Notes from Community Team Chat | July 7, 2016

We held the monthly Community Team Chat yesterday (July 7, 2016) at 19:00 UTC in #outreach on the Making 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/.. You can view the full Slack logs here (Slack account required to view).

Mentorship Programme

@brandondove gave a report on the current status of 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. mentorship programme (Slack logs):

  • 29 total mentors (17 active, 4 maxed out, 8 inactive)
  • 37 camps actively being mentored
  • 9 camps that need mentors

In general the mentorship programme is working well and being very effective. Given that the number of active WordCamps fluctuates over the course of the year, there are times of the year when we do not have enough mentors and times when we do. Right now we do not have enough to cover all of the camps that need them.

WordCamps

@camikaos reported on the status of WordCamps at the moment (Slack logs):

  • 5 camps needing vetting
  • 2 camps needing orientation
  • 34 camps in the pre-planning stage
  • 49 camps scheduled
  • 37 camps closed in 2016 so far

Given that some of those camps are for 2017, we’ll be looking at around 115 camps in total for 2016.

WCEU 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/.

@miss_jwo gave some feedback about what the Community achieved at the WordCamp Europe Contributor Day on July 26, 2016 (Slack logs):

  • @camikaos and @chanthaboune lead a workshop on WordCamps and Meetups
  • @kcristiano and @camikaos led a Q&A session
  • Testing sessions were held for new WordCamp organisers using WordCamp.org
  • A number of people worked on improving the handbooks

Meetups

@chanthaboune gave an update on Meetups (Slack logs):

  • We have 305 total meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. groups (97,130 members)
  • 21 new groups created in the last month
  • 28 applications received in the last month
  • 0 groups closed in the last month
  • 63.2% groups are outside the US
  • 36.7% groups in the US
  • We average ~350 events a month

She noted that we have not been sending out the monthly emails to meetup groups around the world and some discussion was had about possibly making those email quarterly instead of attempting to do them monthly.

Miscellaneous

@chanthaboune had a few miscellaneous items at the end of the meeting (Slack logs):

  • We are in the process of moving our P2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at https://make.wordpress.org/. to an O2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at https://make.wordpress.org/. (much like the Meta blog has already). Everything will continues to work as it should, but it’s worth mentioning.
  • The team at WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each. has grown with the addition of @courtneypk and @hlashbrooke – this means we have more effective coverage across most time zones.

Remember that these monthly Community team chats are on The first Thursday of every month at 19:00 UTC in #outreach on Slack. Have a look at the sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. of this P2 for other meeting & office hours times.

#agenda, #debriefs, #events-2, #meeting, #meetups-2, #mentorship-programs, #report, #team-chat

Debriefs

@andreamiddleton @camikaos @chanthaboune @brandondove @hlashbrooke @miss_jwo @karenalma @adityakane @kcristiano @mayuko and any other deputy who has done any 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. debriefs this year: I think we are missing some debrief writeups. The ones we have here on the blog are as follows:
Andrea – Vancouver
Brandon – Tampa, Vegas, Omaha, LA
Hugh – Croatia, Krakow, Lithuania
Kevin – Baltimore

So we’re missing around 80. 🙂

I know that there’s a chunk that didn’t get a debrief, but I’m pretty sure there’s also a chunk that had the debrief chat and the recap post just never got written up.

I’ve turned the debrief script into a survey so that we can send the follow-up questions to organizers. We can change the debriefs to be reviewing the survey and then having a follow up conversation as needed. in 2016 we can work on getting this info tied to the WC listing rather than another standalone survey, but this at least will put us a step in the right direction.

@bph has volunteered to send out the survey to the WCs that don’t have debriefs from this year, but I don’t want to send it to any that did a verbal debrief that just didn’t get written up. So: please leave a comment to say if there are any debrief conversations you had with WordCamp organizers that are not on the list above, so we can avoid sending them a request for the info. (And then at some point please post those notes.) Thanks!

#community-management, #debriefs, #wordcamps

WordCamp Los Angeles Debrief

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 406
  • How many people showed up? 320
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? 80-100. Also created a site that was promoted throughout the day http://wclax.reviews that was a simple gravity form to collect feedback on the speakers specifically. 367 responses were recorded.
  • How many people filled out the survey? Sent one out, haven’t seen results.
  • How did the money end up (+/-)? Surplus of $3,465

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? Yes, except for one personal payment. It was entered into the WC Payments area of the wclax site.
  • All sponsors paid? Yes.
  • Was there a surplus? $3,465
  • What cost more than you expected? Lunch was a little more expensive than anticipated because pricing was increased from the previous year. Takeaway: even though you’re using the same vendors year after year, make sure to get the current year’s pricing.

