Logistics of organising a contributor day

When thinking about organising a contributor dayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/., there are a few logistics issues to consider.

Event planning is not easy for everyone, so many choose to combine the organization of the contributor day logististics with the 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. logistics.

Budgeting and Costs

Contributor days should be free to all who attend the event.

While everyone gets value from contributor days, it is important that new contributors feel welcome and invited. Paying to contribute makes the event less interesting. It is not great because we are asking people to give up a day for the WordPress project.

Organisers will need to build the cost of a contributor day into their event budget. This will include but not limited to including venue, food and drinks, and any other expenses the event occurs.

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The venue is always a good place to start from.

At contributor days, you can expect attendees to be bringing their laptops, tablets and other mobile computing devices. For that reason, it is a good idea to think about:

  • The size and shape of the venue space

    Contributor days can be rather fluid. People can and will move from table to table so think about if your venue has enough flexibility when it comes to the amount of space available to the group.

    You may also want to consider what you will do if you end up with noisy or large groups. If you have a venue that has multiple spaces, or rooms available, you can split the group away from other groups so people do not have to talk louder than necessary. 

    If it is not possible, consider putting the larger groups as far away from each other as possible. This will mean that the noise from both groups do not amplify the volume as much as when they are next to each other. 

  • AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) to the venue and venue facilities

    Access to the venue is an important thing to consider. If the venue is on the 5th floor and there are no lifts, then the ability of everyone being comfortable or able to walk up to the 5th floor is tricky.

    Like wise, accesss to facilities such as drinking water, heating or air conditioning and the toilets should also be something you check and take into consideration. It does not mean that you cannot use the venue, but it might mean you need to get creative to how you make the venue more accessible and easier for people to find the facilities.

  • Tables and chairs

    People will need areas to work from. It is a good idea to check how many tables and chairs the event will have access to. As well as access to table and chairs, it is a good idea to check if you are allowed to reorganise the tables and chairs.

    As the teams will be split into groups, it is an idea to think about table layouts. Ideally you want an layout that is flexible and allows for groups of people to collaborate and work together.  Long rows of tables can make it hard for people on one end of the row hear the conversation at the other end of the table.  Circular or square table layouts make it easier for everyone around the table to hear the conversation clearly

    Remember that one team does not have to be on the same table, you can assign one team more than one table. Don’t be surprised if predefined layout of tables and chairs change on the day.
  • The access to electric power sockets

    Most contributions will be on an electronic device, which means over time, people will need a power supply to recharge.

    As the layout of the tables and chairs can mean that people are not near a power socket, consider how you will solve this.

    If they do not have enough sockets, or the sockets are in hard to access areas, consider the possibility of running power extension boards to underneath each set of tables.

    If you do run any cables, please make sure you consider the trip hazard of having cables all over the floor. Check with the venue to see if you are allowed to tape the cables down onto the floor.

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Internet Connection

Having a stable internet connection is helpful at a contributor day as most contributions need a internet connection.

Check with the venue to see if they have a internet connection that the group can use during the event. You will want to know the speed of the internet  and whether it will be able to handle the amount of people coming to the event.

Having a large group of people on the internet can be daunting so be mindful of the bandwidth. During the event, it is a good idea to ask people to pause any services their machines use to sync to the cloud or download large files. Examples include Dropbox, Backblaze, and P2P file sharing services.

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Bad or no internet connection

If there is a possibily of the internet being unstable, be prepared.

If it is possible, ask people to minimise how much they use the internet. Remind people to check if they have any syncing systems and to pause syncing, watching videos or using streaming services whilst they are connected to the primary internet connection. 

Depending on the size of the group, and local mobile situation, it may be possible to run the event teethering from mobile data. By limiting the amount of people using the primary internet connection, it can be possible to spread the load across multiple connections.

Many teams and groups can work around the lack of internet if they are told ahead of time that this may be an issue.

They may ask for stationary such as pen, paper flip charts and white boards. By providing stationary they can switch to brain storming and looking a issues in an offline manner.

If a team is planning to ask the group to download something, ask them to have them to hand on USB sticks so that people can share the data via USB sticks.

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Get your IP address allow listed

During a contributor day multiple people from the same IP address will register a new account or sign in to wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/. To avoid any blocks, it is a good idea to follow the #Meta team instructions on how to get the  internet connection on the allow list before the event starts.

You can also reach out in #forums on Make WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. or email forum–password–resets@wordpress.org if you face any issues during a contributor day.

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Food and Drink

If possible, provide a free lunch. It is an added cost, but a worthwhile one.

Due to budgets, it is not always possible to provide a free lunch, but if you can, it is very helpful in convincing people to attend.

Typically, pizza or something simple that can be ordered when you know how many are in attendance is the provided lunch, but we would suggest something more creative like sandwiches or burritos. If the event can not provide lunch, you should at least provide a snack and beverages.

Likewise, provide free coffee, water, and/or soft drinks. Water is also invaluable to have on hand in the form of an easily accessible drinking fountain. jugs of drinkable tap water or cheap bottled water.

Don’t forget to provide cups! If you are lucky, your event space may have cups that you can use.

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Signage and slides

Signage and slides are often used to help coordinate the event and the location.

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 You might want to consider making signage for the following things:

  • Teams attending the Contributor Day. These are usually table tents printed or written using a pen.
  • Facilities signage – for anything that isnt clear where it is or what you can / can not use.
  • Wifi signage
  • Set up instructions – these can be placed on the tables and/or stuck up on the wall

The linked example signage is just that, examples. Please consider customising signage to suit the community and the event.

Please also be thoughtful of venue guidelines to where you can put signage and the adhesive they allow you to use.

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Many Contributor Day events have slides prepared for the introduction and outro of the event. It helps organisers to remember important bits of information they need to share. If you are thinking of creating a set of slides, there are some common things you may want to consider below. 

  • Internet access information
  • Where the tea/ coffee/ drinks area is
  • Where the facilities are
  • If you are expecting a fire alarm / drill to happen
  • The schedule of the day ( even if it is rough )
  • Information about food plans
  • The different teams being represented

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If the contributor day is being organised as a part of a WordCamp, then the contributor day budget will be included and covered by the WordCamp budget.

If the plan is for a meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. to run a contributor day as a standalone event,  then we need to consider how the finiacial cost of running a contributor day is covered.

As stand-alone contributor days are currently infrequent, costs are considered on a case by case basis. To find out how much support the global community teamGlobal Community Team A group of community organizers and contributors who collaborate on local events about WordPress — monthly WordPress meetups and/or annual conferences called WordCamps. can give the event, please contact us at support@wordcamp.org with information such as known and estimated costs that the event is expected to need.

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