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Local CLS Events


I would like to kick off a discussion about how we manage local CLS events. Over the years we have seen a few different local versions of CLS happening, and I would like to accomplish two specific things:

  1. Provide a clearer way of differentiating between the “main” CLS in Portland each year and the local events.
  2. Better promote the local events and encourage more of them.

For (1) I would like to call the local events “CLS Local” (e.g. CLS Local: Europe or CLS Local: New York) - I think this will make it clear that the events are localized versions that share the same formula of CLS. I would also like to provide some guidelines about what are the core ingredients of a CLS Local event (e.g. consistent branding, unconference format, free to attend), but still leave plenty of room for events to try new things.

For (2) I would like to create http://www.communityleadershipsummit.com/local that will list these events, provide support for the events on this forum, and more consistently promote them.


Maybe find out how TEDx events are managed by the parent event organizers? I went to a TEDx Tampa Bay years ago, and they seemed to have some guidance and/or rules about how they managed it.

Also “CLSx” is much shorter that “CLS Local” :slight_smile:

Good thinking, Mike. I think CLSx sounds better too, although maybe a bit confusing.

@benvantende could add something about this :slight_smile:

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For the naming I definitely like CLSx. The ‘local’ makes the naming to blurred. I see no probem in confusing it with TEDx. We can also create a simple branding using CLSx.

I agree that we should have a similar branding like i mentioned later in this thread. The format is up for debate. I think we should aim for unconference style, but for doing CLS Europe we could not find the opportunity, location and whatever happens there to set it up full unconference style. We were allocated 4 hours at LinuxTag in Berlin that we were very happy with. In that short amount of time we could not do it unconference style and we looked for 5 speakers that could speak on community management topics. That worked pretty well although we did not have that many attendants, probably due to it not being the right event to co-host a CLS. So shorter events are likely to happen, like I understand also planned for Spain at OpenExpo.

It is not such a big deal that there is another format possible as well, but we need to think about that branding wise than. We called it mini-CLS. Maybe that should be CLSm next to a CLSx.

I would love to figure out how to accomodate that best.

@jonobacon do you have resources to fugure that out branding/graphic wise?

What do you think?

I agree that the format should have some flexibility in it, but I do think the gist of what makes CLS be CLS should be there. As such, I am thinking a CLSx event should be primarily focused on the following goals:

  • Either unconference content, structured content, or preferably both.
  • Free to attend, open to all, and designed to cater to a wide audience (E.g. not just techies).
  • Not include any paid pitches from sponsors (so the event feels independent).

I think this would provide lots of scope for creativity.

I like them being called CLSx, and my plan here would be to provide a collection of high-def branded imagery that people can use at the event and promotion. This would be generic CLSx imagery (as opposed to “CLSx Munich” for example), so it would be of general use. I think this would be fine in most cases.


The format as it turns into with some structured content is great. I agree that a Community Leadership Summit should indeed be an unconference. The four hour session I did in Berlin should not be called a summit as it is not :wink: I full agree with all the rest you state in the list.

Having this forum now is a good basis to communicate on coming events and how to organise those with what kinda prerequisites.

CLSx sounds great and I am looking forward ti some graphics. So I am planning to do a full unconference style CLS in Berlin. What name would I use then to announce it, when not CLSx Berlin?

Yeah. My plan is to put together a first cut of what we want a CLSx to look like and then we can review it on here (I don’t want to just review it at CLS this year as I know some local event organizers can’t join us).

I will try to have something to review early next week.

Agreed. Happy to set up Categories for local events too so people can go there for discussion.

I think what would be handy is a CLSx kit with all the media included (e.g. posters, banners, session cards, instructions etc).

Thanks for input, @benvantende!

I don’t find “CLS Local” as an appropriate name. For example, for CLS Europe, “local” hardly captures the idea. I very much prefer CLSx, as is proposed in other comments, or CLSclone (maybe a bit more “techie”). The only problem I see for CLSx is for those who don’t know TED and TEDx, but probably there are not many of them between people potentially interested in CLS or its derivatives.

I guess the mixing of structured and unstructured content is productive. This said, my experience is that unstructured works mainly for very small groups (probably <10) when you have some facilitator and very participative persons, or with larger groups, when you have some critical masss. There is a range in the middle (maybe from 10 to 30-40) where it is sometimes difficult to have an interesting unstructured format.

This said, i was in the LinuxTag event, and it was great, even when the number of participants was not that high. In many cases, having the event co-located to some larger event closer to home makes it more likely to attend.

Thanks to for being the kind sponsor for this forum!