New Regional WordCamp in Asia?

During WordCamp Bangkok last weekend, we had a casual chat about the idea of new regional WordCamp in Asia. After honest discussion on what we need to do, who will do it with how much work, we agreed that we should start with a discovery phase. We need to know what resources we have and what work (and how much) will be required.

Background

As far as I remember, the original idea popped up when some of us went to WCUS 2015. It inspired us hugely how we can encourage WordPress folks in our neighborhood. Since then we have tried to reach out to local communities by traveling, using Slack etc and now we can see the number of WordCamps increased from 5 in 2015 to 19 in 2017. Seeing the rise and growth of the community activity, we believe that we can start working on this, from a discovery stage.

One suggestion was running a trial event such as video conference before an in-person conference. It was suggested by Andrea when some of us attended to WordPress Community Summit in Paris. It sounds like a good opportunity to form working team and know each other, and by going online, we can avoid the problems that we, as the WordCamp organizer have never faced with; language barrier, currency, visa, and political situations.

On the other hand, there were negative voices for video conference as well:

  • Compared to actual WordCamps, an online event will be more difficult to ask folks to contribute their time because it sounds less exciting, missing one of the most exciting things, meeting at the venue.
  • If we go online, we can avoid the problems around travel, currency, visa issues but it will not solve them.
  • Given the number of WordCamp organizers in the region, what is the reason we need to go through a training period?

We also agreed that discussing whether we go online or offline is too early for us without knowing what it really is. We need to understand the event and ourselves to move forward. Similarly, we are not ready to discuss the venue, leads, contents, budgets, etc.

Reference about Regional WordCamps:

Conclusion

We agreed to start from a discovery phase. We suggest that this stage includes but is not limited to:

  • Defining the requirements for a regional WordCamp.
  • Discover and describe the difficulties that we discussed in the past, more in depth. Language barriers, currency, travel visas, political landscape, and maybe there are more.
  • Defining the criteria for selection of working group members.
  • Learning from WCEU and WCUS organizing team.
  • Asking for access to the past WCEU and WCUS documents.
  • And eventually leading to the creation of the working group

Next Step

  • Decide date of discovery meeting
  • Find a facilitator of the meetings.
  • Asking for the access to the past regional WordCamps documents.