Group Meetup Orientation at WCEU Contributor Day

Greetings potential meetup organisers!

At the Contributor Day for WordCamp Europe this year (which will be taking place on 15 June), we will be holding a group meetup orientation at some point during the day. So, if you’re planning on starting a meetup group in your area and you will be attending the Contributor Day, then please get your meetup application in as soon as you can by filling in this form. That way we can process it before the day and you can join in the group meetup orientation along with the other new organisers who will be doing the same thing.

Even if you are attending the Contributor Day as part of a different contribution team, you can still attend the meetup orientation as it will not be longer than 1 hour. We will decide on the time of day for the orientation closer to the date, and will let those of you who are going to be a part of it know when it will be.

This will be a great way to kick start your meetup group as you will immediately have a friendly network of other organisers who you have chatted to in person 🙂

Weekly Updates

Hello to all our Deputies, WordCamp organizers, Meetup wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team in Slack and ask for help!

Agenda for Community Team Chat June 1st

Hello community team!

Let’s start an agenda for our meeting next week!


Please post in the comments if you have some agenda items to add so we can update this post as we go.


What’s in a name? Organizing WordCamps and developing the Finnish community

A month ago, Helsinki hosted its first WordCamp Helsinki but its second WordCamp. This is a description of why there was a WordCamp Finland in the first place and an account of our experience with the name change.

A few years ago it was easier to meet fellow Finnish WordPress enthusiasts at WordCamp Europe than in our cities. In 2015, Tampere organized the first Finnish WordCamp. The event was sold out and more than 180 people attended. The two-day event, a conference day and workshop day, was successful and received positive reviews from the participants.

Two reasons influenced the team into calling it WordCamp Finland instead of WordCamp Tampere. The main reason was because this was the first WordCamp in the country. The concept of a WordCamp was unknown to many people in Finland using WordPress, so the organizing team felt that a national event would be more appealing. The secondary reason was that the event was not located in the capital region, and calling it WordCamp Finland delivered a stronger message to attract more people from outside of Tampere. Moreover, at that time, Tampere was the only city in Finland with a local meetup, so the organizing team was certain that during 2015 this would be the sole WordCamp in Finland.

Tampere became the blueprint of the community. Under the scorching sun of Seville at WordCamp Europe 2015, a few people from Helsinki decided to start a local meetup, whose first event took place two months later. Soon after that, two other meetups started in Turku and Jyväskylä.

Last year, in 2016 WordCamp Finland moved to Helsinki. The event was larger than the previous year’s; we increased the number of tickets by thirty percent, and we added Finland’s first contributor day with Core, Polyglots, and Community teams. It was during this contributor’s day that the meetup in Oulu was created.

Why did we decide to keep WordCamp Finland as the name of the event? Honestly, it was not a conscious decision, but these were our thoughts:

  1. Firstly, we were not aware of any country-level restrictions.
  2. Secondly, WordCamp Finland had been established already the previous year, so we felt that we were carrying on the “tradition”.
  3. Lastly, we were sure that in 2016 no other WordCamp would take place in the country.

Nowadays, Finland has a vibrant and healthy WordPress community. We have had monthly meetups in five cities – Tampere, Helsinki, Turku, Jyväskylä, and Oulu – for at least a year and our Slack team is really active.

This year WordCamp Finland changed its name to WordCamp Helsinki. In the beginning, the organising team had some concerns regarding this change:

  • Fear that there would be confusion with the new name because the old name was already established in the community.
  • The city name seemed to target a narrower audience.
  • Some team members didn’t like the strictness of the rule.Feeling that we should all push together as a whole community under WordCamp Finland because this is a small country.
  • Worry that the name change would seem like this event was exclusive to the Helsinki community, and consequently the number of attendees from around the country would diminish.
  • Fewer applications from international speakers.

To avoid the confusion with the name and communicate that people from everywhere were welcome, we used the country map in our design and we made sure to mention clearly that people from everywhere were welcome to the event.

To encourage and help other cities to organize local WordCamps  the organizing team included two persons from other local communities, Turku and Jyväskylä. This way they could gather experience and afterwards lead their own local events.

