Regional Camps, Take 2

Pro-tip: this post will refer back heavily to the post on the same subject from October of last year. If you haven’t read it, you might want to. Warning: it’s a long thread!

At the Community Summit, we discussed regional WordCamps — the notes will be found here when they’re published — and I’d like to open up discussion about the expectations we should set for people who want to organize a regional WordCamp.

EDIT: this is a discussion of the expectations we want to set for when a group of people come to us and say, “We want to have a WordCamp that represents a geographical community larger than one city/metro area.” We’re calling that kind of event a Regional WordCamp.

Goals for a Regional WordCamp

I think we all mostly agree on the goals for an event of this type: to celebrate, represent, and grow local WordPress communities in the affected region. A primary goal for the WordPress Global Community Team is to help support a WordPress meetup group and annual WordCamp in as many cities as possible in the world. Regional WordCamps work toward that goal by connecting people who weren’t already active in their local WordPress community and/or inspiring attendees to start communities in their hometowns.

(If you would like to suggest some changes to the goals, please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment on this post!)

Here are many questions:

A) What defines a region?

We already have WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe. Different groups of people have expressed interest in organizing a country-based event (WordCamp Netherlands), a continent-based event (WordCamp Asia/Southeast Asia, final name TBD), and a group-of-countries-based event (WordCamp Nordic).

  1. How small or large a region do we want to entertain?

For example: WordCamp Bihar (states/provinces)? WordCamp Upstate New York (a region within a state/province)? WordCamp Andalucía (a region made up of many states/provinces)?

B) What level of local community development should a region have?

Regional WordCamps need a lot of local, experienced organizers and volunteers wherever the event is hosted. If there aren’t already a certain number of local communities in a region that have hosted successful WordCamps, then a regional event won’t be able to move around the region, share the organizing work, and provide new leadership opportunities.

  1. What expectation should we set for the requisite number of local communities, WordCamps, and number of consecutive WordCamps?
  2. Should we place any expectation on how active the local community is, and how successful the WordCamps were?

For example: should we expect a country like Bolivia to have 5 WordCamps in one year before they propose a WordCamp Bolivia? Or 5 WordCamps for two years straight? And what if some of those 5 WordCamps lost money or had a lot of problems?

C) What kind of oversight and support should regional WordCamps expect?

These are probably mostly going to be larger-than-usual, flagship events. Some exceptions to our normal expectations are made for this type of event already, as can be seen in the cases of WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe, which are not casual events with lean operating budgets.

Should we set higher-than-usual standards for the organizing team? For example:

  1. Is it reasonable to ask all members of a regional WordCamp organizing team to take the deputy training course?
  2. Should we expect that all members of the organizing team be experienced WordCamp organizers?
  3. Should we recruit an experienced community deputy work closely with a regional team to help them model our best practices and stay focused on the event goals?
  4. Is it reasonable to ask the lead organizer of a regional WordCamp to make a monthly report on this blog?

D) What questions are missing?

If you have another doubt or consideration that isn’t covered here, please share it with the team by commenting on this post!

Now what?

If you have an opinion on these topics, please share them in a comment on this post. 🙂

Based on the discussions we have here and in the upcoming team meetings, I would like to see us create a new page or section of the WordCamp Organizer Handbook for Regional WordCamps, with some clear expectations for would-be organizers.

Let’s set ourselves a goal of spending a week on this discussion, closing it on Wednesday July 26. I’ll summarize the comments by the end of next week, with the goal of having the new handbook documentation published by August 4, 2017.

#deputies, #community-management, #wordcamps