WordCamp Lithuania 2015 Debrief

I spoke to Jonas Andrijauskas about 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. Lithuania 2015 – it was the first WordCamp in their country and was very well supported by the local community.

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 111 from site + 3 walk-ins (total 114)
  • How many people showed up? 107
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? 40
  • How many people filled out the survey? 33 (they emailed all attendees via CampTix)

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? Yes, except a few minor expenses (like shipping swag to the WP Museum.
  • Have all the sponsors paid? Yes.
  • Has the budget been balanced? Yes.
  • How did the money end up (+/-)? €1,227.23 surplus
  • What cost more than you expected? Nothing.
  • What cost less than you expected? Almost everything cost less – especially the speaker dinner, WordCamp venue and the after party.

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? They have the videos, but they’re getting speakers to sign release forms before submitting to WordPress.tv.

The opinions:

  • What went great? Very happy with the high attendance rate, especially for the first WordCamp in Lithuania. The venue was really great and the after party was lots of fun. They had a backup speaker ready to cover for one that pulled out at the last minute. They were very impressed with the communication and assistance from Central.
  • What could have gone better? Most of the attendees struggled with PayPal and had to pay money into the organisers’ bank accounts instead, but they will write a custom integration for a local payment gateway for next year. They struggled with having time for social media promotion, but will have a dedicated person for that next year. The video recording quality could have been better – Jonas feels that it might be better to hire local video professionals instead of paying to ship the Foundation camera kits all over the place. It would have been good to have a few foreign speakers to up the profile of the event.
  • What do you think should happen again? They had a job board up for people to post available jobs – that worked very well. They held workshops at a separate venue and that was very well received too.
  • What do you think should never happen again? Never use PayPal again!

Did you write a recap post? Not yet, but they will work on that and have it up on the site in the next few days.
Who’s on deck to organize next year? They have a lot more people from the community keen to help organise, but Jonas will most likely be leading again.

#debrief, #debriefs, #wordcamps

WordCamp Krakow 2015 Debrief

I spoke to Marcin Wolak about how things went at WordCamp Krakow 2015. Before going through the details it’s worth noting that how they do things in Poland is that they have 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. in a different city each year, so the organising team is always different (with one or two people being on the team in multiple years).

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 310
  • How many people showed up? 300
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? 150 (which was what they expected)
  • How many people filled out the survey? 34 (linked on website and social media, but they will email attendees this week)

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? Yes
  • Have all the sponsors paid? Yes
  • Has the budget been balanced? Yes.
  • How did the money end up (+/-)? Deficit of $217.53
  • What cost more than you expected? Shirts, printing & after party
  • What cost less than you expected? Nothin

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? They will be uploading the videos within the next week

The opinions:

  • What went great? They had a really fun time organising the event and the organisation was very good because of a great team. The design work was top notch and the venue worked really well with the technical team from the venue being very helpful. Communication with Central was great and everyone had a great time.
  • What could have gone better? Not enough sponsors – the event was right after the holiday season, so a number of potential sponsors weren’t around to confirm sponsorship, but they will make the conference on a different date next year to accommodate this. The food could have been better, but they were limited by budget. There also some logistical issues like transporting swag, etc. to the venue, but they managed to overcome that.
  • What should happen again: The consistency of the design work and graphic materials as well as the communication with attendees before and during the event (via website and social media).
  • What do you think should never happen again: Printed materials will need to be printed earlier as that was very rushed right before the event.

Did you write a recap post? Yes – you can read it here (in Polish).
Who’s on deck to organize next year? Marcin will be on the team, but a different team (and different team lead) will be organising because it will be in a different city.

#debrief, #debriefs, #wordcamps

WordCamp Croatia 2015 Debrief

I spoke to Emanuel Blagonić, lead organiser for WordCamp Croatia this year, on 5 October 2015.

