Remember when you were a kid and you spent the summer at camp, lying in the sun, hiking, grilling and just plain having fun? Or maybe you just wished you were one of those kids.
Here's a camp that doesn't have the sunbathing, hiking or grilling. No, this camp is nothing like that at all. This is WordCamp. And the fun? Well, that's completely up to you.WordCamps are events put together all over the world where WordPress developers, users, designers and more get together to work on new stuff or fix old stuff for WordPress.
Whether everyone is just working on ideas to present for the next WordPress upgrade or they are actually working on elements of an upgrade, these camps are nothing like summer camp. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. Let’s face it -- anyone interested in hearing about something like that would probably enjoy themselves at it.
Upcoming WordCamps in a Town Near You
There are, as was said before, WordCamps all over the world. And there are a number of them this summer in both Europe and North America that should promise to be fun (and code) filled.
* WordCamp San Francisco will be August 16 at the Mission Bay Conference Center
* WordCamp Paris will be on May 3rd
* WordCamp Italy in Milan will be May 10th. (And I believe I’ll be there.)
* WordCamp Birmingham UK will be July 19-20
* WordCamp Toronto will be October 4th
Australia, Philippines, Beijing, Utah, Hawaii, UK and NYC are some upcoming cities tentatively planning WordCamps.
You can always find out more at WordCamp Central.
Start Your Own WordCamp
If none of the above cities is anywhere near you or you just don’t feel like traveling, don’t fret. You can host your own WordCamp. It takes some work, some sweat, some supplies, but hopefully no blood or tears.
# Pick the date - Ensure that you’re not going to step on any toes of other tech conventions on that date. And try to pick a time of year with decent weather.
# Budget – You will need to secure funding somehow. Have fundraisers, get a loan, fund it yourself. Basically it needs to be paid for.
# Sponsors – Look for local companies to sponsor and donate to help support, then provide them with some free advertising at the event.
# Venue – Try to keep this as low key as possible. Use inexpensive event halls, local start-ups, etc. Try to steer clear of huge, expensive hotels.
# Wifi - Make sure wifi is available. This means less cords. Just let everyone know that there will not be hard lines.
# Logo – Have a decent logo created. This will take a little money if you can’t do it yourself, but will be worth it.
# Speakers and Schedule – Get one or two good speakers to give short talks and make and keep to a schedule.
# Advertise it – Advertise this event through normal online and offline advertising venues. It would be good to put up a single webpage somewhere with a contact form that the advertising would funnel everyone to. Then you can get RSVP’s. Email announcements to your lists if you have one. Blog about it.
# Volunteers – This is an open source project. Try to encourage people to volunteer a little time to help out. It is what open source is all about.
# Supplies - Routers, projector, screen, power cords, pens, blank name badges, extra trash bags, water, snacks.
Another thing to consider is talk to your local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau or Chamber of Commerce, and see if they can assist in anyway.
These are just some of the things you will need to take care of. Other things you should do are submit a press release and let WordCamp.org about it. Now you are set to host your own WordCamp. Remember it’s about fun and being part of a community.
WordCamp is fun, educational and most of all productive for one of the largest open source communities in the world. So whether yo