Other than the change in the naming, WordCamp Helsinki 2017 was identical to last year’s event.

Two members of the organizing team changed.
The event venue was the same.
The number of attendees was the same.
Same contributor day venue and contributor teams.
… And even the same lunch menu.

This time, the tickets sold out in two hours. The number of international speaker applications was roughly the same as in 2016. People still travelled from other cities to attend the event and the general feedback so far has been strongly positive. Also, a new meetup is sprouting in Seinäjoki.

Some team members still think that national WordCamps can be useful in the beginning to get the community together, and dislike strict rules of this kind. However, based on the gathered feedback and attendance, the whole team realized that our earlier concerns either were unfounded or could be worked out. The fact that all the Finnish WordCamps were sold out quickly and that many participants came from other cities is a plausible sign that there is room for other events. WordCamp Helsinki could have been larger, but the team decided not to. Finding a larger venue and managing a bigger event required time the team did not have, particularly because the planning started quite late. Keeping the event at the same size allowed the team to feel comfortable organizing the event. On top of that, this was an example to other cities that were reluctant to organise a WordCamp because they thought that every event had to be larger than the previous one.

In the end, changing the name didn’t make a difference in the event itself, and if anything it encouraged other cities to organize their own events. At the moment, both Turku and Jyväskylä are planning to have a local WordCamp next year.

This was our experience with changing from a national to a city named WordCamp event. If you have done the same, what was your experience?

Meetups in Finland: Helsinki, Jyväskyla, Oulu, Tampere, and Turku.

US Holiday AFK 29 May

Howdy folks! Please note that Monday, 29 May is Memorial Day, which is a federal holiday in the US. This means that US banks are closed, and payments will not be processed that day.

Many US-based members of the Global Community Team will be AFK or with limited availability that day, but many outside the US will still be available! Deputies and mentors will still be hanging around in #community-events on Slack so if you need help, that will be the best place to ask any questions during that time. We’ll be back to our normal schedule on May 30!


Weekly Updates

Hello to all our Deputies, WordCamp organizers, Meetup wranglers, and WordPress Community builders! You were probably hard at work this weekend. Tell us what you got accomplished in our #weekly-update!

Have you run into a roadblock with the stuff you’re working on? Head over to #community-events or #community-team in Slack and ask for help!

Finalising topics for the Community Summit

The Community Summit is going to be hosted in Paris just a few days before WordCamp Europe, on 13 & 14 June 2017. We are at the stage now where all contribution teams are being asked to finalise their topics for the Summit, so that is what I would like to do here. The deadline for final topics is 9 June 2017.

The currently proposed topics for all teams are listed here, and these are the ones for the Community Team:

  1. Global involvement in the Community Team
    • Language barriers
    • Diversity
  2. WordCamps & Money
    • Responsible use of WordCamp funds within the new legal structure
    • Sponsoring volunteers
    • Sponsorship levels
    • Better value for sponsors
    • Cost of swag
  3. Marketing & Engagement
    • Engaging people outside the WordPress bubble
    • More involvement at meetups & WordCamps
    • Going from a strong meetup to a WordCamp
  4. Paying for speaker travel
  5. Regional camps
  6. Improving deputy training
    • Improving training materials
    • Keeping deputies updated
  7. Code of Conduct and harassment reports
    • Training organisers on how to handle harassment reports
    • Reviewing the Code of Conduct to be more inclusive
  8. Supporting other event types
    • Financial and logistical support for different types of events
    • Microgrants tool

What we need to know from the community and our deputies (whether you will be attending the Summit or not), is the following:

1. Which of those topics do you think we could sort out in a Slack and/or P2 discussion before the Summit?
2. Are there any additional topics that you feel are important for us to discuss at the Summit?

While answering those questions, please bear the following from the Summit announcement post in mind:

The main purpose of the summit is to move the project forward before and after the event, with the event being a milestone in a larger set of work.

With this main goal in mind, we’ll touch base with all team reps to figure out which of the topics proposed can be handled beforehand, and come up with topics that would be:

1) of importance to the project as a whole
2) would benefit from cross-team collaboration
3) will leave us in a better position than when we started

Planning for WCEU Contributor Day

WordCamp Europe is hosting a Contributor Day on Thursday, June 15th (info here) — let’s start thinking of projects we can work on while we’re there!

