Proposal for mentoring new WordCamp organizers

Many moons ago, we had a group that drafted this WordCamp Mentorship proposal. It didn’t garner a negative reaction from anyone, but it also didn’t give much guidance for would-be WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. mentors on what they should be discussing with new organizers.

I’d like to explore whether a mentorship period of one month might be more successful than a period of 3 months or longer, so here is my outline for what WordCamp mentors should/could cover with new organizers in a one-month period or a three-month period.

One month WordCamp mentorship checklist:

Mentor will be introduced when the team has been approved for pre-planning. The mentor checks in with the new organizer once a week, for the period of a month, and the pair talk over a different blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. of WordCamp practices and guidelines in each meeting. These topics might take as long as an hour for each conversation.

Week 1: Recruiting organizing team / Finding a venue / Drawing up a prelim budget

  • what you want in an organizing team
  • what you want in a venue and how to get it for free or cheap
  • budget setup: fixed vs variable expenses, “must haves” vs “nice to haves”
  • event revenue: ticket pricing, multi-event sponsorship, local sponsorship packages, in-kind sponsorship

Week 2: Website setup / Recruiting & selecting speakers/sponsors

  • how to use WordCamp.org tools for fun and winning
  • WordCamp website content management
  • what kind of schedule do you want
  • how to recruit local, diverse speakers.
  • timing: length of sessions and breaks.
  • how to make a call for speakers and review applications
  • wrangling speakers.

Week 3: Registration / Food and parties / Recruiting & scheduling volunteers

  • setting up registration with Camptix, coupon codes, managing sell-outs
  • planning lunch, coffee, snack for the event
  • planning (speaker and after-) parties/events
  • how to make a call for volunteers that attracts reliable people & how to set a volunteer schedule
  • tips for wrangling volunteers

Week 4: Designing swag & badges / Day Of: best practices and back-up plans

  • badge design best practices
  • swag design best practices
  • before-event emails to attendees, speakers, sponsors
  • back-up plans

Three month WordCamp mentorship checklist:

Mentor will be introduced when the team has been approved for pre-planning. The mentor checks in with the new organizer once a week, for the period of three months, and the pair discusses the new organizer’s weekly progress in organizing the WordCamp. These weekly conversations might last 15-30 minutes.

  • Week 1: recruiting the organizing team
  • Week 2: finding a venue: what you want and how to get it for free or cheap
  • Week 3: budget setup: fixed vs variable expenses, “must haves” vs “nice to haves”
  • Week 4: setting up your revenue: ticket pricing, multi-event sponsorship, local sponsorship packages, in-kind sponsorship
  • Week 5: setting up your WordCamp site: how to use WordCamp.org tools for fun and winning, content management
  • Week 6: programming: what kind of schedule do you want, how to recruit local, diverse speakers, length of sessions & breaks, how to make a call for speakers and review applications, wrangling speakers.
  • Week 7: fundraising: fielding sponsorship inquiries, wrangling sponsors
  • Week 8: setting up registration with Camptix, coupon codes, managing sell-outs
  • Week 9: designing swag and badges, planning lunch, planning (speaker and after-) parties/events
  • Week 10: how to make a call for volunteers that attracts reliable people & how to set a volunteer schedule, tips for wrangling volunteers
  • Week 11: working with WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each. to get your vendors paid
  • Week 12: before-event emails to attendees, speakers, sponsors, day-of best practices and backup plans

I’ll echo @andymci‘s invitation for beating up. 🙂

I think some of the infrastructure included in the proposal might not be necessary, but please weigh in on that and everything else. 😀