The Organizing Team

tl;dr: Recruit a local organizing team and distribute responsibilities. Too few people handling too many things means stuff gets missed or people get grouchy.

 

The first step once you’ve been approved as a primary organizer is to put together an organizing team. This team should consist of 5-10 people from your immediate area who want to promote WordPress and help grow the local community. Out-of-town friends do not belong on your organizing team; though you are free to solicit advice from people anywhere, the actual organizing team should be local.

It may be tempting to try and do it all yourself or with a business partner, because you know you can do it or you know you are comfortable working with this person. Challenge yourself, though, and remember that WordCamps are about building local communities. Get to know yours, and involve more of it in the planning of the event. Though you will act as the primary organizer, you should have enough people on your organizing team for everyone to take charge of 1-2 areas of responsibility:

  • Venue logistics (including insurance)
  • Fundraising
  • Budget/money handling
  • Speaker recruitment, selection
  • Food/beverage
  • Swag
  • Volunteer wrangling
  • Printing
  • Design (web, programs, shirts, signs, screensaver)
  • Website maintenance
  • Publicity
  • A/V
  • Afterparty
  • Speakers’ dinner/reception
  • Beginner courses
  • Transportation and travel details

Note that all hands will need to be on deck for the first step of finding a venue and generating fundraising leads, but appoint one person to oversee each so things stay organized.

If any one person winds up with too many things assigned to them, things will fall through the cracks, or that person will be burnt out by the time WordCamp happens. Keep assignments focused, and make use of community volunteers as much as possible to share the effort.

Where should members of the organizing team come from? The meetup group. Businesses that are built on working with WordPress. Local bloggers using WordPress. There’s no one answer, but make sure you’re part of the local meetup group and you’ve invited meetup group members to be part of your team.

The expectation is that all WordCamp organizing team members and volunteers will agree with the principles in our Organizer’s Agreement.

Past WordCamp Organizers: What divisions of labor worked well for your team?

Tip: Here is a quiz on this article. Read quizzes page if you have any questions about quizzes and how to navigate them.