WordCamp Vegas 2015 Debrief

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 165 general admission, 20 single day
  • How many days? 2 days
  • How many separate rooms? 2 rooms on both days, end of day 2 brought everyone together into 1 room for unconference session
  • How many people showed up? 164
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? Maybe 60
  • How many people filled out the survey? Sent out the general 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. survey. Wasn’t sure how to find out how to see the responses. I looked in SupportPress to see if they were coming there, but I didn’t see any.

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? All signs point to yes.
  • All sponsors paid? Yes. One sponsor requested a speaking position in return for sponsorship. He was denied.
  • How did the money end up (+/-)? $3299 surplus.
  • Has the budget been balanced? Yes.
  • What cost less than you expected? Afterparty was $1,700 instead of the anticipated $2,400. T-shirts were only $1,822 instead of estimated $2,000.
  • What cost more than you expected? Nothing
  • Was there anything that you forgot to add to your budget? No.

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? Did record videos, but audio on day one didn’t come out very well. Microphone batteries had to be changed out every couple of speakers. There’s a lot of feedback due to venue microphones. That being said, the videos should be uploaded to WordPress.tv by end of the month.

The opinions:

  • What went great? Almost everything. Josepha really helped out towards the end getting things paid. Planning was really easy. Picking the speakers was simple and straight forward. Venue was super easy to work with. They brought everyone together at the end of the last day for an unconference type session where attendees could drive the conversation.
  • What could have gone better? More understanding on how to use 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. site tools, and updating and understanding how to work with budgets.
  • What should happen again? Make sure volunteers are solid early on. Keep updating budget every few days.
  • What do you think should never happen again? Take more control over Speaker/Sponsor dinner. The venue for S/S dinner was not helpful.

Things that were a downer:

  • Coffee vendor bailed at the last minute, so they had to find another vendor. But she charged less than they budgeted so it was a happy/sad moment.
  • Volunteers didn’t want to volunteer, they wanted to watch sessions. Next time, have a more defined schedule for volunteers and be more forceful. If volunteers aren’t going to volunteer, they shouldn’t be allowed to stay and watch.
  • One speaker didn’t show up because he had the flu, someone filled in for him.
  • One speaker didn’t seem very prepared, so Russell had someone join them on stage to smooth it out.

Did you write a recap post? Yes. Pulled together various community members recap posts and promoted those. Will probably add to this in the coming days.
Who’s on deck to organize next year? Russell wants to organize again next year, he’s already applied.

Final thoughts from Russell: Ticketing, especially as it relates to refunds, is painful. Have a disclaimer somewhere on the ticketing page that says “You can’t get a refund just because you decided not to show up.” Would like more guidance on best practices for local sponsorship levels. Don’t label sessions or tracks with beginner/advanced or designer/developer. It encourages people to just sit in one room the whole day. It’s better to mix things up so the attendees are more ready to connect with each other.

#debriefs, #wordcamps