When choosing a location for a doathon, the main parameters to consider are
- ecological footprint
Their relative priority may vary depending on the event in question. Below, we will briefly look at each of them.
Since the doathon is focused on collaboration, capacity goes beyond head count and has to allow for interaction between attendees as well as for some degree of separation, so as to provide different groups with the space they need to work on different projects.
Consider things like number, size and proximity of rooms, and whether you could do some or part of the event outdoors.
The event should be conveniently accessible by the target audience. You know best who this might be, but in general, it is a good idea to have it close to public transport and accessible by wheelchairs. Take weather information into account.
These may vary with what aspect of doing you plan on stressing, but it is advisable to have
- stable WiFi for all (ideally with an additional LAN for at least one machine, especially if you plan on remote participation)
- tables that can be easily rearranged by and for participants to work together in groups of varying sizes
- seating for a bit more than the expected number of participants, to allow for flexible regrouping
- sanitary facilities
- natural light (but not too much of it if you’re working with touchscreens or similar devices)
- fresh air
- a soundscape conducive to collaboration
- maybe some cooking area
- shelter in case the weather gets bad
If you are flexible in timing, then you can simply choose between dates when the space you need is not otherwise occupied, or occupied (perhaps only partly) by others whom you would like to interact with (and they with you), so that you could co-locate your events or organize them back to back.
If you are not flexible in timing, then availability may come earlier in the decision chain for your location.
The space has to be affordable to the event organizers, taking into account expected contributions from participants or potential sponsors. Keep in mind that — for locations like this to be sustainable for such events in the long run — affordability also has to be considered from the perspective of those owning or maintaining the space.
Try to minimize the amount of natural resources used — and the waste produced — to organize and run the event as well as to get participants and any needed materials there and back.