical check-in.
Benchmark: Be ready for SPARKcon!!!!
October: SPARK download, Celebrate Success
SPARKcon 2016 Event Details:
SPARKcon: September 15-18, 2016
Fayetteville Street + City Plaza
SET-UP: Friday: 6am-3pm
BREAK-DOWN: Sunday: 5-11pm
Thursday: per venue
Friday: 6-11pm, SPARKs encouraged to activate street space between 6-8pm
Saturday: 10am-11pm (broken down into day: 10-6, evening 6-11)
SPARKcon gets to set up the entire footprint on all day Friday this year! This is AMAZING.
All SPARKs that have space on the footprint have to activate their area on Friday night until 8pm, since there will be lots of foot traffic during that time.
If you need street space, but not for the entire weekend consider sharing your tent with another SPARK or activity.
We are trying to organize like activities together to help the communications team design maps and signage that help people navigate the event.
SPARKcon does a large rental order for chairs, tents and tables. Prices will be available in July and generally competitive. Please let bobblehead and staff know what you need!
There will NOT be main stage on City Plaza. We are trying to find ways to create a shared stage/space for people to use, so if you have activities that are usually on the Main Stage or new programs that need a stage, please work with your bobblehead/Eric/Chase.
In order to make planning, organizing and marketing your SPARK as easy as possible, we have developed several different SPARKtools. Some of these you will already be familiar with, while others might be new, useful additions to your planning process.
Website – SPARKS will be responsible for updating their information on the Web-site. This includes posting meeting notes, any press/publicity the SPARK receives, as well as maintaining accurate information for their SPARK web-pages. A full website instructional section can be found on page
Google calendar – There are Google Calendars set up for each SPARK. Planning meetings as well as events during the SPARKcon weekend should be posted on your SPARK’S Google calendar. These will be added dynamically to SPARKcon.com. A full explanation of how the Google calendars work and the type of information needed can be found on page . Information on your google calendar will be used to build the iPhone and Android applications, the printed schedule and the web-site schedule of events. If your information is not in a google calendar, it won’t get promoted to the community!
Social media & other online marketing tools – If you choose to have a Facebook presence, set up a page for your SPARK (not a group). SPARKS that set up Facebook pages (or already have a Facebook Group) or any other social media page should invite a bobblehead to be an admin. This will help bobbleheads share opportunities with your group as well as help future SPARKS continue the page. Please be a friendly presence on social media! In addition to FB, SPARKcon also utilizes other online tools like the iPhone & Android apps, QR codes, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. If you have questions about any of these please contact the Bobbleheads or VAE staff.