WordCamp News

WordCamp Belo Horizonte announces its speakers

WordCamp enthusiasts in Brazil are in for a treat on May 17: WordCamp Belo Horizonte is shaping up to be a great event! The volunteer organizing team announced their speakers, and the lineup is really exciting. If you’re going to be anywhere near Belo Horizonte in May, you should definitely check it out.

Categories Speakers, WordCamps | 1 reply

WordCamp Las Peñitas scheduled for May 23-25

WordPress enthusiasts in Nicaragua, rejoice! WordCamp Las Peñitas is scheduled for May 23-25 at Hotel Supaya Beach in Las Peñitas, Nicaragua. Don’t miss this chance to geek out all weekend about WordPress blogging, design, and development.

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WordCamp Chicago tickets are now on sale

If you’re in or near Chicago and love WordPress, then this is your lucky day. Tickets are now on sale for WordCamp Chicago, which will be held on June 13th-15th at the University Center in downtown Chicago. Don’t delay — buy yours today!

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WordCamp Charleston and Milwaukee tickets on sale now!

Two great WordCamps just opened registration; have you bought your ticket yet? WordCamp Milwaukee will be held on July 25-27, and WordCamp Charleston will be held on May 17. If you’re in or near Wisconsin or South Carolina, check them out!

Categories WordCamps | 1 reply

WordCamp Recap: Atlanta

WordCamp Atlanta was held last weekend, and a good time was had by all 500 attendees! Read the organizing team’s recap post — which includes some great photos — and relive the glory or see what you missed.

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Planning WordCamp Dayton: a first-time organizer’s journey

The background

I’ve been to several WordCamps and had always thought it would be great to have one in Dayton. I had no real intent on organizing one; but when so many people ask for a WordCamp, you start thinking about how you can help make it happen.

In October 2012, Nowell VanHoesen and I started a Dayton WordPress MeetUp group. WordPress interest was there, but was there enough of a community established to organize a WordCamp? We put the feelers out in our regoin: there were people from Southern Ohio who weren’t able to make the meetups but said they’d attend a WordCamp closer to home. So we applied to organize WordCamp Dayton 2014, talked to WordCamp Central, got approved for pre-planning, and got started on our adventure.

So it begins

One of the big hurdles for holding a WordCamp is that, like real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. We got a lot of help from the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an organization that not only helps small and growing businesses but also promotes WordPress. The SBDC operates out of Wright State University (WSU), which donated their facilities for the event.

The teams

The importance of recruiting enough volunteers to help putting this event together cannot be over emphasized. We had some people who were great at getting sponsorships, while others coordinated with the venue. I would definitely advise ensuring each member of the organizing team is assigned not only a specific group but also has hard-set goals/objectives with dates.

The big day

A word of wisdom: get plenty of rest before WordCamp. That being said, if you are able to set-up the night before, you’ll be happy you did. Since WordCamp Dayton was held in a college, the possibility of having our tables moved around by students had us setting up at 6:30 in the morning for an 8:00am registration.

Once you’re set-up and the registration volunteers are checking in attendees, it’s all about ensuring everything is running smoothly. Fresh coffee, plenty of napkins, snacks, drinks, lunch — the works. Prepare yourself for a lot of running around, double-, triple-, and quadruple-checking. The last thing you want to hear in the afternoon is that the battery for a video camera is dead or that a presenter can’t connect their laptop to the overhead projector. Trust me, these things WILL come up.

That’s a wrap

After the wrap-up, it’s important to have a team of individuals to help with cleanup. Remember that 90 minute set-up at 6:30am? Well, now it’s time to break it all down! There’s nothing worse than having to cart around two dozen tables after you’ve been running around for the past 8 hours.

Remember how I recommended getting plenty of rest beforehand? This is where your second wind will hopefully be kicking in.

In the end

Once the smoke cleared and I looked back over the WordCamp weekend, I told myself I’d never do this again. Then I remembered the people who told me how much they learned and thought back to the new connections I saw being made. I was able to see firsthand how the WordPress community actually grows, and I realized I contributed to WordPress by helping organize this WordCamp. It was at that moment that I smiled and realized that we should start talking about 2015.

Huge props and special thank yous to Brian Retterer, Heather Powell, Chris Celek, Earl Gregorich, Josh Hatfield, Nowell VaneHoesen, Christa VaneHoesen, Zach VaneHoesen, Max Spang, Josh Boone, and the many others who worked make this WordCamp happen.

If you’re in or around Dayton, you’re invited to our monthly WordPress meetup group to talk WordPress and connect with other Dayton-area WordPress enthusiasts. Meetups are free and really fun.

