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UnorganizingIntroduction

Page history last edited by maymay 9 years, 4 months ago Saved with comment


 

Introduction: So You Want to (Un)Organize a KinkForAll

 

That's wonderful! But you should know: KinkForAll works very differently from most traditional forms of event organization. They are what they are because of their ad-hoc, collaborative nature. Rather than rely on institutionalized structures or external entities such as social, legal, or commercial groups, KinkForAll events rely entirely upon the participation of individuals at a particular event. How does a group like that get anything done? For the answer, watch this short and insightful video. Understanding it is essential for successfully unorganizing KinkForAll events.

 

Each KinkForAll is it's own event, holding to the same core principles as all KinkForAlls, but varying according to things like venue and, of course, the diversity of participants themselves. Although some resources are shared, such as this unorganizer's guide, specific events are completely autonomous.

 

As someone interested in making a local KinkForAll happen in your area, your challenge is two fold:

 

  • Shed any previously-held notions of what organization used to mean to you. As a new KinkForAll (un)organizer, you're about to discover the abundance of what is possible without managerial or institutional overhead. And don't worry, we're here to help you.
  • Lead with actions, not with words. Learn to communicate what you want others to do by giving them a way to do it and starting to do it yourself, asking for help, and then trusting that others will make it so.

 

Avoiding Unnecessary Effort: You Aren't Gonna Need It!

 

As a KinkForAll unorganizer, focus on bringing the bare necessities about to get an event rolling. You must constantly re-assess whether you actually need something in order to make the event happen. Your goal is not to make the event big, or famous, or elaborate. It is to simply make it happen. The size, scope, and complexity of the event will follow from the groundwork you lay first.

 

We use the term unorganizer as a reminder of this principle, eloquently codified by the phrase "you aren't gonna need it," often abbreviated YAGNI. Another way to phrase this concept is to solve problems only once they have arisen, not before. The salient points of the YAGNI principle are as follows:

 

  • Always implement things when you actually need them, never when you just foresee that you need them.
  • You already have too much to do right now. Doing more now is a very bad thing when you already have too much to do.
  • Keep it simple. If you need it, you can do it later. If you don't need it, you won't have to do the work at all. Take that day off.

 

Ensuring Support for KinkForAll Ideals

 

Although KinkForAll is an ad-hoc community effort, the goals of KinkForAll events are focused towards particular ideals. There is synergy between goals and actions; having focused goals enables you to perform actionable, measurable tasks. As you may already know, restraint can be freeing. Here are some goals and ideals of KinkForAll:

 

  • Create freely-available information about all aspects of sexuality and how it relates to our lives. ("Invest.")
  • Provide a shared space for members of various communities, both sexuality related and otherwise, to exchange ideas with one another. ("Connect.")
  • Share the positive and beneficial aspects of what we are doing with the rest of the world. ("Celebrate.")

 

As an unorganizer, these goals are most difficult specifically for you because successfully accomplishing them requires that you step outside of your comfort zone. If you're heavily involved in only one community, you need to not only make contacts in other communities, but you need to remain welcoming to them. This is easiest if you realize the value communities that are not your own can bring to your KinkForAll event.

 

Engaging participants, not volunteers

 

Paraphrased from this mailing list thread (although this needs to be expanded upon to fit nicely into this section):

 

The nature of KinkForAll is different from other types of events—presentations are largely participatory and electric. They are also incredibly short. It's not the same as sitting in a lecture or a demo for an hour and not being able to talk to anyone. At KinkForAll events people are talking every chance they can, exchanging information, notes, blog posts (yes, even during the event itself), Twitter and Facebook status updates, and the energy that the event promotes. When you participate, you are already being social—that's what participation is all about, and that's why getting people participating needs to remain the focus of event unorganizers' priorities.

 

One way to think of this is that rather than create organizational tasks, it is more effective to create situations that beget serendipitous contributions. The key to creating serendipity lies in making information about one aspect of an occurrence available to more people. As an example, see the section of this guide on Building Interest to learn about how wiki page sign-ups helps foster momentum and inertia.

 

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