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? Paid vendor recorded, edit, and uploaded the videos. This went really well. Videos are already uploaded and posted to wordpress.tv.

The opinions:

  • What went great: It went really smoothly in comparison to previous years. Organization team consolidated a lot of the locations that were used in previous years. Speaker dinner was at a good venue.
  • What could have gone better: The venue mixed up their food order. They were supposed to have a hot lunch on the first day and a cold lunch on the second day. The venue ended up just making the same thing both days. Wrangling speakers and getting speaker information was difficult. Parking was a challenge this year.
  • What should happen again: Communication with the support systems from the community team went smoothly.
  • What do you think should never happen again: SiteGround asked for one organizer’s address to ship them swag. Unfortunately they also shipped their 10′ sponsor booth to him and expected him to store it for them for two weeks until they arrived.
  • Other thoughts: Potentially look at other venues. USC (Nick Halsey or Courtney Miller may have a connection)

Things that were a downer:

  • Small issue between a couple of speakers that was resolved between the two of them.

Did you write a recap post? Yes and Pictures

Who’s on deck to organize next year? Currently no one. Natalie MacLees, Alex Vasquez, and Nathan Tyler are all stepping down as co-organizers, but will help out next year’s team as mentors, confidants, etc.

#debriefs, #los-angeles, #wordcamps

WordCamp Omaha 2015 Debrief

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 137
  • How many people showed up? 125(ish)
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? Roughly 50
  • How many people filled out the survey? Has not yet been sent. Asked about protocol for sending out a survey. What account should be used? Recommended the polldaddy account created 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. email address.
  • How did the money end up (+/-)? There was a $2,800 surplus.

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? No. Afterparty vendor has not invoiced the camp yet. Venue invoice was turned in 10/12 but has not been paid. Three personal expenses have not been paid, though only one has been added as a payment request so far.
  • All sponsors paid? Interface School ($750) may or may not have paid. It was not highlighted in the psonsor tab in the spreadsheet.
  • Was there a surplus? Yes, $2,800
  • What cost more than you expected? Badge printing was more than originally anticipated. If she had to do it again, she would have gone to a print shop and printed higher quality badges instead of low quality paper and badge holders. Make order sooner to avoid rush fees.

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? All sessions were recorded. The venue provided livestreaming and recording for one room. It’s currently available as one long file. Only given one SD card, but two camera kits. Will be posting to wordpress.tv by the end of the week.

The opinions:

  • What went great: Planning was really hard, but it paid off on the event days. Speakers were great. Received good feedback from attendees on Sunday after the event was over. Volunteers really stepped up and is interested in becoming more involved in the local meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area..
  • What could have gone better: Handling money and payments was stressful and frustrating. Asking for volunteers to pay for things personally and be reimbursed wasn’t ideal. Speaker gift could have gone better. Wished that she could have given attendees more takeaway information so they can continue their learning beyond the WordCamp. Wished their surplus could have been used for furthering attendees learning instead of just being put back into community funds. Would like more clarification on how to make payments on weekends or off hours. One of Sunday’s anticipated speakers got sick and there was no backup plan so some folks were disappointed.
  • What should happen again: People really liked the venue & food vendor. Most rewarding part to lead org, a lot of people took advantage of the community help room and personal help on the second day.
  • What do you think should never happen again: It should never be one person running the entire camp. Dan Griffiths was originally the lead organizer but wasn’t fulfilling his responsibilities to his organizing team and missed multiple mandatory “get back on track” meetings set up by the WordPress Foundation and therefore had to be replaced as the lead organizer.
  • Feedback for the planning process: “The only negative feedback, really, that I have for Central is that I felt that there wasn’t much “push out” of info. I didn’t take the MT stuff down because nobody told me. Julie Kuehl just asked me if I had heard about it at the speaker/sponsor dinner. I didn’t know which community sponsor it was. I get that that’s no-one’s fault, but an organizer listserv (or opt-in update feed other than 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/.) would have been nice.”

Things that were a downer:

  • One attendee complained about the topics. She was hoping for more “user focused” content. Organizer referred her to attend and participate in the local meetups.
  • Ticket sales were very stressful.

