Provide food generously and cater for each individuals dietary needs. Food is not only a nutritional necessity but the main meals should be a good time to have a break and clear everyones heads. In a few sprints there have been people hired to do the cooking of the main meals and this was fantastic, mainly because the food was extraordinary.
Eating at restaurants slows down the entire process considerably and can break the flow. Restaurants can be ok if there is a set menu and it is prepared and delivered when the sprinters arrive.
However my preferred option is to cook at the sprint venue. I like this option because I like to cook and also because it gives me a much needed regular break from facilitation.
Whichever option you choose you will need to know the food preferences of all sprinters well before the sprint and plan accordingly. You should also provide ample snack food and drinks for consuming between meals.
It is pretty important to have a fast internet connection. Writing and saving text does not require much bandwidth but placing images and generating/downloading PDF can consume a lot. In addition, your sprinters probably want to email, message or call friends, family and business associates via the net. Having a good connection means you don´t cause them unnecessary any frustration.
However, if you do find yourself without a good connection or you are planning to do a sprint somewhere with no net access then Booki can be downloaded and installed on your own computer and you can share access by setting up a local network. Before trying this make sure you have installed Booki and know how to set up a local network well before the event.
It is also important to have both wired and wireless connections available. Wifi is the best option as it allows for a greater amount of flexibility if sprinters want to change working spaces. However its always a good idea to have at least one connection available via ethernet cable in case someone has issues with their wifi card (more common than you might think).
It is really useful to have a data projector especially in the early stages of the sprint. Being able to collectively view the Table of Contents while you create it is essential. Later the projector is useful for discussing the progress of chapters and working out structural issues. It is of course possible to use a large monitor and have everyone gather around it, or to ask everyone to look at Booki on their own computers during these periods however these two options are much less efficient.
If you are having sprinters come from other countries then it is a good idea to have the appropriate power adapters ready in case anyone has forgotten theirs. It is also good to have more than enough extension cables and multi-socket boards. Bring socket boards with surge protectors if you have a choice (especially important if you don´t know how stable the power supply is).
Bring good chairs. Sprinters will probably spend 10-14 hours a day on them so they need to be comfortable. Check before with everyone to see if there are any special requirements.
Make sure you have one continuous table space that everyone can work around. This is hugely important. Don´t make the mistake of breaking the group up into smaller separated tables unless there is a clear need (ie. there are two different sprints happening at the same time). Sprinters need to see each other and talk easily to each other. For generating the right environment the table is probably more necessary that almost any other single piece of equipment.
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