WordCamp Sydney is this weekend, and has a really exciting schedule. Dee Teal, lead organizer, took some time out of her very busy schedule to tell us a little bit about WordCamp Sydney and her WordPress community. Dee also has a great talk on WordPress.tv on Getting Involved in the WordPress Community; you should check it out!
How long has your meetup been active?
The Sydney WP meetup has been in the system since October 2010, but really only became well-established in July of 2011. Our membership list has just cracked 400 recently, and the uptake has been really growing consistently since early this year. It won’t be long before we’re looking for a bigger venue for our monthly gathering!
How did you and your team decide to try to organize a WordCamp?
We attended WordCamp Gold Coast in November 2011, or at least a few of us did and given that it was the most recent WordCamps have been in centres other than Sydney we felt like it was overdue to have one here. It was kind of a spontaneous decision but the team that gathered around it in those early days was awesome :) (still is) and the idea just took off.
What have been the most challenging aspects, so far?
Getting a venue took a lot longer and cost a lot more than we wanted. Trying to anticipate how many people would come and finding a place that was affordable and could accommodate what we anticipate will be a sizable (for us) crowd was a challenge.
What has been the most rewarding part, so far?
For me, it’s the team. They’re awesome. We’ve all got different strengths and seeing the guys use theirs with a common purpose to get this event off the ground has been fantastic. For me, the people thing is what it’s all about and so seeing WordCamp Sydney come together, so that we can bring more people together around WordPress, is a real kick.
What are you the most excited about?
Hanging out and talking about WordPress and not having people look at me funny.
What kind of experience do you hope attendees will have at your WordCamp?
I hope the users will come away having learned how to better make WordPress work for them, I hope the developers will come away with new skills and new ideas for their next big theme or plugin. I hope everyone will take the opportunity to meet new people and make new connections!
What is your favorite WordCamp story?
Any story where someone has a great time a their first WordCamp and comes back for more… or goes home to organize a meetup or gets back into WordPress development after having put it down for a time (heard that a bit after WordCamp NZ).
What makes your WordCamp unique?
Have you been to Sydney? Have you seen The University of Sydney? it’s all just so BEAUTIFUL!