Did you write a recap post? Will write a re-cap post tonight and schedule it (with link to survey).

Who’s on deck to organize next year? I don’t know. I think I’ll be able to get some more help with monthly meetups, but have not yet thought as far as a 2016 WC.

#debriefs, #wordcamps

WordCamp Baltimore Debrief

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 196
  • How many people showed up? 180
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? 50- 60 Tops
  • How many people filled out the survey? Survey just sent out (9/25/15) Has not seen results
  • How did the money end up (+/-)? On Budget (actually a little lower) surplus about 1,000

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? Yes
  • All sponsors paid?All but Woo – Believe that is just not updated
  • Was there a surplus? Yes, about 1,000
  • What cost more than you expected? No, Right on Budget

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? In process if uploading

The opinions:

  • What went great: Event went great.  All volunteers and speakers showed up. Attendees had a great time.
  • What could have gone better: Need more organizers and more help planning next year
  • What should happen again: The event itself runs very well,  well attended and will try and keep same format for next year
  • What do you think should never happen again: Having one person take on most of the burden.  Looking for more organizers for the next camp

Things that were a downer:

  • There was an after-party issue: A volunteer (employed by a sponsor) became unruly starting at the after-party and spilling over into the ‘after-crawl’ (the informal party after the after-party ). There were 50-60 people in attendance of the after party. Some WC Balt attendees went on a public boat ride after the after party. About 15 after crawl attendees/sponsors/speakers were on this boat. Attendees brought their own bottles on this boat ride as per the rules and regulations on the ship. This person became visibly drunk, unruly, inappropriate behavior ensued. There was an incident where he kicked another volunteer in the back. The lead org and many others told him to stop, but as they were first on a boat, short of ‘throwing him overboard’ they could not remove this individual. Once back on land the individual followed people around and continued this behavior. People were concerned for the individuals safety, attendees considered him an unruly drunk. Lead Org described him as showing college age jock rowdiness — all inappropriate, but Lead Org addressed as best he could. Lead Org did report back to Sponsor (he had contact info as he knew them) and their HR dept was informed.
    There were no injuries, every one is safe, every one is on good terms.

Did you write a recap post? Not yet

Who’s on deck to organize next year? Not sure, but some good people came out of the volunteer team that are possible organizers

#debriefs, #wordcamps

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 Vegas 2015 Debrief

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 165 general admission, 20 single day
  • How many days? 2 days
  • How many separate rooms? 2 rooms on both days, end of day 2 brought everyone together into 1 room for unconference session
  • How many people showed up? 164
  • How many people came to the party (estimate)? Maybe 60
  • How many people filled out the survey? Sent out the general WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each. survey. Wasn’t sure how to find out how to see the responses. I looked in SupportPress to see if they were coming there, but I didn’t see any.

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? All signs point to yes.
  • All sponsors paid? Yes. One sponsor requested a speaking position in return for sponsorship. He was denied.
  • How did the money end up (+/-)? $3299 surplus.
  • Has the budget been balanced? Yes.
  • What cost less than you expected? Afterparty was $1,700 instead of the anticipated $2,400. T-shirts were only $1,822 instead of estimated $2,000.
  • What cost more than you expected? Nothing
  • Was there anything that you forgot to add to your budget? No.

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? Did record videos, but audio on day one didn’t come out very well. Microphone batteries had to be changed out every couple of speakers. There’s a lot of feedback due to venue microphones. That being said, the videos should be uploaded to WordPress.tv by end of the month.

The opinions:

  • What went great? Almost everything. Josepha really helped out towards the end getting things paid. Planning was really easy. Picking the speakers was simple and straight forward. Venue was super easy to work with. They brought everyone together at the end of the last day for an unconference type session where attendees could drive the conversation.
  • What could have gone better? More understanding on how to use 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. site tools, and updating and understanding how to work with budgets.
  • What should happen again? Make sure volunteers are solid early on. Keep updating budget every few days.
  • What do you think should never happen again? Take more control over Speaker/Sponsor dinner. The venue for S/S dinner was not helpful.

