Sponsor WordCamp London

WordCamp London is looking for sponsors! If you want to support the biggest WordCamp in the UK we’d love to have you on board. In 2013, the WordCamp had around 300 attendees, and sold out weeks before the conference. This year we’re aiming for 600 attendees, with two days of conference instead of just one. That’s double the WordPress fun!

Sponsoring a WordCamp is a fantastic way to support the free software community. London has a thriving  group of WordPress users, developers, designers, business-owners, and enthusiasts. When you sponsor WordCamp London, you’re helping this community to come together and grow, and it presents you with a fantastic opportunity to get your company in front of all of those WordPressers.

Check out the sponsorship levels and get in touch: help us make WordCamp London happen!

 

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Call for Speakers Closes this Friday!

Friday is the last day that we’re accepting submissions to speak at WordCamp London, and we’re still waiting for you to submit your application! We’re looking for speakers from across the WordPress ecosystem and beyond – developers, designers, writers, bloggers, business-owners, freelancers, and everyone in between. We’ve also got a non-profit track this year and we’d love to hear from some non-profits who’re working with WordPress.

What are you waiting for? Head over to the call for speakers to find out more, or go straight to the application form to apply!

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The Making of a WordCamp: The Team

the-team

When you’re organising a WordCamp, there is one word that’s more important than any other: delegate.

Or, you can expand that out to: find good people, and delegate everything to them.

This can be hard, particularly if you’re someone who likes to get stuff done quickly or who likes to always be on top of everything that’s going on.

However, WordCamps are not made by one person alone. The strongest WordCamps are made of a team of people who work together. There are lots of reasons why delegating to a team is important:

  • WordCamps are organised by volunteers and sometimes people have work or life commitments that take over. Having a team prevents this from having a major impact on the event.
  • it creates a clear line of accountability for different aspects of the event. The speaker person makes sure speakers happen, the sponsor person stays on top of sponsors.
  • it means the workload is shared between multiple people and no one becomes overwhelmed.
  •  it provides experience to newer organisers who will be able to take the helm in future years. Now that lead WordCamp organiser can only hold that position for two years, this becomes even more important.

The Roles

The roles differ from WordCamp to WordCamp, though some are always the same. Below is a version of the list that I post to a WordCamp team in the early planning stages of a WordCamp:

Speakers

Responsible for overseeing speaker selection, liaising with speakers, and supporting speakers throughout the event:

  • working with the team to come up with a list of invited speakers
  • creating the speaker application form
  • posting the call for speakers
  • managing speaker selection (everyone will be given their say but someone needs to oversee it)
  • sending out rejection and acceptance emails
  • make sure the speakers provide all of their details
  • add all of the speakers to the website
  • post speaker announcements
  • reviewing slides
  • other speaker-related stuff that comes up

Sponsors

Responsible for finding sponsors and keeping them happy
:

  • working with the team to come up with a list of things that sponsors get
  • posting the call for sponsors
  • contacting potential sponsors (or working with team members who can make use of their connections)
  • collecting details about sponsors
  • ensuring that sponsors have everything they need at the event
  • thanking sponsors and getting their details on the website
  • etc

Contributor Day

Responsible for all aspects of the contributor day.

  • opening sign-ups
  • identifying leads for different areas
  • publicizing
  • deciding on format
  • choosing catering

AV

Responsible for video and photography.

  • finding volunteer photographers
  • managing the video recording of the sessions
  • ensuring all videos are uploaded to WordPress.tv

Design

Responsible for the website design and all swag.

  • designing and building the website
  • designing the logo
  • designing name badges
  • designing any banners, signs, and promotional material

Content & Communication

Responsible for ensuring all content is on the website and that there are regular posts to the blog.

  • coming up with a content strategy
  • posting regularly to the blog
  • ensuring that all other leads have got relevant info on the site (e.g. speakers, sponsors)
  • posting all event related content to the site (dates, location, party details, etc)
  • managing social media

Volunteers


Recruit volunteers and oversee them at the event.

