My First WordCamp As An Organiser

Before WordCamp Pune, I have attended three WordCamps, spoke at two, and the company I work for sponsored one.

This is first time, I have been part of a WordCamp as an organiser. I learned a lot so I thought about sharing few things. 🙂

WordCamp Central Role

Though I did not communicate with WordCamp Central directly, I have experienced the role they play in WordCamps all over the world closely. I must say they are doing good job.

This was first WordCamp for most of us, and some of us (excluding me) were not sure if we will reach our sponsorship goal. The central assured us many time to not worry about funds and plan freely. If needed central will help with whatever shortfall may arise.

Another thing I used to believe, as an outsider, was that WordCamp Central controls all WordCamps over the world closely. This turned out to be completely opposite. The Central gives complete freedom about almost every aspect and intervenes mostly when requested to. So the organisers gets same freedom we get with WordPress codes! 🙂

Team Work

As apart from me, 2 other organisers are current rtCamper and 4 were previous ones, I thought there won’t be communication gap. But when 11 people with own ideas of an event gather together for something there are bound to be disagreements.

Luckily, we always had atleast one of us reminding us about our collective duty as a team. This helped us overcome our moments of disagreement quickly and prepare for WordCamp as a unified team. 🙂

Meetup before WordCamp Helps

There was a discussion about this. I couldn’t attend it. In fact, I missed every session except some parts of Mahangu’s session. As I couldn’t attend discussion around this topic, I am not sure what people were discussing. But I just want to share my experience.

I believe a reason we could work well as a team because of sheer number of meetups we were “forced” to attend! 😛

Actually no-one forced anybody but the frequency of meetup was almost weekly. So no one could miss many meetups. This resulted in good bonding and understanding of each other which helped us deliver as a team on the big day!

Things I wish to do differently

Though many people believe this was “best” WordCamp, a notion I like to avoid, we did many things good e.g. multiple tracks, light on stomach food menu, workshops, panel discussions and a lot more.

But like everything else in this world, our WordCamp was not perfect. Few things I wish we could have done differently are:

  1. Order less food in terms of quantity: I realised me and Gagan eat much above average human being so we ordered more food than needed.
  2. Offline registration: Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t get wifi working. So we must print attendee list for offline registration even it means wasting little bit paper.
  3. Some improvement in track scheduling: There was overlap at few points which created inconvenience for speaker and audience. Following tweet explains this nicely:

I also feel all WordCamps should be two or three days long. I do not have any logical argument for this. I enjoyed WordCamp as an activity so I want more of it! 😉

Takeaway

Two ideas that I like to carry on from this WordCamp are “Jai WordPress” and idea of “WordCamp Goa”.

Apart from this, I got something nice to add to about page of this personal site! 😉

wordcamp-pune-organiser-team

(Photo Credit: Tushar Wesanekar)