Things that were a downer:

  • Coffee vendor bailed at the last minute, so they had to find another vendor. But she charged less than they budgeted so it was a happy/sad moment.
  • Volunteers didn’t want to volunteer, they wanted to watch sessions. Next time, have a more defined schedule for volunteers and be more forceful. If volunteers aren’t going to volunteer, they shouldn’t be allowed to stay and watch.
  • One speaker didn’t show up because he had the flu, someone filled in for him.
  • One speaker didn’t seem very prepared, so Russell had someone join them on stage to smooth it out.

Did you write a recap post? Yes. Pulled together various community members recap posts and promoted those. Will probably add to this in the coming days.
Who’s on deck to organize next year? Russell wants to organize again next year, he’s already applied.

Final thoughts from Russell: Ticketing, especially as it relates to refunds, is painful. Have a disclaimer somewhere on the ticketing page that says “You can’t get a refund just because you decided not to show up.” Would like more guidance on best practices for local sponsorship levels. Don’t label sessions or tracks with beginner/advanced or designer/developer. It encourages people to just sit in one room the whole day. It’s better to mix things up so the attendees are more ready to connect with each other.

#debriefs, #wordcamps

WordCamp Tampa 2015 Debrief

The numbers:

  • How many tickets were sold? 381 in-person, 54 livestream
  • How many people showed up? counting still in progress
  • How many people came to the afterparty (estimate)? Maybe 125 or so. They had a reserved section of a bar with appetizers, drink tickets. SiteGround had some banners printed.
  • How many people filled out the survey? 90ish responses so far. They’re planning on sending out a reminder email to get more responses.
  • How did the money end up (+/-)? Positive variance, probably a couple hundred left over after they input the remaining expenses. Still need to balance budget.

The budget:

  • Are all the vendors paid? Yes. There are still some outstanding personal expenses that need to be paid.
  • All sponsors paid? All sponsors payments came in fine except one sponsor got the incorrect address, but that was corrected quickly and paid. Just had one sponsor back out ($250), but it was a small pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party developer so it didn’t effect the budget too much.
  • Was there a surplus? Got more sponsors than they thought they would. Original goal was to raise $20k, actual amount raised was $23.5k.
  • What cost more than you expected? Rush fees for printing because they were late submitting printing. ~$300 in rush fees. They rented some laptops for in between speaker slides (add-on to budget) cost: $75. Purchased extra linens for lunch tables at the last minute.

The video:

  • What’s the plan to get them on WordPress.tv? Livestream was recorded and archived on WordCampLivestreamUS1, WordCampLivestreamUS2, WordCampLivestreamUS3. In coming 2-3 months pull down footage, chop up into segments, cut in slides and get them up on 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. TV. May reach out to @roseapplemedia about help with editing.

The opinions:

  • What went great: Overall, the camp ran really smoothly.
    • Sponsors
      • Sponsor location was perfect because of foot traffic.
      • Sponsors were very happy with the organization of the org team. They provided maps ahead of the camp and had painters tape down so they knew where they were going to be stationed when they got there.
    • Lunch
      • Lunch was smooth, served in about 20 minutes to 380 people.
    • Social
      • Lots of twitter activity due to organizers utilizing twitter.
  • What could have gone better:
    • Volunteers
      • Volunteer situation was poorly organized and carried out. Late on asking for volunteers. Didn’t have dedicated Room MCs for two of the rooms.
    • Speakers
      • One of the speakers showed up late (Taylor Bare). Room MC flagged had someone else in the audience to speak on the same topic (Brian Krogsgard). When speaker realized what had happend, he asked if he could present his topic later in the day. The organizers spoke with remaining speakers about chopping 10 minutes off of their talks so he could give his talk. Takeaway for next year is to have a dedicated stage manager for all rooms that checks in speakers to make sure they know where they need to be and when before they’re going to present, and make sure all rooms have a dedicated Room MC to announce the speakers.
  • What should happen again: Lots of pre-planning. Make sure everyone knows that it’s a 6-month committment. Getting additional organizers who are willing to put in the time so that no one gets burned out.
  • What do you think should never happen again: Don’t wait until the last minute to get volunteers. Make sure they are assigned to specific areas.

Things that were a downer:

  • Speaker situation outlined above.
  • Need to blog about the event more next year on the WordCamp site.

Did you write a recap post? Not yet. They’re not sure if they’ll be doing that (it wasn’t in their plan). Organizers have been putting out recap posts on their personal sites.

Who’s on deck to organize next year? No clue, Alison has been lead for past two years so she’ll need to find someone else to lead next year.

#debriefs, #wordcamps