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 168 (they expected 250, but were very happy with the amount who came)
  • How many people showed up? 150
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? About 50 (which is what they expected)
  • How many people filled out the survey? 58
  • How did the money end up? $3,400 surplus (they saved a lot of money on last minute price negotiations)

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? Yes
  • Did all the sponsors pay? Yes
  • Was there a surplus? Yes – $3,400
  • What cost more than you expected? Nothing in particular – in fact a few things cost less than expected.

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? They’re sorting that out at the moment and will have it all submitted soon. They will also be submitting English subtitle for the talks that were in Croatian.

The opinions:

  • What went great? Everything went very well – the talks and the venue being the most significant.
  • What could have gone better? Video quality wasn’t great and a few wifi problems (provider pulled out quite late in the planning stage).
  • What do you think should happen again? Aside from the wifi issues (which were sorted out very efficiently), everything went so well that they want to basically do it all over again next year 🙂
  • What do you think should never happen again? Nothing was such a problem that a repeat would be a bad thing.
  • They only started advertising 2 months before the event because the guidelines state that you should only apply to organise 4 months before the actual 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. date – Emmanuel thinks that should be a bit earlier for first-time organisers (and I agree). One of the hurdles they had with planning was that they first had to decide in which city they were going hold the event, so the 4 months lead time wasn’t quite enough.

Did you write a recap post? Here it is – it’s a very thorough recap post that explains their feelings in detail. Doesn’t look it has been reblogged on Central, so someone will need to do that (I don’t think I have the right permissions for it).

Who’s on deck to organize next year? Same team, but maybe with a different lead organiser.

#debrief, #wordcamps

WordCamp Vancouver 2015 Debrief

(Note: we’ll be holding debrief meetings with each 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. organizing team after the event is over and posting the data here so everyone can learn from what each WordCamp team learns. Going forward, the deputyDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. who was mentoring the WordCamp will do this. Until we have mentorsMentor Someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues. assigned to each WordCamp from start to finish, though, any deputy who’s been helping for a month or more can debrief a WordCamp organizing team.)

I talked to Flynn O’Connor, lead organizer for WordCamp Vancouver this year, on September 4.

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 301
  • How many people showed up? they didn’t use the attended feature — I let them know about it for next year — but hand-counted 260 (which better than last year)
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? about 80 (hour gap because the party space was small)
  • How many people filled out the survey? 42 (publicized the survey the Wednesday after the event)
  • How did the money end up? $3,196.26 surplus (community sponsorship grant was $5,000)

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? need Flynn to submit for reimbursement, also BCIT needs to be sent in; won’t pay video until they get the files
  • All sponsors paid? ProsPress needs to pay, Flynn will email
  • Was there a surplus? 3k
  • What cost more than you expected? No, lots of things cost less in fact.

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? By the end of September.

The opinions:

  • The beginning of the day was hard — Lulu Lemon had a (semi-secret) half-marathon that ran on the road their venue was on. This didn’t affect attendees (most people took mass transit or parked farther away), but the caterers and video guys had trouble loading in.
  • What went great: They kept all dev talks upstairs and more general talks downstairs; the dev track was very full. Training track talks went really really well. It was in a much smaller room.
  • What could have gone better: The help desk didn’t get much usage outside of lunch.
  • What should happen again: Have people sign up for classes they were interested in, at the event. (first one started at 10); 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. mailing list was great for communication.
  • What do you think should never happen again: rethink or phase out happiness bar/help desk; don’t do swag bags again.

Things that were a downer:

  • StickerGiant shipped them stickers but valued them at $1600 (we think a typo) and that error cost $400 in duties!
  • Asking them to hold the date announcement until budget approval was complete cause problems for this camp — they’re glad we are changing that. Suggested better transparency with global sponsorship grants.

Did you write a recap post? Yes, and it was reblogged on Central.
Who’s on deck to organize next year? Not sure, but there are a few meetup members who are interested.

#debrief, #wordcamps