WordCamp News

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

WordCamp Europe 2014 scheduled for September 27–29 in Sofia, Bulgaria

WordCamp Europe 2014 will be held at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria on September 27–29, 2014. New organizers are still being added to the WordCamp Europe team and will be announced shortly. Last year’s event was fantastic, and we can’t wait to see what this dedicated group of volunteer organizers has in store for us this year.

Categories Events | 4 replies

WordCamp Wellington postpones to May 10

WordCamp Wellington has decided to postpone their event to May 10, which will allow organizers to work a little longer on making this the best WordCamp they possibly can.

Categories Events, WordCamps | Comments are off for this post

WordCamp Europe Proposals close on February 3

If you’re still considering whether to apply to join the WordCamp Europe organizing team or suggest your city as the best location for WordCamp Europe 2014, please fill out the application (same form for both) by the end of the day on Monday, February 5.

Categories WordCamps | 5 replies

WiredTree sponsors every WordCamp in North America for 2014

Thank you to WiredTree for their commitment to sponsor every WordCamp in the North America at the WordCamp Pillar level for 2014 via the multi-event sponsorship program. This pledge allows WordCamp organizers to minimize fundraising and instead spend more time focused on WordCamp programming and planning, which translates as a huge benefit for attendees.

wiredtree-logo-9WiredTree provides Managed VPS and Managed Dedicated Servers to WordPress users worldwide from our Chicago-based data center and offices. Every WT server is backed by 24×7 telephone support, ticket support with 15 minute average response times, and is fully managed and monitored by WiredTree to maximize uptime and minimize frustration. All servers come ready-to-run with cPanel/WHM and are optimized and security hardened with firewall and anti-spam out of the box. With experience in SSD technology, MariaDB, Memcached, WordPress plugins, server optimization, and LiteSpeed Web server, WiredTree can take your site’s performance to the next level.

Huge props to WiredTree for their commitment to support WordCamps throughout North America!

Categories WordCamp Central, WordCamps | 2 replies

Bluehost sponsors every WordCamp in the world in 2014

Thank you to Bluehost for their commitment to sponsor every WordCamp in the US and Canada at the WordCamp Pillar level and every other WordCamp at the Champion level for 2014 via the multi-event sponsorship program. This pledge is incredibly supportive of WordCamp organizers, allowing them to spend less time fundraising and spend more time focused on WordCamp programming and planning.  Bluehost was the first company to sign on as multi-event sponsor when we debuted the program in March of 2013, and we’re so very grateful for their continuing support.

bluehost-logo13Bluehost has been a WordPress partner since 2005 and powers over one million WordPress sites. Their goal is to provide outstanding hosting services and customer support for the best possible price. Bluehost is also constantly innovating and upgrading their services and infrastructure at no additional cost to their customers. Millions of other website owners have already chosen Bluehost; you can see how they can help you with your site here.

Huge props to Bluehost for their commitment to support WordCamps all over the world!

Categories WordCamp Central, WordCamps | Comments are off for this post

WordCamps in 2013

The WordCamp program certainly prospered in 2013. We had WordCamps in 15 cities that had never before hosted a WordCamp, and 53% of WordCamps were organized outside the US. WordCamps were held in 18 – yes, that’s right – EIGHTEEN different languages in 2013. Check out the stats for 2013 compared to previous years:

Number of WordCamps: 71
Number of WordCamps in the USA: 31
Number of WordCamps outside the USA: 40
Total Number of WordCamp Attendees: over 19,000
Total Days of WordCamp: 117
Number of sessions presented at WordCamps: 1,565
Number of people who spoke at WordCamps: 1,176
Number of companies that sponsored WordCamps: 522
New WordCamps: 15
WordCamp videos published to WordPress.tv: 474

Number of WordCamps: 67
Number of WordCamps in the USA: 34
Number of WordCamps outside the USA: 33
Total Number of WordCamp Attendees: over 17,000
Total Days of WordCamp: 102
Number of sessions presented at WordCamps: 967
Number of people who spoke at WordCamps: 877
Number of companies that sponsored WordCamps: 498
New WordCamps: 22
WordCamp videos published to WordPress.tv: 445

Number of WordCamps: 52
Number of WordCamps in the USA: 25
Number of WordCamps outside the USA: 27
Total Number of WordCamp Attendees: over 13,000
Total Days of WordCamp: 74
Number of sessions presented at WordCamps: 429
Number of people who spoke at WordCamps: 450
Number of companies that sponsored WordCamps: 313
New WordCamps: 15
WordCamp videos published to WordPress.tv: 271

Even more astounding than the fact that 1,176 different people spoke at a WordCamp in 2013: more than 50% of those speakers had never spoken at a WordCamp before. It’s so exciting that we heard from so many new people about what they’re doing with WordPress; a greater diversity of ideas helps us make WordPress better for everyone.

The multi-event sponsorship program was launched last year, in which companies sponsored all WordCamps in a certain country or region via WordCamp Central. This year, we have more multi-event sponsors than ever, and we’re excited to see what WordCamp organizing teams can do with their events now that most or all of the fundraising burden has been lifted.

The WordCamp program recorded and published over 450 session videos to WordPress.tv last year, which is fantastic. However, that’s only about a third of the number of WordCamp sessions overall, so we’re really going to concentrate on doing better in 2014, setting the goal of recording and publishing every single WordCamp session on WordPress.tv. We now have a small group of volunteers to help provide post-production editing for organizing teams that can’t recruit someone locally, and we’re still working with organizers of 2013 events to get their content online.

In 2014, we also want to provide even more custom tools to make WordCamp organizing easier than anyone could imagine. We’re working on ways to automate and streamline aspects of the planning process, and we encourage your feedback on what would make WordCamps better – both from the organizers’ perspective as well as from that of the attendee.

If you’re interested in helping with WordCamps or other WordPress community efforts, there’s a contributor group for that! If you are interested in organizing a WordCamp in your town, check out our WordCamp Planning site (now with forums!). We can’t wait to see what 2014 brings, and we hope you’ll join us as an attendee, volunteer, speaker, sponsor, organizer… or  all of the above!


Categories WordCamp Central, WordCamps | 1 reply