Organising an ALD event

Your Ada Lovelace Day Event

Thank you for your interest in holding an independent event to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day!

Every year, people like you organise events around the world to highlight the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), and to support girls and women studying or working in STEM. From conferences to cream teas, from meet-ups to museum exhibitions, the variety of events is as inspiring as the amazing women they feature.

These events are what makes Ada Lovelace Day the huge success that it is.

In order to help you host your own event, we’ve put together an Independent Event Organiser’s Pack with information, inspiration and resources that you can use, including blanks for flyers and posters.

The pack includes:

  • Ideas for organising an ALD event
  • Event format ideas
  • Event guidelines
  • Helpful resources for event organisers

Plus:

  • A3 poster blank
  • A4 poster blank
  • A5 flyer blank
  • US Letter poster blank
  • US Half-Letter flyer blank
  • ALD Indie Event logo (white and transparent)

Download the resources from Figshare.

We also have a new mailing list for event organisers, so if you want to be kept up-to-date with all our indie event organiser news, please sign up now!

About Ada Lovelace Day

Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in STEM which is held on the second Tuesday of October every year. It was started in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson as a day of blogging about women in tech and rapidly developed into a broader celebration of women in STEM, the definition of which people interpret in their own way.

Since 2010, we have held a flagship event in London, a ‘science cabaret’ at which leading women in STEM talk about their work or the women who have inspired them. People around the world contribute to the day by writing about women whose work they admire for blogs, newspapers, magazines or journals. And other people, like you, organise local events to celebrate the day. Every year we get dozens of events held around the world, and every year we hope for more, which means we need you to get involved!

Why organise an Ada Lovelace Day event?

The aims of Ada Lovelace Day are simple and straightforward:

  • to highlight the achievements, discoveries and inventions of women in STEM
  • to create new role models for girls and women alike by telling the stories of women in STEM
  • to encourage girls and women to study and work in the STEM fields by both inspiring them and helping to develop their skills

There are many types of event that will both meet one or more of these goals and be a lot of fun into the bargain! And organising a local event to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day will help us to reach communities that might otherwise never hear about the day.

Ada Lovelace Day is not a charity, so we are not asking you to run fundraising events (though we are always looking for corporate sponsorship!). That means that you can focus purely on producing an event that appeals to your community and which supports the goals of Ada Lovelace Day.

 

Event Formats

If you’re wondering what sort of event to organise, don’t worry, there are lots of different formats that can work very well. You can think as big or as small as you like, depending on your inclinations, resources and available time.

To help you with some inspiration, here are a selection of ideas from past Ada Lovelace Days:

Workshops

What can you teach, or help girls and/or women explore? Workshops can teach tech skills, such as coding, app development, or robotics, or help women develop career skills such as public speaking.

Talks

One of the most popular event types for Ada Lovelace Day is the talk, but there are several different formats to consider:

  • Formal lectures to a specialist audience
  • Talks to a generalist audience
  • STEM cabarets, where speakers talk for ten to 15 minutes
  • Pecha Kucha, talks with exactly 20 slides, each displayed for exactly 20 seconds, which the presenter must talk along to
  • Lightning talks, which usually last 5 minutes

You can host women in STEM who are talking about their areas of expertise, or invite women (and/or men) to talk about the women in STEM whose work they admire or discuss research into equality and diversity. All approaches support our mission.

Panel discussions, debates

Panel discussions are a very popular format, not least because they put less load on the speakers. Some panel discussions ask that each speaker talk for five or ten minutes before the debate begins, others just plunge right in. For a good, meaty conversation, try to keep the number of panelists low, no more than four plus a moderator, and keep any introductory talks very short.

Meet-ups, mixers, networking drinks

No event is as easy to organise as a mixer for women in STEM! All you need is some space, maybe some drinks and snacks, and perhaps a theme to your event. Some mixers start off with a short talk, but the majority of the time is set aside for women to meet and mingle with others with similar interests. Most ALD mixers are women-only events.

Wikipedia edit-a-thons

An ‘edit-a-thon’ is an event where people get together to add information to Wikipedia. ALD edit-a-thons focus on adding or expanding pages about women in STEM, and are often themed around a particular discipline. If there is a Wikimedia group near to you, they may be able to put you in touch with an expert Wikipedia editor who can provide some basic training in how to use the editing tools. It also helps to have a librarian or researcher on hand to help attendees find reliable sources of information. Read more about how to organise an edit-a-thon on Wikipedia.

