Organising a Workshop

We have different places with helpful documents which can be used to help organize future workshops. Please help to link them here and gather the feedback from previous workshops here.

Feedback Frankfurt Workshop:

  • like to have more model comparisons (repeated; e.g. some basic datasets are given to be used by several projects)
  • topics for the breakout groups tend to be too big for 90 minutes
  • breakout groups should be better structured; questions and expectations should be mentioned
  • for newcomers, it is still not clear what breakout groups are; they didn’t suggest one
  • people from other specialties (such as geographers) do not get so much out of the breakout group (how can we encourage them to propose their own breakout groups tackling the interfaces between their subjects and the broader agenda)
  • one person wished to have the possibility to be a spectator in a breakout group
  • breakout groups shouldn’t be too big, otherwise one cannot discuss the subject in the short time available
  • make a template for the breakout groups
  • having a short talk for each breakout group
  • some breakout groups could have more time
  • make an openmod-Map (institutions and persons)
  • tutorials can be adapted a little bit to the knowledge (some too hard some too easy)
  • the time allocated for the tutorials (2h) is too short
  • stress the fact that people should be prepared for the tutorials (all programs installed)
  • suggestion of a new format: hackathon
  • combination of tutorials and a hackathon?
  • hackathon as a breakout group; bring a problem that you wanted solved (or that more models could use? → mapathon) and sit together to solve it
  • would like to have some more time for questions after the short talks


  • tutorials have been a great format
  • the short talks
  • news from the modeling projects
  • organization
  • venue
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This wiki-editable post summarises what needs to be done to organise an openmod workshop.

The most important things are (assuming around 50-60 attendees):


  • Book 3-4 rooms for the breakout groups, including 1 big room for plenary sessions, for 2 days (or 3 days if tutorial day is included)
  • Projector for presentations
  • Camera/microphone if the presentations are being recorded
  • Coffee and tea in the breaks (cost is around €100 for 3 days of 60 people based on Frankfurt Workshop; it requires a team of several people to refill coffee and hot water pots in the breaks)
  • WiFi
  • Plugs for everyone’s laptops
  • Name badges (recommended, were useful in earlier workshops)
  • Book a restaurant for the workshop dinner


  • Wiki page for the workshop
  • Information on arriving, local lunch destinations
  • Registration (e.g. with Google Forms so that we can protect email addresses)
  • Programme organisation
  • Breakout groups: explain them; link an organising document where people can suggest and contribute to topics; encourage to suggest groups
  • Tutorial organisation (if tutorials are happening…)
  • Short presentations list (4 mins + 1 or 2 mins questions works well; encourage presenters to licence their slides, preferably CC BY 4.0 International licence and indicated on the title slide, so they can be uploaded to the openmod wiki and Wikimedia Commons sites)


  • Edit video files (WebM format preferred)
  • Upload presentations and video files to a suitable file server
  • Organise the voting for the location and dates of the next workshop

Don’t try to do everything by yourself; ask for volunteers on the openmod email list to form a committee to divide up the work.

The wiki pages for old workshops can be found here:

The old Google Doc with tips on organising a workshop is here:

Topic on feedback from the October 2017 Munich workshop.

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