How to run an event
Canonical is in the process of migrating its internal UDS and Event documentation to the Ubuntu Wiki to work more transparently with the Ubuntu Community and to give other companies and organizations ideas for their events.
Please don't modify this documentation unless you are directly involved with coordinating or organizing UDS. If you have suggestions or wishlist items for UDS please add them to the Suggestions page.
UDS-Q event documentation
UDQ-Q organizer documentation
Some of this documentation may be flagged private for organizers only.
The following questions should be raised with the hotel's events and technical staff either during planning calls or during the site inspection.
- Is the venue unionized? If so, what is impacted by the union? Shipping and receiving only, AV, network, etc.?
- Where is the closest shop to purchase stationery and computer equipment? Staples, Fry's, Micro Center, Office Depot, Office Max, etc.?
- Where is the closest shop to purchase tools, hardware, and power strips? Lowes, Home Depot, etc.?
- Are there convenience stores, bars, package (alcohol) stores, and restaurants within safe walking distance for attendees?
- Are there relatively inexpensive restaurants within the hotel? Photograph the menus.
- What is the walk time from the guest rooms to the plenary and breakout rooms?
- Open spaces for registration, lunch, Meet and Greet, shop, demos, etc.?
- Distance and transportation price from SJC?
- Is there a fitness center, pool, or laundry?
- What is the parking situation and price?
- Is there a local bicycle hire?
- What is the physical location and layout of the guest rooms?
- Describe the room. Bathroom, desk, bed, style, TV, fridge/minibar, kettle/iron/hairdryer, etc.
- Can the bed(s) be separated? King split? Can the room be rearranged?
- Is there free Wi-Fi or wired Internet? If not free, what is the charge?
- How many guest rooms total?
Each breakout room layout will have different needs. During the site inspection take notes of the following in each room or type of room:
- All rooms should have ample power points in the floor or along the front and side walls to run power to attendees and to power WAPs/switches/PCs/phones
- All rooms must have least one but preferably three Ethernet ports for WAPs/switches/PCs/phones
- Ideally noise from these rooms should not leak too badly into adjoining rooms
- Boardrooms should have single large boardroom table, not multiple smaller tables pushed together (we've had problems with portable tables collapsing and damaging equipment/humans in the past)
- Boardrooms should have the ability to run power to the table with at least one power point for every two people (preferably one per person; we usually run this power)
- What material are the walls made of in each section so we can plan WAP deployment (for example, fabric movable airwalls, concrete outer walls, cinder block inner walls, make note of elevator shafts, etc.)
- How do the rooms lock? Key or cardkey?
- Is there house audio?
- Per room or central air conditioning?
- Can the hotel supply a dedicated symmetric 50 Mbit or 100 Mbit dedicated connection to feed our firewall? Do we need to work with their Internet provider directly? What is the ballpark cost?
- Does the hotel have Gbit infrastructure or is it only 100 Mbit?
- Does the hotel have PoE?
- Can they VLAN or physically patch their network so all meeting rooms, villas, suites, and converted bedrooms are on the conference network?
- Are there multiple conference floors and, if so, can their network infrastructure be easily linked?
- Will the venue give us access to structured cabling to install our own PoE switches in their wiring closets?
- If no PoE is available pay special attention to power points in breakout rooms in relation to Ethernet ports to power WAPs
- How many wiring closets service the conference floor?
- We need to light up the entire conference floor with our own Wi-Fi; is the hotel willing to shut down their Wi-Fi on the conference floor?
- Check the size and layout of the rooms taking note of Ethernet port location
- Watch out for things that block Wi-Fi (thick decorative marble, concrete rebar, elevator shafts, lobby stairs, etc.)
- Ease of cabling to WAPs that will be hung from the wall (Command Hooks on smooth surfaces, T-pins on fabric modular walls)
- No mixed WAPs! All Ciscos!
Phones and Videoconferencing
- We run our own Asterisk server
- Survey rooms paying attention to acoustics to decide where Polycoms are to be deployed
- Rooms must have space in the front for dual-projector setup
- Check plenary rooms for Ethernet ports and power points paying attention to standard 5-6 WAP deployment
- Do the plenary rooms have house audio and is there a separate patch fee?
- A printer must be available (we usually ship one over)
- Will hotel staff be available on Sunday for event setup?
Send out a call for volunteers
- Send out a request for volunteers for setup and teardown
Update the VolunteerInstructions page
Create venue map
- I've created a repository of venue info; need to find a place to put it!