Museum or gallery tours, exhibitions, displays

If you’re the curator of a museum, gallery or collection, you could consider a special tour that focuses on the women in STEM whose work is on display. Or perhaps create a special exhibition of artefacts, letters and/or art focused on women in STEM.

Cream teas, coffee mornings

The more relaxed atmosphere of a cream tea or coffee morning, paired with one or more speakers, can be a great way to reach people who might be put off by a formal lecture or who might not be available in the evenings.

Fixers, tinkerers, makers and crafters

Sometimes, all you need to do is give people a space, some tools and a chance to be creative. Recent years have seen a renaissance in hands-on tech and crafting, and there are a lot of opportunities to teach people how to fix, adapt and make stuff. There’s also a huge overlap with crafting, with everything from mathematicians crocheting non-Euclidean geometry to crafters making art inspired by women in STEM. The possibilities for a fun and creative workshop are endless!

Games jams, hack days

Bringing coders, designers, musicians and storytellers together to create new computer games or mobile apps is a fantastic way to help create new friendships and increase participants’ confidence in their skills. Women-only spaces are important for games jams and hack days, as mixed gender events tend to be heavily dominated by men, and that can make some women uncomfortable, especially if the event runs late into the night.

Pub quiz

What better way to combine a convivial evening down the pub and Ada Lovelace Day than to host a pub quiz! Probably one of the easiest events to organise, a pub quiz about women in STEM is a fun way to not only test people’s knowledge but also to share some little-known facts!

Something else entirely

Of course, these event formats are only suggestions — there’s plenty of opportunity for you to do something completely different! Whatever you do, have fun with it and good luck!

Event Guidelines

Whilst Ada Lovelace Day is held on the second Tuesday of October every year, independent events are held throughout the month, so you can pick a date that works best for you and your community. If you’re in a major city such as London, Manchester, Turin or New York, be aware that there are likely to be multiple events, so you may wish to consider holding your event on an adjacent day or weekend.

You do not need to seek permission from us to hold your event, but we do ask that you let us know what you are doing via our online form.

Event guidelines

We don’t enforce any rules for independent events, but there are a few guidelines that we’d like you to consider adopting.

Be inclusive

Ada Lovelace Day is about all women, no matter their age, ethnicity, or any other characteristic. When you are inviting speakers, ensure that you reach outside of the list of ‘usual suspects’, and invite a group that is diverse.

Be open

The spirit of Ada Lovelace Day is to be open, friendly, warm, respectful, playful and curious.

Be transparent

Please provide contact details in your promotional materials, and make it clear that your Ada Lovelace Day event is organised independently of the main event.

Be generous

If you take photos or video of your event — and we strongly recommend that you do! — please release them under a Creative Commons licence, with a name for attribution, so that others can share them and be inspired by them.

Be in touch

Please do let us know both what you’re planning, and how it all went afterwards. If you have photos, video, a review or write-up of your event, please share that with us so that we can tell our community all about it!

Event Resources

Branding, logos and links

Branding

Please do not use the phrases “Finding Ada” or “Ada Lovelace Day” or “Ada Day” in any website URLs, Twitter account names, or Facebook URLs, or use those phrases in any way that might cause confusion. As a small organisation running a global day, it is important that our audience can easily distinguish between official accounts, websites and events, and those created and organised independently by you. Our social media accounts are often the first means of contact for press queries, potential supporters and curious fans, and it is important they be able to reach us directly.

Instead, we have developed a standard naming convention — yourorganisation_ALD or yourorganisation-ALD — for indie event social media accounts and URLs, using either an underscore or a hyphen as a separator. This will help you to promote your own ALD events, whilst preserving your brand identity and avoiding confusion with @findingada. We suggest:

  • Twitter: @yourorganisation_ALD
  • Facebook pages: /yourorganisation_ALD
  • Web: www.yourorganisation_ALD.com (or any other TLD suffix)

These guidelines will ensure that the community understands which organisations are behind the different social media and web accounts. And that will help to boost your profile, as well as providing clarity for the larger Ada Lovelace Day community.

We strongly encourage you to use your own visual branding as your primary branding, with the Ada Lovelace Day ‘Indie Event’ Roundel (see below) in a secondary position.

Ada Lovelace Day Indie EventArtwork

Please freely use the Ada Lovelace Day ‘Indie Event’ Roundel on your website and publicity materials. You can download it from Figshare, with either a white or transparent background.

Please do not use our standard logo, as that is reserved for official events. The original Roundel was designed by Sydney Padua, to whom we are most grateful!

