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New Participants

Welcome New Participants! We have several resources designed to introduce and integrate IETF you into to the community, including tutorials and web pages that describe IETF processes and provide overviews of IETF technical work. Dive in and have fun!

New Participants' Overview

This overview is divided into three sections:

  1. Overview of the IETF
  2. Introduction to an IETF meeting week
  3. Overview of resources (people, tools, information)

The entire tutorial can be viewed in a 20 minute block of time. Or, if you prefer, you can view each section separately. This introduction was developed to help new participants understand how to start participating in the IETF. It’s intended to be a practical introduction. As such, it does not cover topics like the history of the IETF or how to author an Internet draft. Those topics are covered in other tutorials, available on our website. We strongly recommend that you download the accompanying slide deck.

Participating in IETF Meetings

Please start by reading the Introduction to IETF Meetings, which covers all of the basics you need to know about IETF Meetings, and familiarise yourself with the Meeting Technology as this is probably very different from anything you may have used before.

Support for New Participants

The IETF defines 'New Participants' as anyone who has participated in fewer than 6 meetings (onsite or remote) and provides events and other services to help them get the most from the meeting.

Events for New Participants

There are a number of events specifically set up for new participants during the week. These are advertised both in the agenda and on the new participants mailing list.

The **New Participants Overview Tutorial**, generally held on Sunday, where an experienced IETF participant presents a general introduction to the IETF. The session covers the structure of the IETF, how to get the most out of the meeting, and many other essential and enlightening topics for new IETFers.

Then later on the Sunday is the **New Participants Quick Connections**, which is a simple and effective way for new participants to be introduced to a variety of experienced IETF attendees — often working group (WG) chairs — who can help you get more involved in your areas of interest. It is a great chance to meet people, and establish contacts that can be useful during the rest of the week. Registration is required as space is limited.

The **New Participants Dinner** on the Monday night is a subsidised dinner providing time for in-depth conversation and socializing.

Finally there is the **New Participants Social Hour** on the Thursday evening, which is a great opportunity for newcomers to share their experiences and discuss topics of interest with IETF leadership.

Guides Program

The IETF Guides program, pairs newcomers with an experienced IETF person to help you become acclimated and effective quickly. The intent is for you to have a call with your guide before the meeting, a meeting during the beginning of the meeting, and check in some time during the meeting, so they can help you with any questions you might have. For more information on the program see the IETF Guide page or sign-up.

Tips for New Participants

It is best to plan to be present the whole week, to benefit from cross-fertilization between WGs and from hallway discussions. As noted, the agenda can change, and there have been instances of participants missing important sessions due to last-minute scheduling changes after their travel plans were fixed. Being present the whole week is the only way to avoid this annoyance. If you cannot find meetings all week to interest you, you can still make the most of the IETF meeting by working between sessions. Almost every attendee has a laptop, and it is common to see many of them in the terminal room or in the lobbies and hallways working during meeting sessions.

As a new participant, don't be afraid to strike up conversations with leadership (people with dots on their badges). If the IAB and IESG members and Working Group and BOF chairs didn't want to talk to anybody, they wouldn't be wearing the dots in the first place! Note, however, that if someone is very busy and you want to discuss a complex topic then they may ask you to send email after the meeting ends.

For a good primer on how to effectively engage in the IETF, read RFC 4144: How to Gain Prominence and Influence in Standards Organizations.

New Participant Information for IETF 120 Vancouver

Meetecho test session with Q&A

We will be hosting 2 Meetecho test sessions prior to IETF 120 for New Participants. These sessions will help you get familiar with the most useful features of Meetecho. There will also be time for general Q&A about the upcoming IETF 120 meeting.

Prior to the session starting, please read the Meetecho guide for participants.
When you click on the meeting links below, you will be prompted to log into your datatracker account.

Session 1 - July 8, 2024
4:00 PM PT / 7:00 PM ET / 23:00 UTC
Meetecho call-in details: TBD

Session 2 - July 9, 2024
6:00 AM PT / 9:00 AM ET / 14:00 UTC
Meetecho call-in details: TBD

There will also be a Meetecho test session onsite in Vancouver. This session will also be available or remote participants.

Important Dates

See the important dates page to stay informed about when registration opens and all deadlines related to the meeting.

The preliminary agenda for IETF 120 will be available 21 June 2024. It is up to each individual working group to post agendas.

New Participants' Events

All times below are in local time for Vancouver.

Date Time Event Description
Sunday - July 21, 2024 12:30-13:30 New Participant Overview (Onsite and Remote) This session is a review of the New Participants’ Overview Presentation and provides new participants with information on how the IETF works, what to expect at a meeting and much more. This session will be available via Meetecho and will be linked from the agenda.
Sunday - July 21, 2024 13:30-14:30 Meetecho test session (Onsite and Remote) Immediately following the New Participant Overview we will have a Meetecho test session to help participants become familiar with the tool and test their audio/video settings. This session will be available via Meetecho and will be linked from the agenda.
Sunday - July 21, 2024 16:00-17:00 Quick Connections (Onsite only) NOTE: Pre-registration is required and available on your attendee dashboard. The Quick Connections is a simple and effective way for you to be introduced to a variety of experienced IETF attendees — often working group (WG) chairs — who can help you get more involved in your areas of interest.
Monday - July 22, 2024 19:00-21:00 New Participants' Dinner (Onsite participants only) Join fellow new participants and make connections. Organized by Secretariat, please note that there is a $15 entrance fee as this is not an IETF funded event.
Thursday - July 25, 2024 17:30-18:30 New Participants' Social Hour (Onsite only) Come join us to chat about how your IETF week went. This is a great opportunity to meet IETF Leadership! Refreshments will be provided.

If you have any questions, please contact!