Categories WordCamp Recap, WordCamps | 7 replies

Zero Waste WordCamp: how WordCamp North Canton went green

WCNC2013_KasseySikoraThere’s no denying that the WordCamp North Canton organizing team is made up of people who seek to protect the environment. In fact, a few of us were involved with starting a Green Business Roundtable networking group in our city, and through that effort we made a lot of friends involved in sustainable businesses and activities. When we decided that we were going to organize a WordCamp in North Canton, we knew we wanted to try to limit the environmental impact of the event.

Making it happen

The goal of planning a zero-waste WordCamp started to come together when we talked with the Green Business Roundtable to secure the Stark State College Business and Entrepreneurial Center for our event. We would be hosting attendees in the newest, greenest building on the Stark State Campus. The center was designed with sustainability in mind, and it meets LEED Silver standards, including a 30% energy reduction, 40 percent water reduction and a solar domestic hot water system. The building also houses several water bottle filling stations. Hosting the event in this building was a significant step in our green efforts.

Next, and again, thanks to people at the Green Business Roundtable, we were connected with Stark State College students who ran our zero waste disposal stations. They would provide the appropriate waste bags, buckets for excess liquid, signage and in-person instruction for anyoneWCNC2013_KasseySikora who might be confused about what goes where.

We had the zero waste tools in place, we just had make sure that everything we offered at the event was either recyclable or compostable. We called on our favorite pizza shop, Ermanno’s Legendary Pizza, because not only is their food fantastic, but they had just undergone a sustainability audit and started using all compostable materials and sourcing local ingredients as much as possible. They provided lunch, including compostable plates, napkins and forks.

For breakfast, we partnered with another of our favorite local companies, Four Kids Coffee. Four Kids Coffee practices sustainability in every area of their business. Their coffee is fair trade and organic and the pastries they provided were all made locally in their shop, using only vegan ingredients. We didn’t advertise that they were vegan, since some people can be vegan shy, and the breakfast received rave reviews (because the truth is vegan food is just food and pastries are yummy – especially when they’re made with high quality ingredients like fair-trade chocolate chips).

We made a conscious decision to not provide bottled water at the event. Alternatively, each attendee received a reusable water bottle at check-in. With Stark State College’s super-cool water bottle filling stations, this was an obvious solution. And it was a bonus piece of swag for our attendees. WordCamp attendees loved the water bottles, and we loved seeing photos of the filling stations popping up on social mediWCNC2013_KasseySikoraa.

Encouraging Participation

Our WordCamp had 135 attendees. We needed all of them to get on board with our zero waste event goal. We made advance announcements via social media that we were aiming for zero waste. We made reminder announcements throughout the day asking attendees to be conscious of our efforts and do what they could to help. It turned out that they not only participated but really loved it. WCNC2013 was trending on Twitter — not only about the event but our zero waste efforts too.

At the end of the day, WordCamp North Canton had a 98% waste deflection rate, meaning we succeeded in zero waste. It’s a pretty cool thing to be able to say, especially considering that our only effort was really in thinking about the decisions we were making. We feel confident that anyone (especially in larger cities where green options are more widely available) can organize a zero waste WordCamp.


Tips for WordCamp (and other event) organizers

1. Recruit an organizing team that is environmentally conscious.

2. Seek out a venue that is green, if you can; any building that is LEED certified is awesome.

3. Look for food providers and other vendors who offer sustainable products.

4. Afraid you’ll have leftover food? Research what are “food rescue” organizations are in your area that will take leftover food and feed it to someone hungry.

5. Think about what you’re providing at the event. Print on both sides of paper, or not at all. Try buying eco-friendly swag. Tell attendees to bring their own water bottles; even if you don’t have super-cool filling stations, you can provide a large water dispenser.

6. Partner with other organizations that can help you. If we could find a zero waste station to borrow in North Canton, Ohio, you can probably find one in your city.

7. Make the zero waste effort a key part of the event. Talk about it. Explain it. Make it fun.

8. Report the results to attendees. Let them know about the awesome results THEY helped make possible.

Think going zero waste is too large of a commitment? Perhaps you’ll be inspired like we were by this quote:

“Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything.” — Colleen Patrick Goodreau

Categories WordCamps | 4 replies

WordCamp Hamburg scheduled for June 14-15

WordCamp Hamburg will be held at the Geomatikum on June 14-15, 2014. Since the last WordCamp in Hamburg was in 2008, this is very exciting news! The event will be held in German, so if you love WordPress and du aprichst Deutsch, mark your calendar now.

Categories WordCamps | 2 replies