WordCamp Vancouver 2015 Debrief

(Note: we’ll be holding debrief meetings with each 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. organizing team after the event is over and posting the data here so everyone can learn from what each WordCamp team learns. Going forward, the deputy who was mentoring the WordCamp will do this. Until we have mentors assigned to each WordCamp from start to finish, though, any deputy who’s been helping for a month or more can debrief a WordCamp organizing team.)

I talked to Flynn O’Connor, lead organizer for WordCamp Vancouver this year, on September 4.

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 301
  • How many people showed up? they didn’t use the attended feature — I let them know about it for next year — but hand-counted 260 (which better than last year)
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? about 80 (hour gap because the party space was small)
  • How many people filled out the survey? 42 (publicized the survey the Wednesday after the event)
  • How did the money end up? $3,196.26 surplus (community sponsorship grant was $5,000)

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? need Flynn to submit for reimbursement, also BCIT needs to be sent in; won’t pay video until they get the files
  • All sponsors paid? ProsPress needs to pay, Flynn will email
  • Was there a surplus? 3k
  • What cost more than you expected? No, lots of things cost less in fact.

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? By the end of September.

The opinions:

  • The beginning of the day was hard — Lulu Lemon had a (semi-secret) half-marathon that ran on the road their venue was on. This didn’t affect attendees (most people took mass transit or parked farther away), but the caterers and video guys had trouble loading in.
  • What went great: They kept all dev talks upstairs and more general talks downstairs; the dev track was very full. Training track talks went really really well. It was in a much smaller room.
  • What could have gone better: The help desk didn’t get much usage outside of lunch.
  • What should happen again: Have people sign up for classes they were interested in, at the event. (first one started at 10); meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. mailing list was great for communication.
  • What do you think should never happen again: rethink or phase out happiness bar/help desk; don’t do swag bags again.

Things that were a downer:

  • StickerGiant shipped them stickers but valued them at $1600 (we think a typo) and that error cost $400 in duties!
  • Asking them to hold the date announcement until budget approval was complete cause problems for this camp — they’re glad we are changing that. Suggested better transparency with global sponsorship grants.

Did you write a recap post? Yes, and it was reblogged on Central.
Who’s on deck to organize next year? Not sure, but there are a few meetup members who are interested.

#debrief, #wordcamps