Links

We would appreciate it if you could link to our website, findingada.com and if possible, to our Twitter account, @findingada, when you write about your event.

You can also use this text in your promotional materials if you’d like to:

This independent event is part of Ada Lovelace Day, a worldwide celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. You can follow them on Twitter: @findingada.

How we can help you

How we can promote your event

Our website will list all the events we are told about by events organisers like yourself. When you fill out our event form, we will use that information to help promote your event by posting it on our website, on Twitter and in our monthly newsletter. You can also join our online community and talk to other organisers about your event.

Join us on Figshare

We have partnered with Figshare to provide a central hub for all Ada Lovelace Day event organisers to share their photos, video, presentations, posters and any other media they produce. We will also be hosting materials from Ada Lovelace Day Live! events on Figshare, along with other materials that we produce.

Media on Figshare can be shared and embedded anywhere around the web, and Figshare provide viewing and other statistics, allowing us and you to know where and when our materials are viewed. Being a part of the Figshare community will also allow us all to reach more people, and to make sure that your hard work is recognised and appreciated more widely.

If you have organised an independent Ada Lovelace Day event in the past and have some photos, video, presentations or other resources you’d like to share, uploading them is easy:

  • Create an account on Figshare
  • Go to My Data
  • Click ‘Create a new item’
  • Add your content and fill in the form. The more metadata you can add, the better.
  • You MUST use the tag “Ada Lovelace Day” and the appropriate year tag, “ALD18”, “ALD17” etc, in order for your content to be pulled into our main page and the year pages. If you do not use these tags, your content will not be attached to our portal.
  • Publish only when you are ready — published items can be edited but not deleted. Use the Preview function to make sure that your page looks the way you want it to.
  • If you get stuck, take a look at Figshare support.

You can upload photos, video, audio, presentations, PDFs, images, datasets and more! And the more materials we gather together, the more we will draw attention to the amazing work done by women in STEM.

Twitter hashtags

The Twitter hashtag is always “ALD” with the last two numbers of the current year, eg #ALD18 for 2018 and so on. If you want a hashtag for your own event, use ALD plus the city or event name, eg #ALD18_Paris. If you have room in your tweet, please do feel free to include our handle, @findingada, and we will retweet when we can.

Free resources

Flyers and posters

You can download a number of flyer and poster blanks from Figshare in A3, A4, A5, US letter and half US letter sizes. All files are available in both PFD and PNG formats.

If you resize the images, please ensure that the text remains readable and that it will be retained when printed out.

Descriptive Texts

You can copy and paste any of the text below to use in your promotional materials. Please always link to our website at findingada.com and, if you can, include our twitter handle, @findingada.

About Ada Lovelace Day (short)

Ada Lovelace Day is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology engineering and maths which aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and create new role models for both girls and women studying or working in STEM.

Find out more about Ada Lovelace Day at findingada.com and on Twitter @findingada.

About Ada Lovelace Day (long)

Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

Founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson, it is now held every year on the second Tuesday of October. It features a flagship Ada Lovelace Day Live! ‘science cabaret’ event in London, UK, at which women in STEM give short talks about their work or about other women who have inspired them, or perform short comedy or musical interludes with a STEM focus.

The day also includes dozens of grassroots events around the world, organised entirely independently from the ALD Live! event. These events take many forms — from conferences to Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thons’ to pub quizzes — and appeal to all ages, from girls to university students, to women with well-established careers.

Find out more about Ada Lovelace Day at findingada.com and on Twitter @findingada.

About Ada Lovelace

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace — known now simply as Ada Lovelace — was the first person to publish, in 1843, what we would now call a computer program. Lovelace’s program described how Bernoulli numbers might be calculated on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a mechanical computer which he designed but never built. Lovelace also realised that the Analytical Engine could do more than just calculate numbers. It was also capable, she reasoned, of creating music and art, given the right data and algorithms. It would be another century before such computers were developed.

Find out more about Ada Lovelace Day at findingada.com and on Twitter @findingada, and read a longer Ada Lovelace biography at findingada.com/book/ada-lovelace-victorian-computing-visionary

Thank you!

Ada Lovelace Day is as successful as it is because people just like you get involved and organise your own events. Your contribution is important, not just for the day itself but for the women and girls in STEM in your community.

We care about diversity not just because it’s good for women and girls, but because it’s good for all of us. Diverse teams think differently and solve a wider variety of problems in ways that help more people.

Ada Lovelace Day isn’t just about women in STEM, it’s about our future.