How do we know if a WordCamp is successful?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what activities and progress our team measures, and how. Tracking and reporting on our work is important for transparency, but also for a sense of accomplishment, which can help all of us stay excited and engaged.

We’ve always struggled with the close-out phase for WordCamps. Organizers are tired and want to catch up with the work and life that they neglected in their pre-event frenzy. Mentors shift their focus to the next crop of frenzied organizers, and the cycle continues.

The result, in most cases, is that organizers get a lot of attention and support while they’re planning an event, but almost no contact after the event is over. This is a problem, because:

  1. Organizers get no constructive feedback on what they did well and what they could improve, and
  2. we lose the chance to recruit them to work on year-round community team programs.

We’ve tried, a couple of times over the past 2-3 years, to improve our follow-up in scheduling WordCamp debriefs, but they happen more as the exception than the rule. So I’d like to see if we can try to solve *some* of this problem with technology — specifically, with automation.

A Proposal

I propose we build an automated reporting tool, which will run a report about a month after each WordCamp. This report can pull financial, attendance, and other information from the WordCamp website, and publish the data on this blog, with a notification sent to the lead organizer upon publication. Then the organizing team can contribute some context around the numbers, if they like, in a comment on the WordCamp CityX Report post.

The Big Question

What do we want to measure? What numbers are relevant to measuring the accomplishments of a WordCamp organizing team? Here is a highly incomplete list of possibilities:

  • Budget data: including event cost per attendee, where money was spent, and whether there was a surplus or deficit
  • Attendees data: including number of new and repeat attendees, number of new signups to the meetup.com group
  • Speaker data: percentage of new speakers, percentage of speakers identifying as women*, percentage of local speakers
  • Organizer data: number of new organizers, number of organizers identifying as women*

What other data should we try to include? Can we capture the “feel” of the event, maybe from the attendee survey?

Anticipating some implementation questions: We could post these numbers to a special page on this site called WordCamp Reports (or something), and then post a notice when new reports were added. That way we won’t be flooding the blog with reporting data, but hopefully we also won’t forget the reports are there. 🙂

Some of this data will be fairly easy to access; for example, we can export a profit and loss statement from Quickbooks quite easily. If we like the idea of getting some “richer” data about our speakers and organizers, collecting that would require some checkboxes added to the Speaker and Organizer CPTs (new, identifies as female, local).  I have no idea how hard it would be to pull info from 1-3 questions the standardized attendee survey. I know we can access the meetup growth figures from meetup.com.

What do you think?

Please share your opinions, thoughts, concerns, and ideas on this subject in a comment on this post! I’m really eager to hear from our team about this idea.

*We definitely want to encourage more speaker and organizer participation from a broad range of groups that are underrepresented in tech, but I propose we focus our tracking on gender balance for this first attempt at automated stats.

#finances, #report, #wordcamps

New account for receiving sponsor payments via wire or ACH

We have opened a new bank account for receiving sponsorship payments via international wire transfer or US domestic ACH/”direct deposit”. Click for more details!

#deputies, #finances

Sponsorship and Finances Report for October 2016

Here’s that weekly monthly update on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we now post monthly. (You’d be amazed at how much more efficient it is to do this report on a monthly basis.) This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s quite, very, extremely manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments!

In the month of October, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal: $95,801.71 USD (2,655 total tickets )
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $148,326.19 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $12,016.00 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $54,746.76 USD

Total revenue (in USD): $310,890.66

As for invoicing in this period:

We sent 73 invoices to local sponsors.
Of those, 51 invoices have been paid, and 22 invoices are still outstanding.

And in this same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: 171

Total payments (in USD): $245,931.30

Global Sponsorship Grants that were set in this period:

Bilbao 2,800 EUR
Sao Paulo 9500R$
Miami 20,000 USD
Manila 49,000 PHP
Mumbai 400,000 INR
Nairobi 800,800 KES

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments!

#finances

Sponsorship and Finances Report for September 23

Here’s that weekly biweekly update on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we post on Fridays. This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s quite manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments!

Between September 9 and September 22, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal: $42,862.62 USD (1,194 total tickets )
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $18,888.66 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $113,743.38 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $33,713.62 USD

Total revenue (in USD): $209,208.28

As for invoicing in this period:

We sent 70 invoices to local sponsors.
Of those, 32 invoices have been paid, and 38 invoices are still outstanding.

And in this same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: 59

Total payments (in USD): $90,263.96

Global Sponsorship Grants that were set in this period:

None in these weeks!

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments!

#finances

Sponsorship and Finances Report for August 26

Here’s that weekly update on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we post on Fridays. This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s quite manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments!