  • recruit volunteers
  • put together volunteer schedule
  • assign volunteer roles
  • manage volunteers on the day

Social

Plan the social activites

  • organise the speaker dinner
  • organise the social event

Some of these roles will overlap, and sometimes the lead organiser will end up taking on additional tasks but it helps if you can delegate as much as possible

The role of the lead organiser

With all of this delegation, what does that leave to the lead organiser? Can you just sit back and let everyone get on with the work? Sadly not – you’ll end up doing a huge amount of work yourself. For one, you’ll end up picking up all of the things that don’t fit neatly into any of the other roles. So everything from booking catering, to working with the venue, to liaising with WordCamp central, to scheduling, to putting together the budget and managing the finances. you’ll also end up picking up the slack if someone is unable to deliver on their tasks. Expect to spend a lot of your time pinging people to say “Hey! where are you on that thing? :)”

But there are other things too: you’re responsible for the overall vision of the event and ensuring that the whole thing comes together on the day. It’s your job to make sure that all of your co-organisers are staying on top of their work and, importantly, that they are having a good experience. WordCamp organisers are volunteers and if you want volunteers to keep coming back then it’s important that they get a lot out of the experience.

And, of course, to mentor new lead organisers in the future, so you can sit back next year (or the year after) and watch someone else do all the work :D

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Call for Speakers

WordCamp London is happening March 20th – 22nd 2015, and we’re looking for speakers to make it happen.

WordCamp London is a community event that brings together designers, bloggers, developers, bloggers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, and educators from all across London. WordCamp London represents the passion, talent, and diversity of that community, and we want you to be a part of it!

Interested? Head on over to the application form!

Format

  • Full-length sessions will be 25 minutes long with 10 additional minutes for questions from audience.
  • We will also be running sessions of 5 minute lightning talks throughout the weekend. These lightning talks will give you an opportunity to get one point across really really fast.

What we’re looking for

We’re looking for talks, presentations, or panels about WordPress, or topics that you think would be interesting to our audience of WordPress users, developers, and anyone in-between.

WordCamp presentations are best when they tell a story, or when they dig deeply into a very specific area. It’s better to focus on something very narrow and give the audience something to go home with, rather than try to cover a broad topic in a short space of time. Examples of areas we’re interested in are:

  • Advanced developer: working with Backbone.js in WordPress, using the WP JSON REST API, making the most of wp_query, server setup
  • Design: better typography, multi-device theme design, UX in WordPress
  • Theme Development: using the theme customiser, building your first child theme, introduction to template tags
  • Business: raising your rates, dealing with clients, building enterprise sites
  • User: securing your WordPress website, WordPress productivity hacks
  • Content: content strategy, finding a voice, raising your profile with a blog

These topics are just for inspiration – they’re not exhaustive. If you want to discuss your idea ahead of submission you can email us at london@wordcamp.org.

Remember, you don’t need to be an expert at all to share your thoughts at WordCamp! We have a peer mentorship program which you can subscribe to when you put in your application.

Not-for-profit track

This year, WordCamp London will have a Saturday track focused on not-for-profit organisations using WordPress. The track is open to anyone working in the third sector, NGOs, charities, social enterprises, voluntary organisations, neighbourhood or community groups, hyper-local and micro-enterprise websites.

We’re running the track in association with our venue, London Metropolitan University who have a strong record of research and course provision in social entrepreneurship, community and international development – as well as in computer science and web development.

We’re looking for presentations focused on not-for-profit organisations use of WordPress. If you work for a charity or build websites for third-sector organisations we’d love you to share your knowledge and experience with the WordCamp audience.

Examples of presentations that would fit well in the track might include:

  • How to deliver sustainable web strategies for not-for-profit organisations
  • Using WordPress to create platforms for hyper-local and community business models
  • How NGOs are using WordPress as part of their approach to information management
  • Raising your social enterprise’s profile with a blog 
  • Using WordPress in a particular segment of the not-for-profit sector – e.g. in arts organisations
  • The benefits and costs for not-for-profit organisations using open source software
  • How our campaign went from no website at all to a web presence
  • A case study on how my not-for-profit organisation uses WordPress

If you’ve got a story to tell or knowledge to share we want to hear from you.

