Girl Geek X

Girl Geek X


Logistics For Girl Geek X Dinner

Content Programming

As Girl Geek X Dinners are usually an after-work event, we strongly recommend capping the speaking portion of the evening to one (1) hour programming as this is mainly a networking-focused event for attendees.

We recommend having lightning tech talks (7-15 minutes) from a variety of women working at your company in roles including engineering, product, operations, sales, marketing, finance, etc. You can find many examples of programming and agendas at our website.

Sometimes, girl geeks at the company give talks offstage at demo stations around the room, like a modern-day science fair. You can set up tables or high-boy tables with posters and/or monitors.

Top executives (eg. CEOs, CTOs) may consider being listed as a speaker to welcome and provide opening remarks.

We gently discourage organizers from having male speakers except for the opening remarks (because most tech events are full of male speakers anyway) at Girl Geek X Dinners. We welcome all geeks at the hosting company to attend, network, recruit, listen to talks, etc.

Here are some programming guidelines from our CTO Sukrutha Bhadouria:

Sponsoring a Girl Geek X event is a way for attendees to get a sneak peak of what it will be like for them to work at the company — what differentiates from a product, design, and technology perspective.

1. Consider Your Audience!

Do:

Talk topics should cover a range of topics that map to the type of attendee you are trying to hire. Do you have an inspiring female exec or mid-career expert at your company? Have them give a talk like:

“Movin’ on Up: 10 Ways to Become an Engineering Leader”
(talk topic by Kimber Lockhart, Director of Engineering)
-Or-
“No One Cares About Delighting the User”
(talk topic by Cindy Alvarez, UX Researcher)

Don’t:

Stay away from topics that are about “what it’s like to be a woman in tech”, “work / life balance”, “bringing your authentic self to work”, etc. Our attendees want to hear from women onstage about the incredible successes accomplished women have achieved, and how they got there.

2. What Is Special About YOU As A Company?

Do:

Share with the audience why your company is different and innovative. Do you use Machine Learning to improve the experience of your customers? Do you use Functional Programming? Is there something unique you do to connect with your customers? Does your design team follow interesting/current design patterns?

Don’t:

Avoid repetitive topics, or themes that aren’t fresh and exciting. With our events being as frequent as they are, we want the takeaways to stick with our attendees as long as possible!

3. Give The Full Story!

Do:

Have your speakers cover topics that ultimately tie in to one final takeaway. Is there a big product announcement that could be the theme of the night? Include demos and examples in your story. For example, Netflix sponsored a Girl Geek Dinner and celebrated going global – the talk topics tied into the theme of how they had to build their platform, modify their recommendation algorithm, data centers, design their test environments and deployment strategy when they went global. The food had a global theme too!

Don’t:

Try not to have a panel of women with all the same job type or experience level in the company. Also, a diverse set of ethnic backgrounds on the speaker roster will be appreciated by attendees.

4. Definitely Prepare For The Presentation!

Do:

Set up time for all speakers to rehearse their talks onstage at least once for practice, with time. Slides are highly encouraged! Please include tthe speaker’s social media handle on each slide, along with the event hashtag! If everyone has slides, have them all go into the same deck, so we don’t have to switch computers every time 🙂

Don’t:

Definitely don’t plan to wing it! Have fun with it and the audience will have fun too!

Logistics For Girl Geek X Dinner Hosting

Photo credit: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle – “Tech women find opportunities in Girl Geek Dinners”

The hosting company provides venue, food (heavy appetizers), drinks and co-branded schwag for all attendees. The average Girl Geek X Dinner in the SF Bay Area has hosted 125 local women in tech; the range has been <100 to 400+ girl geeks hosted for an event, depending again on company size / budget. As the event is marketed as a dinner, attendees expect more than cheese and veggie platters! Heavy appetizers should include omnivore, vegetarian / vegan and gluten-free options. We recommend distributing all food and drinks across at least 2-3 food stations to avoid one very long line forming at the food table. Drinks have varied from wine, beer and sodas, to specialty cocktails designed by organizing committee (themed to your company, printed on menus).

We recommend hosting the dinner event at your company, so attendees can get a feel for your office. Do you have open spaces for networking? A cafeteria or all-hands meeting area with seating can be used for talks. We recommend renting cocktail (highboy) tables so the attendees can eat their food while networking easily with other attendees. If your company doesn’t have enough space to host, you may opt to rent a nearby bar or brewery. It’s not unusual for a company hosting to take advantage of their patio or outdoor space to set up a big white tent for food and networking.

When calculating your capacity / desired attendee number, imagine a sold-out standing-room-only event. The girl geeks are excited to be in a crowded room of like-minded women. Take your upper range for capacity. We will aim to oversell tickets by 30%-40% to accommodate for cancellations and last-minute no-shows, and to ensure a packed room day-of and a successful event.

Sponsoring companies create a piece of co-branded schwag to give to all attendees. This has ranged from tote bags to t-shirts, power banks to USB bracelets, beach towels to beer pints. You can imagine the creative / marketing possibilities given your company’s industry! We’ve enjoyed working with vendors like BrandingBoulevard, Fantasy T-shirts and StickerMule for creative schwag with fast turnaround times.

The Girl Geek X logo has no style guide or brand guidelines. We are thrilled when sponsoring companies remix our two logos together for unique event creatives, which we see on company staff tshirts, event signage and schwag.

Download the Girl Geek X files here or click on the logo below:

You can find a great writeup with pictures of the fun Salesforce Girl Geek Dinner socks (schwag) at Salesforce engineering’s blog.

We recommend the hosting company to designate an event photographer to make sure the event is well-documented.Consider creating a photo booth / wall for this event – please feel encouraged to leverage the popularity of Instagram by creating “Instagram-ready” or “Instagram-worthy” places and moments:

Girl Geek X can share your pictures from the event photographer on our Facebook page with the community, encouraging attendees to tag themselves. We actively encouraging blogging and attendees to share on social media using the event hashtag.

We recommend the hosting company to record the talks and/or panel discussion and to share with us and on your company’s video distribution channel(s). Many Girl Geek X events are sold-out, and we’d love to share the girl geeks’ knowledge far and wide, to girl geeks everywhere around the world, who aren’t as fortunate to attend in person.

As the Girl Geek X Dinner is most likely happening at the sponsoring company’s office, the sponsoring company is usually in charge of check-in at entry. We recommend your company’s staff wear their company t-shirts at the event; special co-branded t-shirts for the event are often worn by company staff and the women’s ERG (employee resource group) – like this:

Intel girl geeks wearing special shirts for the event

An Intel Vice President hops into the Intel Girl Geek Dinner 2017 photo booth with bunny suits!

We recommend the hosting company to print name badges in the days prior to the event. This means including the attendee’s first name, last name, title and company — to help the attendees network more easily at the event! These name badges will be helpful if alphabetically arranged at the door, so check-in staff can easily hand out badges at the door when attendees check in — to save time and avoid a long line at the door and people writing names illegibly on “Hello my name is” tags.

Networking can be facilitated by the hosting company by providing a fun networking “bingo” card for attendees to fill out, in exchange for a a bigger chance to win some cool door prizes. You can custom theme this “bingo” card to your company / event.

Hope this is helpful!