Between August 19 and August 25, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal: $19,918.17 USD (537 total tickets )
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $57,889.00 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $5,569.17 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $7,230.48 USD

Total revenue (in USD): $90,606.82

As for invoicing in this period:

We sent 40 invoices to local sponsors.
Of those, 11 invoices have been paid, 2 were voided, and 27 invoices are still outstanding.

And in this same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: 20

Total payments (in USD): $18,754.66

Global Sponsorship Grants that were set this week:

None this week! 🙂

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments!

#finances

Sponsorship and Finances Report for July 15

Here’s that weekly bi-weekly update on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we post on Fridays. This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s quite manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments!

Between July 1 and July 14, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal: $34,562.50 USD (833 total tickets )
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $14,611.15 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $37,144.57 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $13,891.03 USD

Total revenue (in USD): $100,209.25

As for invoicing in this period:

We sent 42 invoices to local sponsors.
Of those, 16 invoices have been paid this week, and 26 invoices are still outstanding.

And in this same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: 52
Total payments (in USD): $110,711.60

Global Sponsorship Grants:

Salt Lake City US$1,000
Sofia lev6,000
Kathmandu Rs120,000
Kent US$6,500
Athens 3,500€
Manchester £1,250
Geneva 6,000€
Riga 2,750€
San Antonio US$3,000

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments!

#finances

Sponsorship and Finances Monthly Report for July 1

Here’s that weekly monthly update on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we post on Fridays. This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s quite manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments!

Between June 3 and July 1, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal: $54,113.45 USD (1,122 total tickets )
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $362,980.80 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $34,163.18 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $18,326.86 USD

Total revenue (in USD): $469,584.29

As for invoicing in this period:

We sent 72 invoices to local sponsors, totaling $147,050.
Of those, 47 invoice have been paid this week, totaling $96,600, and 25 invoices are still outstanding, totaling $50,450.

And in this same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: a cool, even 100
Total payments (in USD): $500,503.23

Global Sponsorship Grants:

Phoenix: $14,000 USD
Birmingham AL: $3,550 USD
Fayetteville: $1,000 USD
Bhopal: ₹55,000.00
Louisville: $1,800 USD

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments!

#finances

Sponsorship and Finances Weekly Report for June 3

Here’s that weekly update on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we post on Fridays. This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s quite manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments!

Between May 27 and June 2, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal: $7,782.98 USD (total tickets 225)
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $117,270.55 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $29,943.85 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $6,373.98 USD

Total revenue (in USD): $161,371.36

As for invoicing in this period:

We sent 22 invoices to local sponsors, totaling $31,500.
Of those, 11 invoice have been paid this week, totaling $8,200, and 11 invoices are still outstanding, totaling $23,300.

And in this same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: 20
Total payments (in USD): $137,835.04

No global sponsorship grants to report this week.

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments!

#community-management, #finances, #wordcamps

Sponsorship and Finances Weekly Report for May 27

Here’s that weekly update on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we post on Fridays. This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s quite manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments!

Between May 20 and May 26, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal:$11,514.99 USD (total tickets 259)
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $61,438.52 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $4,500.00 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $3,913.60 USD

Total revenue (in USD): $81,367.11

And in that same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: 22
Total payments (in USD): $112,031.02

Here’s a list of this week’s global sponsorship grants (which are determined at the budget review):

Split, Croatia    20,000 kuna
Cincinnati, Ohio    $3,000 USD

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments!

#community-management, #finances, #wordcamps

Sponsorship and Finances Weekly Report for May 20

Here’s that weekly update — biweekly this time because I was on vacation last week — on the payments and income for WordPress community events that we post on Fridays. This report might get more elaborate as we get the time to build more tools around financial reporting (currently it’s quite manual), so if there’s a level of detail we’re not providing that you’d like to see, please mention it in the comments!

Between May 13 and May 19, here’s what came in:

Ticket revenue via PayPal: $16,379.67 USD (total tickets 364)
Sponsorship income via wire transfer: $9,489.88 USD
Sponsorship income via check: $13,524.78 USD
Sponsorship income via PayPal: $4,612.91 USD

Total revenue (in USD): $139,260.29 CORRECTION: $44,007.24

And in that same period, here’s what went out:

Total number of vendor payments/reimbursements: 21
Total payments (in USD): $37,831.27

Here’s a list of this week’s global sponsorship grants (which are determined at the budget review):

Cologne 1,800 EUR
Sacramento 3,000 USD
Columbus 5,500 USD

As always, if you have any questions, please ask away in the comments!

#finances, #sponsorship