This past weekend I was fortunate enough to keynote the Community Leadership Summit (CLS) in Austin, Texas

It was an absolute pressure cooker of amazing community leaders, all discussing a range of topics across many fields.

This post serves as a braindump of some of those conversations.

Think about why you run events.

Is it for generating revenue for your product/community, to then spend in other places? Is it to create an environment of like-minded people to meet and network and create?

More on stickers:


  • Not everyone will want a t-shirt, anyway.
  • Sizing charts being accessible on your conference website, including measuring guides, are a thing
  • Heavy cotton is more expensive, but is less likely to be completely seethrough
  • Direct to garment (digital) printing is less durable than screenprinting. May only last a few washes, but is cheaper for smaller batches
  • Screen printed shirst last longer, but are more expensive. Involves making physical screens for each colour on the shirt, more colours -> more screens -> more money.
  • Don’t use white shirts. They are epic see-through, and don’t get the white-drop background colour first (normally)
  • Many manufacturers don’t have all colours in all sizes and all cuts
  • Consider having straight, semi-fitted, and fitted shirts
  • Cotton Bureau Blank might be interesting, watch this space

Running world class events

  • Run regular organisational team meetings in scrum style, increasing in frequency as the conference approaches
  • Documentation should be shared across organisational teams across years
  • Selling out tickets is OKAY
  • Check the interfaith calendar before booking dates
  • Have efficiency in your on-site registration process
  • Ensure your breakout areas don’t echo
  • Have an event the day before your conf. ENSURE IT’S ADVERTISED (people flying in will miss it, otherwise)
  • Have dry (alcohol freee) options for your social events
  • Consider having a video and translator sponsor

My entire tweet stream from #cls17 is available on twitter