Label all the things
- Make sure all the things are permanently labeled with Sharpie, labeler, or pink tape: property of Canonical, MAC address, device name, etc. (ugly Sharpie deters theft)
- Make sure all the things are temporary labeled with pink tape or Post-it Note: room name
Configure all the things
- Make sure all managed devices such as switches, WAPs, printers, etc. are configured with event passwords
- Register #ubuntu-uds-roomname channels on Freenode
Unpack all the things
- Verify quantities are correct against inventory and see what we have to source on the ground
- Check for unlabeled assets and label them per prep checklist above
- Find a corner of the tech room and power up all the things to verify they work
Keep tech room orderly during setup by making personal workspaces and dedicated workspaces for testing
- Walk around with conference floor map and mark all Ethernet points with jack numbers
- Make sure conf-gw can ud-ldap
- Make sure Icecast is configured for rooms
Display PC setup
- Make sure PC can run current release and drive projector at full resolution
- Must have Ethernet and decent audio board for Icecast
- 1 PC per track room
- Puppet installed to latest version
- Check VNC works
- Check IRC works
- Check "Next Session Strip" works
- Check ices works
Menu -> Option 1 -> Auto Keystone -> Off
Menu -> Option 1 -> Eco Mode -> Eco
Schedule PC setup
- 1 PC per area to give good coverage (UDS/LDS)
- On a dressed trolley with 45" plasma
- Must be Wi-Fi enabled if no Ethernet is available
- Auto-reload must be operational and summit.ubuntu.com must fit on-screen
Video streaming setup
- If we don't get the IP until the Sunday of setup then also follow up on #OFTC and apologize profusely to both Freenode and OFTC of the short notice
- Make sure all network ports in conference area are on Ubuntu VLAN
Use LinkRunner Pro DHCP to check proper subnet and PoE
Use AirCheck to make sure all hotel WAPs are shut down
- Make sure rooms have enough Ethernet ports to run all deployed devices (preferably PoE for WAP and Polycom, Ethernet for PC but in-room switch is okay)
- When deploying IS switches to hotel wiring closets it is critical to label any hotel Ethernet cables we've unplugged so they can easily plug them back in (nothing fancy, just Sharpie and tabs of pink tape slapped on each jack/connector, but ideally we should leave their wiring closet cleaner than we found it)
- Make sure all WAPs are Scorched Earth
- Deploy WAPs per layout map
After deploying all WAPs to an area test connectivity and SNR with AirCheck
We've never used a venue that could handle our Wi-Fi requirements so we always deploy our own fleet of Cisco Aironet AIR-AP1131AG and Cisco Aironet AIR-AP1142N in standalone mode. We use a standard manually-mapped Channel 1/6/11 spread on 2.4 GHz and DFS on 5 GHz. If the hotel doesn't have PoE then we deploy our own PoE switches in the hotel's MDF and IDFs.
WAPs must be hung temporarily so we use 3M Command 17068 Medium Wire Hooks with 3M Command 17021P Medium Mounting Refill Strips to mount WAPs on solid painted or wallpapered walls. On fabric airwalls we use generic t-pins.
It takes at least 10 minutes and preferably 30 minutes for Command Hooks to fully bond to walls. Do not immediately hang WAPs or the Command Hook will become unstuck and fall. It also takes 3-5 minutes for a WAP to fully come online after being plugged-in. Because of this it's best to do multiple sweeps of an area.
- Select a location to hang WAP sanely close to Ethernet (and power if PoE isn't available)
LinkRunner every Ethernet port and check for physical errors, proper network, and PoE (if available)
- Note Ethernet port name and location
- Clean and thoroughly dry area to hang Command Hook (WAPs constantly fall due to humidity and sticky, dirty, disgusting walls)
- Hang Command Hook approximately one arm length above head (take special care not to damage decorative areas)
- If hanging WAPs on a carpeted airwall use T-pins instead of Command Hooks (each T-pin should be bent with pliars to accommodate WAP)
- Plug in WAP while depressing its reset button to clear startup-config (Scorched Earth tftp config)
- Leave WAP on the floor to give it time to boot and give Command Hook time to bond
AirCheck every WAP by device name
- Make sure WAP is broadcasting all intended SSIDs per its label
- Cisco 1130: Ubuntu-802.11a, Ubuntu-802.11g
- Cisco 1140: Ubuntu-802.11an, Ubuntu-802.11g
- Make sure WAP is broadcasting on its intended channel per its label
- If the WAP successfully tftp booted then, in theory, it's on the proper VLAN
- Connect to the WAP and make sure you can associate and get a DHCP lease on the proper VLAN
- Make sure WAP is broadcasting all intended SSIDs per its label
- Hang WAP on Command Hook or T-pin
- Use one or two small squares of gaffer tape to tape Ethernet cable to wall; this both prevents the cable from getting accidentally snagged and also creates resistance if the WAP falls off the wall
AirCheck all conference space where we're providing Wi-Fi
- Make sure you always have a decent Ubuntu Wi-Fi signal (no dead spots)
- Randomly connect to all SSIDs throughout the floor (no dead spots)
- Make sure all of our WAPs have an Authorized ACL
- If rogue hotel WAPs are still online use Locate to find them and make note of where they are
- Inform hotel of rogue WAPs that still need disabled (use common sense; if a breakout room is above reception or the bar they won't shut down that WAP)
Deploy power strips to rooms per RoomLayouts
- Make sure Wi-Fi is adequate for number of attendees (no more than 100 clients per WAP)
- Confidence monitor needs to be able to show output before projectors either by switcher control or projector shutter
- Test all VGA splitter inputs and make sure VGA DA is clean
- Check sound from handheld, lapel, and lectern mics
- Test clickers and have backups
- Test Icecast and video streaming PC
- Test cameras and check for power hum
- Proper tripod for video streaming camera