Here are some ideas I had; please don’t take them as settled, because this is just my first brainstorming pass:

I think it might be good to host an in-person meetup orientation as well as (if possible), an in-person deputy training session.

Project ideas for experienced contributors:

  • work on the grants program
  • make a list of “active contributors” or whatever we’re calling the folks who might get the new contributor badge

Project ideas for new contributors who are involved in a local meetup group:

  • community meetup testimonial videos (multi-lingual)
  • meetup best practices list for: running meetings, finding speakers, etc — essentially in which the best practices list might be created by meetup attendees answering a survey with questions like “what topics interest you,” “what were your favorite meetups last year,” “what meeting times/dates are best for you” — essentially our year-end survey, with some additions?

New contributors who are 100% new to community and have no local WP group:

  • attend an in-person meetup organizer orientation
  • compile a list of local diversity in tech groups to help make a resource for local organizers who want to recruit diverse speaker lineups
  • testing the speaker application plugin? maybe?

Like I said, this is totally just a first pass. 🙂 Please please please suggest project/task ideas in the comments below!

Community Team chat summary – 18 May 2017

This is the recap for the Community Team chat for the EU/Asia-Pacific timezones at 8:00 UTC. There will be a second meeting with the same agenda at 20:00 UTC as well. Here is the agenda and here are the Slack logs.

Items discussed:

Deputy check-in

  • @divyadeepsawhney and @imnok have signed them deputy agreement, but not heard back yet. @_dorsvenabili will respond to that today about next steps.
  • @kenshino will pick up another WordCamp to mentor soon.
  • @emanuel_blagonic is ready to mentor another WordCamp (or more than one!).
  • @mayukojpn is working hard at managing WordCamp mentors in the Asia-Pacific timezones.
  • @drebbitsweb has been involved in a lot more meetup orientations and will be taking them by himself soon.
  • I will be finishing the deputy training for @adityakane and @carl-alberto tomorrow, so they can get started in Help Scout from next week.

Keeping up with the Community P2
It has been mentioned recently that some deputies are not (or are struggling to) keep up with this P2. It is very important for deputies to keep up to date with things on here, so we discussed how we can help with this. An idea that was suggested and can be easily implemented is a consistent tag be used for important posts that must be highlighted for deputies – we can then have a feed of that tag’s posts in a sidebar widget, so it will bu automatically updated.

Help Scout access
The issue of security with regards to so many people having access to Help Scout was brought up. This is something that requires further discussion and a decision must be made about who we give access to going forward.

Community Summit and WCEU Contributor Day prep

  • @_dorsvenabili will publish a post about the Community topics for the Community Summit and we can discuss those on there.
  • Once myself, @andreamiddleton and @kcristiano (the Community Team leads for the WCEU Contributor Day) have discussed things a bit further, we will post about the plans and open that up for discussion as well.

Highlighting posts
We highlighted a few P2 posts for deputies to take note of and encouraged discussion to take place in the post comments instead of in Slack.

These meetings are held in the first and third Thursday of each month according to the schedule in the sidebar here. Meetings are held at 8:00 and 20:00 UTC in #community-team in Slack.

Premium Plugin in exchange for promo favors for Meetup Organizers

We’ve had a lot of discussion with Meetups and organizers in the past about how to handle sponsorship for meetup groups. One of the types of sponsorship offers we see are  similar to this one:

Modern Tribe offers the Event Aggregator plugin to meetup organizers on the chapter program who also maintain a WordPress site for the group.On the application form, they request from the applicant: (paraphrased here)

  • to send information to the group’s members via email 
  • to share information at an upcoming Meetup
  • to tweet our thanks (if a twitter account is available)<
  • to post a Thank You Facebook page (if available)
  • to give Modern Tribe and The Events Calendar permission to show meetup logo within their lists of participants/customers.

As I understand  #1 of the Good Faith rules, this doesn’t seem to benefit the community as a whole. As a WordPress meetup organizer, I would not sign up for this kind of offering.

What do you think about offers like this? How do you think, it should be handled by Meetup Organizers? Please add your comment below.