Foundation of Information Developers Conclave
- January 16, 2018
- Posted by: Rahul Karn
- Category: Inspiration
How Information Developers Foundation Started?
Association of Content Writers, home of Technical writers, business writers, proposal writers and all the neighbouring fields. We call it Information Developers Foundation.
We are the first and the largest. How did this foundation start? To help you get out of these questions easily, sharing my experiences of an exciting journey that I had gone through while incorporating Information Developers Foundation.for you.
I always wondered why we didn’t have any Indian technical writing society. Where STC exists from 65 years in the US and for twenty years in India, Germany, Netherlands, and many more countries have their own association of technical communicators, we are still struggling to establish technical writing as a profession. I always wanted to see an Indian technical communicators society, that not only organises conferences and events but also works for the upliftment of community from all the needed angles. This idea of executing it myself triggered when one fine day I was out of my office for a tea-break where I met STC volunteer. I was an established trainer by then and had the full dedication serving the technical communicators society. I and Manish were discussing to organise a big event for technical writers and the neighbouring professionals in Delhi. I asked him to contact STC for support such as raising funds getting sponsors etc. As a city representative, he had certain limitations on budgets. Lots of things were required such as getting sponsors, funds, volunteers layout etc. We were not getting much support from STC and certain approvals were needed from the president. It was difficult to manage in that situation so I proposed him to go solo and do it on our own.He was reluctant to do it and counted numerous problems that would restrict the very thought of organising a mega event. He said that he cant work with me unless I register my own foundation as a not-for-profit organisation. According to him I could not get volunteers without it and to register a firm was not an easy task. It takes time and effort combined with lots of documentation when it comes to governmental procedures. I was completely unaware of the roadmap of how to get these things done.
Registering as a not-for-profit
This was the time when I called one of my friends and my relative Mr Srinivas Chandan who is a CS. I asked him to guide me for my new venture and his assurance gave a new hope. He consulted other firms and his friends for more insight upon the legal formalities for this setup and the journey began. We had to comply with the timelines of registering the firm because I was planning to do this event in November and August had already stepped in.
It did not end here, we were soon exposed to the new challenges we had to face. The biggest was to select a name because a couple of names were rejected. We had to form a group of volunteers, select the directors, PAN card and an account number, etc. After the paperwork, we finally succeeded in the incorporation of IDF.
Building contact list and pool of volunteers
Still, we were data deficient in terms of the mailing list, social media presence, audience etc. I started with scratches, and my students stood by my side. One of my student Sumit Batra came forward and donated his facebook group to me and offered to change its name to Information developers Foundation and gave its ownership to IDF. Thank you, Sumit.
We started making our mailing list and now we have over 2000 subscriber on our mailing list.
Finalizing Venue and Finding sponsors
Next challenge was to get sponsors as we were new and not on the vendor list of sponsors. We needed a venue and a proposal explaining our agenda before approaching sponsors. Finally, we decided the venue and they asked for the minimum guarantee of participants. I was clueless, how many members will come, and I confirmed for fifteen, after a couple of months after getting a positive response I increased the guarantee to thirty, and one month before the event I increased the guarantee to seventy members. though the venue was booked I was not confident of getting a sponsor and every penny was going from my pocket. I approached Adobe and I got an added confidence when Saibal told me to go ahead with it. Saibal and Ekant helped me with different kind of quotations and proposal also. A meeting with Adobe was finalised and the cards turned into my favour. We got our exclusive sponsor Adobe. Since I was not on their vendor list they told me that I will have to wait for the funds, and I agreed to it. Gradually I was being aware of little but important things involved in organising, such as backdrops, goodie bags, designing the standees, designing the logos, managing the tracks, themes, managing the venue, certificates etc.
It was time to find a ticketing partner and we teamed up with Mera Events. It was very disappointing when we didn’t see any registration for many days. My first enquiry was from Ahmedabad, Mr Subham. It was like a silver line in the dark. My few students registered but the registration was not going on as per the expectations. We started with free webinars and collecting contact details and after some time Mr Raghuram Pandurangan and Amit Kapoor extended his supporting hand as speaker. Start calling my contacts and industry veterans for speakers. Few came forward for support few opt to watch us.
Everything was now going at its pace, we finalised the keynote speakers K.Narsi, my students and some friends came forward to volunteer, Rinni, Manish, Tarun, Hemant, Arun and Apurv actively supported me. The budget was still not clear until the last date. We worked day and night and nearly churned our mind to put everything in the place. Due to some personal issue, few speaker were not able to make it, finding last moment speaker was also a challenge. Thanks to Alok Sharma from Gemalto for supporting. Our ticket sells picked up in the last week of events.
Thanks to Adobe, for their hand-holding throughout the event, at least 7-8 Adobe employee was present to gear us up.
Around eighty people turned up to make it a success. I am thankful to my supporters and volunteers to give me the confidence to plan the next conference in September. Soon the venue and more details will be there on our website. This was the making of IDF, hope my journey help the beginners in some way or the other.
We are the first Indian association for Information Developers and our doors are open for all. Come be a part of revolution called Information Developers Foundation.
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