63 people responded to the post-event survey. Wish it had been more, and I’ve left the survey open if any participants want to fill it in now, but here are the results as they stand.
Some quotes that represent the majority of the overall feedback:
“Having the smaller groups made it possible to actually have more than a passing conversation with people. I truly feel as though I got to know these people.”
“It was absolutely incredible to be in the same place as all the attendees, a real and genuine thrill and honour.”
“[I] have a lot more momentum to move forward with getting involved than I had previously.”
“Really good to get together in person and discuss all the things that tend to go unsaid or have never been verbalized at all.”
And now, the actual survey results!
Overall, how would you rate the community summit?
Fantastic; exceeded my expectations — 71%
Good; met my expectations — 29%
Poor; didn’t live up to my expectations — 0%
What was the main thing you wanted to accompish by attending the summit?
Most answers here centered around meeting people face to face and building stronger bonds than have been built online, and increasing communication. Second runner up was around figuring out how to contribute something valuable to WP and/or get more contributors interested in specific areas (i18n, etc).
Was that achieved?
Yes, completely — 62%
Partially, but there are still open issues — 37%
Nope, not at all — 2% (that’s 1 person out of 63)
Most of the comments noted that if the goal had not been completely achieved, progress was being made as a result of the summit discussions and would hopefully achieve it soon.
The one person who said “Nope, not at all” had this primary goal: “I wanted to hear, discuss, dissect, and propose high level solutions to places where WordPress isn’t a market leader; especially outside of the US.” I’ll follow up with this person to get more feedback on why they think this goal wasn’t achieved.
The unconference format was new to many people. Had you ever participated in an unconference before?
No, this format was new to me — 44%
Yes, I was familiar with this format — 38%
Yes, but previous unconferences were more like regular presentations, not discussions — 17%
What did you think of the unconference format as it was used here?
Fantastic; exceeded expectations — 68%
Good, met expectations — 27%
Poor, didn’t meet expectations — 5%
Which discussion groups did you participate in?
Fairly even listing of all the discussions.
Of the discussions you participated in, which was the best/most useful, and why?
This was pretty evenly distributed, and looking at who chose which topics, they were the ones closest to their original goals.
Many people had informal discussions in between sessions. Were any of your informal discussions about a topic that didn’t make it onto the unconference board that you think belonged there?
Most of the answers to this question were actually sessions, just ones that the respondent didn’t attend. Ones that weren’t on the board:
- EU Cookie Law
- WordPress failing to break into Enterprise, Education and Government.
- Settings API
- Git mirrors for open source parts of the WordPress.org
- GlotPress release milestone/features.
What did you think of the size of the summit (about 100 participants)?
Perfect size — 95%
Too big — 5%
Too small — 0%
How many participants did you interact with by the end of the summit?
I met most, but not all — 63%
I met many people, but probably fewer than half the people there — 32%
I met everyone — 3%
I didn’t meet that many people — 2%
How many people (ballpark) did you meet in person for the first time?
High Number: 99
How many people did you meet that you hadn’t even encountered online before?
High Number: 40
Low Number: 0
Were there any people you really wish had been there to represent a specific point of view?
Everyone mentioned by name had been invited to the summit, but didn’t ultimately attend for one reason or another.
How do you feel about the duration of the conference?
Too short — 71%
Just right — 29%
Too long — 0%
Most comments said 2 days would be good, with informal days optional afterward.
How long did you stay in town?
Three+ extra days — 30%
One extra day — 29%
Just Sunday — Tuesday — 22%
Two Extra days — 19%
Many wished they’d stayed longer.
What did you think of Tybee Island as the location?
Good; met my expectations — 48%
Fantastic; exceeded expectations — 44%
Poor; did not meet my expectations — 8%
46 comments on this one. A number of people (esp int’l) thought we should have gone to a hub city instead for easier travel, though most liked the actual place in terms of being there. Others thought the semi-remoteness helped make the event better, citing accidental meetings, restaurant take-overs, and cottage shares as positives. Overall thread noted a more retreat-like atmosphere and fewer distractions was good. May want to try a hub city next time and compare.
What did you think of the venue (Tybee Island Wedding Chapel)?
Good; met my expectations — 67%
Poor; did not meet my expectations — 17%
Fantastic; exceeded expectations — 16%
Comments cited that the downstairs area got too noisy, more bathrooms would have been good, and that the wifi issue was lame (most acknowledged that it wasn’t a dealbreaker since we were doing all discussions). Note: I followed up with the venue owner afterward. They apparently did get 3 access points to carry up to 180 simultaneous connections as requested, but had not installed them. Hmph.)
What did you think of the food?
Pizza at Huc-a-Poo’s
FANTASTIC — 25%
GOOD — 67.31%
POOR — 7.69%
Coffee/muffins before start
FANTASTIC — 52.46%
GOOD — 47.54%
POOR — 0%
FANTASTIC — 59.68%
GOOD — 33.87%
POOR — 6.45%
Dinner/Party at Crab Shack
FANTASTIC — 44.44%
GOOD — 47.62%
POOR — 7.94%
Should we make this a regular event?
Yes, definitely — 90%
Maybe, depends on details — 10%
Nope — 0%
What suggestions do you have for improving the event in the future?
Most comments were around scheduling a 2nd day, talking more about topics and format in advance, and location. Overall people seemed very happy with the event.