Tips on organizing a pgp key signing party
Over the years I’ve organized or tried to organize pgp key signing parties every time I go somewhere. I the last year I’ve organized 3 that were successful (eg with more then 10 attendees).
1. Have a venue
I’ve tried a bunch of times to have people show up at the hotel I was staying in the morning - that doesn’t work. Having catering at the venues is even better, it will encourage people to come from far away (or long distance commute). Try to show the path in the venues with signs (paper with PGP key signing party and arrows help).
2. Date and time
Meeting in the evening after work works better ( after 18 or 18:30 works better).
Let people know how long it will take (count 1 hour/per 30 participants).
3. Make people sign up
That makes people think twice before saying they will attend. It’s also an easy way for you to know how much beer/cola/ etc.. you’ll need to provide if you cater food.
I’ve been using eventbrite to manage attendance at my last three meeting it let’s me :
- know who is coming
- Mass mail participants
- have them have a calendar reminder
4 Reach out
For such a party you need people to attend so you need to reach out.
I always start by a search on biglumber.com to find who are the people using gpg registered on that site for the area I’m visiting (see below on what I send).
Then I look for local linux users groups / *BSD groups and send an announcement to them with :
- link to eventbrite and why I use it
- ask them to forward (they know the area better than you)
- I also use lanyrd and twitter but I’m not convinced that it works.
for my last announcement it looked like this :
Subject: GnuPG / PGP key signing party September 26 2014 Content-Type: multipart/signed; micalg=pgp-sha256; protocol="application/pgp-signature"; boundary="t01Mpe56TgLc7mgHKVMajjwkqQdw8XvI4" This is an OpenPGP/MIME signed message (RFC 4880 and 3156) --t01Mpe56TgLc7mgHKVMajjwkqQdw8XvI4 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Hello my name is ludovic, I'm a sysadmins at mozilla working remote from europe. I've been involved with Thunderbird a lot (and still am). I'm organizing a pgp Key signing party in the Mozilla san francisco office on September the 26th 2014 from 6PM to 8PM. For security and assurances reasons I need to count how many people will attend. I'v setup a eventbrite for that at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gnupg-pgp-key-signing-party-making-the-web-o= f-trust-stronger-tickets-12867542165 (please take one ticket if you think about attending - If you change you mind cancel so more people can come). I will use the eventbrite tool to send reminders and I will try to make a list with keys and fingerprint before the event to make things more manageable (but I don't promise). for those using lanyrd you will be able to use http://lanyrd.com/ccckzw. Ludovic ps sent to buug.org,nblug.org end penlug.org - please feel free to post where appropriate ( the more the meerier, the stronger the web of trust).= ps2 I have contacted people listed on biglumber to have more gpg related people show up. --=20 [:Usul] MOC Team at Mozilla QA Lead fof Thunderbird http://sietch-tabr.tumblr.com/ - http://weusepgp.info/
5. Make it easy to attend
As noted above making a list of participants to hand out helps a lot (I’ve used http://www.phildev.net/pius/ and my own stuff to make a list). It make it easier for you, for attendees. Tell people what they need to bring (IDs, pen, printed fingerprints if you don’t provide a list).
6. Send reminders
Send people reminder and let them know how many people intend to show up. It boosts audience.