What on earth are you thinking? Why on earth do you want to organize a WordCamp? You’re not an event planner!! You’re a (check one) [ ]Web Developer [ ]Web Designer [ ]Blogger [ ]Wo/Man on the Street
I know, right? You went to WordCamp somewhere and you came away thinking your village/town/city needs a WordCamp too, and since then you’ve been possessed by that idea and now you’re on the verge of filling in the form and submitting your application to organise a WordCamp (or, god forbid, you’ve already filled it in…)
STOP IT – STOP IT AT ONCE
Before you fill it in (and if you have, before you go any further)… here are some things to think about… and when you’ve thought about them, and done one or two of them THEN I’ll give you permission to go over to http://plan.wordcamp.org and apply.
1. Decide why you want to do this… is it because you?
- Want people to buy your plugin
- Want people to take you seriously about your WordPress business
- Want people to know who you are
- Want to share your love of WordPress and help other people to learn to do it better
- Want to meet some Automatticians and score yourself as sweet gig
There is only one right answer to the above and if you need help figuring out which one that is ping me and I’ll help you, but don’t be surprised if I tell you I think you probably shouldn’t be planning a WordCamp.
2. Have a good long look at yourself and get a handle on what you’re good at – is it?
- Rallying people around a project
- Designing pretty layouts
- Pimping your site/s, team, family out for cash
a truckload ofcash
- Researching venues and suppliers and the like and negotiating on prices
- Managing time/deadlines/tasks
- Drinking beer with your buddies after work.
- Being enthusiastic about WordPress
NOW, having looked at the list above and picked which you’re good at, find yourself a team. And find people who are good at the things you are NOT good at.
I am not good at designing. I can’t design for diddly… if I did the design, our WordCamp Sydney site might look more like it came out of the 90s (blink tag anyone?) than the vision of loveliness it is today… It looks this good because we have Tracey (@dogshindleg) on our team and she designs things… (you can see what else she did here) Everybody is a much happier camper because I’m not in charge of design.
I’m also not good at pimping myself/team/family out for cash. It is awkward to suggest that other members of our team are, quite frankly… so perhaps pimping is not the correct word… BUT we do have a team member who has organised a great many events of an opensource nature in our fair city and who is, shall we say ‘connected’ and this man can drum up fabulous support from sponsors and from vendors. We love him even though is preferred CMS is Joomla, his name is Pete (@astroboysoup) (and if you want to sponsor WordCamp Sydney… please ping him on twitter or message him via the form on our site).
I am also rubbish at planning tasks and deadlines… I know what needs to be done, but structuring the work so the important things get done first and so we know what the real deadlines are, falls to our very own project manager… who is in fact a project manager in her real life as well… she gets.things.done and her name is Alison (@alisonvanhees).
Finally, we have a silent partner called Stew (@youdaman), he’s good at drinking beer, as are we all, actually. He’s good at a lot of other things, but those other things got more pressing for him, so he’s doing those but he’s also on our team. He’s just… quiet.
Oh, and then there’s me (@thewebprincess). I can develop sites and themes, I can rally a team around a project, I can negotiate with terrorists, I can also cold call suppliers, venues and I am pretty networked in the WordPress community. I can rite gud and I can plug away at a job, even if it isn’t a fun one, until it is finished… I do that stuff, and I also write encouraging posts so my team knows I think they’re awesome.
Because, they are.
3. Are you any of the following?
- A member of an existing meetup group
- Using WordPress all the time, or if not all the time, regularly
- Connected to other WordPress users, be it in real life, on twitter or other social networks
- All of the above
To organise a WordCamp you pretty much should be answering that last question with an e… all of the above, WordCamp planning alone is a thankless task (and no fun solo), so get a good team around you, be involved with, and gear your WordCamp to building your local WordPress Community and meetup group, and have just a little edge of crazy in the mix because, frankly it’s no fun if there’s no nonsense – and this team can cook up the nonsense as we need it (!).
Finally, if none of the above puts you off, if you are building a WordCamp for the purpose of building the community and not solely for yourself and your business, AND if you can gather a team of like minded, slightly crazy, skilled people then, and only then, is it time to fill in the form at http://plan.wordcamp.org and apply.