At our WordPress Meetup in Dusseldorf, we thought about to do a WordCamp. But we don’t wanted to do a WordCamp at first, we decided to do something linke a small WordCamp. We decided to extend an already existing WordPress format: We would like to do a WordPress Meetup Day.
The Meetup us our monhtly meeting, where about 20 till 30 people are attending. The meeting takes place one time in a month at a private company in the near of the Dusseldorf center of the city. Additionally to the rooms which are sponsored by the company Newcast, the company sponsors us drinks and sandwiches. This is the way, the company is doing a giveback to the community. With that the Meetup is without costs for the attendees and the organizers.
After I have helped planning several WordCamps, Ia am aware about that one of the biggest challenges is, to have the eyes on the budget and get the money together. The costs for the location, catering, party and so on have to be collected, the sponsors have to be found for it and everything have to be approved by the WordPress Community Support.
So we have decided to do a little “WordCamp” before, which have to be planned as is as it can be. Meetups were planned pragmatically. In the most times Meetups have a location which is sponsored, drinks and something to eat which the people can buy. We can access on an existing infrastructure and we don’t have to think about anything, that we can concentrate on the content of the Meetup. So how would it be to do a Meetup not only on an evening, but on a whole day?
On WordCamps we are making ourselfs a lot of work. We are searching for locations, doing complex design works, creating a Website, creating T-Shirts, Badgets, Wapuus, designing many other things, organising a big Party and so on. Thats what a WordCamp is making really exhausting. The main thought is now, to do an event with lessest effort which is possible. We are coming back to the essential.
We are reduce the work and changing to alternatives. We are taking a cost free place and we are eating at the restaurants around our location or we are ordering Pizza. Also the party takes place in the location nextby where you just have to reserve your place. In the best case the event will not cost more than the effort to plan the event.
This idea or this post shouln’t discriminate the WordCamp itself but should be an alternative for small groups for planning an event like this. Planning a WordCamp requires a lot of responsibility for the planning people, also there is a lot of money which a WordCamp costs. For an average WordCamp in germany you have to plan about 100€ per attendee in your budget. For a WordCamp like the WordCamp US it is about 500€. The money is raised by the tickets for the attendees, the local and the global sponsors. But there is a risk that you won’t get the whole money for the budget. In this case the WordPress Community Support helps you out.
If you think about that the WordPress Community is non profit, and the people who are planning are doing that in their free time, you have a lot of responsibility in the opposite, which can scare a lot of people. Also if the WordPress Community Support will help you out in the end, the people who are planning such an event don’t take this easy if they would get the money together for the budget.
The idea to have zero costs and to reduce the work would let out the pressure from all and encourage people to do such WordCamps in other, new cities.
In Dusseldorf we have decided, to do a WordPress Meetup Day. On the WordCamp London 2017 we have been recommended to name it WordCamp instead of a Meetup Day. Regardless how it’s named in the end, as long as we thing to push down the costs and the efforts, we maybe have won a little bit, because the content would be the same but it would be much easier to organize a Camp in this way.