1 Introduction

Each year, useR! is organized by a different team of (mostly voluntary) organizers. Although organizers from one conference pass information from one year to the next, this usually comes as a massive information dump, meaning the new organizers have to wade through many local or event-specific details to find the relevant and reusable materials. In addition, some learnings are lost, as organizers often re-evaluate and re-design similar tools and processes and fail to document their considerations and decisions. New teams only see the end result, leading to another spiral of discussions and evaluation. Projects and groups that work with useR! organizers across years, e.g. the R Foundation Conference Committee (RFCC) that selects hosts, or Forwards, the R Foundation taskforce for women and underrepresented groups, often end up re-explaining details, and have found that it can be difficult to ensure improvements made one year are carried over. While there have been some efforts to gather information centrally, this is the first attempt to do so holistically, in an easily digestible and navigable form.

1.1 Who will use this Knowledgebase?

We hope that this knowledgebase will be useful to a wide audience of conference organizers within and beyond the R community. Still, our target audience is the organizers of the useR! conference. Organizers of useR! can take different roles and join at different stages of the project timeline, for example:

  1. The starting organizing team, which will make the initial pitch to host the event, and will need a broad understanding of timelines, budget, and scope
  2. The Program committee, which will need to have a process for reaching out for invited speakers, as well as selecting between submissions, and building the schedule
  3. A social event organizer, which will need to engage with specific sub-communities, organize on-site and/or online location and schedules, ensure participants consent & privacy as needed

1.2 How to use this Knowledgebase?

In this first part of the knowledgebase, we provide an overall view of the whole conference process. We aimed to have a general notion of the people, steps, and general timelines that need to be followed when scoping and organizing the event as a whole.

The chapters in part two give more detailed information about each conference organizational area, which corresponded to organizational teams in some years. These chapters are aimed at the team leads or those in charge of each conference area. Each of these chapters should be self-contained so that the reader can go directly to their topic of interest and follow the guidelines and resources provided therein.

Part three of the knowledgebase contains recomendations about the conference wrap up, including the reflection about what went well or not and passing the torch for future teams. The contribution guide explains how to update the knowledgebase and lists our contributors.

We also have several appendices with templates and detailed guidelines that complement the information in the main text, as well as examples of FAQ for previous editions. We hope you will find this knowledgebase useful and get excited about organizing a useR! conference!