Training Logistics: Things to Consider
Who, When, Where
Identify the community or group you’d like to train.
What are the digital security concerns of the group? Does your audience broadly share the same security/privacy concerns, or will there be people with a wide range of concerns at the training? Maybe they fear local law enforcement, or perhaps non-governmental actors. Will you encounter any language barriers when training this particular group? Keep these concerns and differences in mind when communicating with the group or group organizer.
Establish a group organizer who can be your main point of contact with the identified community or group.
This will often be the person that reached out to you for a training. They will act as an intermediary between you and the community, and can help with training logistics. Send the pre-event survey to the group organizer and walk through the group’s threat model with the organizer.
Create guest list.
When creating a guest list, consider power dynamics. The focus of these trainings is personal security, not organizational security. Depending on the group you’re hosting, the presence of an HR manager, boss, or group leader could completely change the training dynamic. Keep this in mind and plan accordingly with the group organizer. Warning: If you’re training a group of undocumented people or someone who prefers anonymity, it may not be wise to create a physical guest list. Plan accordingly.
Find a space.
For venue ideas, chat with local digital rights groups, including your local Electronic Frontier Alliance (EFA) group if you’re based in the United States. Public libraries and universities are great places to host trainings.
- How many attendees do you expect? If you haven’t yet established an RSVP list or a concrete training date, look at several different venues to give yourself options.
Is this a safe space?
- Is there a projector and Wi-Fi connection?
- Is there a whiteboard and supplies?
Is the space accessible for people with disabilities?
- Is it accessible by public transportation?
- Is there comfortable seating and good space for breaks?
Choose a date.
- How long will your training last? Trainings can be quick awareness-raising events that last an hour, or intensive multi-day events. Be sure your attendees are able to dedicate this much time when choosing a date.
- Send a poll via email or informally poll your community in-person to get a sense of availability.
- Ensure your venue is available for the chosen date.
- Look into whether the training falls during a period of religious practice (Ramadan, for example). Keep in mind that this may affect your audience’s energy levels, snack preferences or dietary restrictions, and mood.
Send invitations and know your audience.
Before communicating with participants, remember to determine the most appropriate way to communicate with the group. Consider their tech limitations and threat models and plan accordingly with the group organizer.
- Work with the group leader to promote the training within the community network.
- Establish an RSVP deadline to give yourself enough time to prep.
- Include a list of things people should bring, like snacks, water bottles, devices (which ones depend on the training), and chargers.
- What will you be doing? Even if you haven’t established a concrete plan for the training yet, include a rough agenda or learning objectives in the invitation.
- Include your contact information so people can email you questions and topics of interest beforehand.
Test out your space.
Before the training, visit the space and test:
- Acoustics: Will attendees be able to hear you?
- Connectivity: How’s the Wi-Fi? Are there enough power outlets?
- AV system: Is there someone who can help deal with AV troubleshooting on the day of the training?
- Heating and cooling: Is the room a comfortable temperature? Is there a thermostat you can adjust?
- Access: How will participants get access to the building? Are there multiple entry points for people with disabilities?
Think about long-term maintenance and community support.
To empower groups to continue learning, identify a local resource affiliated with the group who can commit to being a contact who you can train and support. (This could be the group organizer you’ve been working with, or a person from the group.)