Just select “not-for-profit” on the signup form question “Who is your intended audience?”

Talk Submission

  • Please complete this form below to propose a talk.
  • If you have more than one idea, submit them all, we’ll pick our favourite. Please send one submission per talk.
  • The closing date is the 20th December.
  • All talks are recorded and posted to WordPress.tv. Speakers will need to sign an A/V release form prior to giving their presentation.
  • Lightning talk slides need to be submitted by 9th March
  • Full-length talk slides need to be submitted by 12th March
  • As a non-profit, community event, we are unable to pay for travel and accommodation

The Call for Speakers deadline is 20th December 2014 —don’t wait until it’s too late!

Application form here!

If you’ve any questions feel free to leave a comment below, or send us an email at london@wordcamp.org.

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The Making of a WordCamp: the Venue

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WordCamp London 2013

Over the coming months, myself and a fantastic team of WordPress folks will be working our little socks off to bring you WordCamp London on 20th – 22nd March. During that period, I’m going to blog about the process of creating WordCamp London. Every WordCamp is different but hopefully there’s something you can learn and please use the comments to tell us how we can improve.

So where best to start but with the start of this WordCamp’s story: the venue.

Finding the Venue

Last year we held the event at the Bishopsgate Insitute which was a fantastic venue. But this year, we’re bigger. WordCamp London sold out more than a month before the event and this year we want to be able to have more people, more tracks, and more days. The biggest problem is that everything in London is so expensive and WordCamps are supposed to be cheap! Bishopsgate was very reasonable but for a bigger venue we’d need more money.

The first thing that I always do when looking for a venue is to look at Lanyrd to see what similar events have been held in London. That helps to gauge whether a venue will be able to cope with a bunch of geeks with multiple devices. I make a list, and start contacting them.

Finding a Free Venue

As well as looking for a ££££ venue, I wanted to make a real effort to find a free venue. I discovered that City University had been hosting Drupal Camp London. If someone’s already hosting a FOSS event it’s a good sign that they’re supportive of FOSS software and communities. I tracked down the contact at City Uni who’d been responsible, got in touch with him, and he invited us to view the venue.

At the same time, Ilona, who’s on the organising team, got in touch with one of her contacts at London Metropolitan University. They were keen to build up relationships with a FOSS project.

rocket-complex

The Rocket at London Met University

We went to view both venues and in the end decided to go with London Met. We wanted to hold a three track event, and London Met had three perfect sized rooms (including one former rock music venue) for us to use. They also have a venue that could host the evening social. The only drawback is that one of the rooms is being renovated until November. So we decided to push the event until next March.

We kept contact with City University, however. Alex Elkins, our contact there, was really enthusiastic about WordPress. It’s good for us as a project to keep connections to different educational institutions. This helps us to grow the WordPress community locally and means that we have different venue options for the future. While City wasn’t quite the right fit for the WordCamp this year, it is a fantastic venue for our meetup and the next WPLDN meetup is being held there.

Finding Your Venue

Finding a venue for your WordCamp is one of the biggest challenges. The venue makes a huge difference to the event – you want a space that makes people feel comfortable and that they enjoy being in. You also need somewhere that’s cheap so you don’t have to charge your attendees through the nose.

Here are some of the things that I learned during my venue search that might help you:

  • search Lanyrd for events near to you and come up with a list of venues
  • look at where other FOSS projects have held events and get in touch with the organisers to see if they can connect you with the venue
  • if you are trying to get a venue for free, never contact the events department – they want to make money out of you. Find a contact in a department who is sympathetic to your project.
  • try to find somewhere that doesn’t lock you into catering. That’s often the biggest cost.
  • be open to doing work with your venue. We’re going to do some WordPress events specifically for non-profits as part of the University’s outreach. It’s good to think of things that you can do for them that fit with the project’s values.

That’s my thoughts on the great venue hunt. It is one of the hardest things you’ll do but once it’s done it’s done and you can get on with the business of planning your WordCamp.

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Save the Date: WordCamp London 20th – 22nd March 2015

We’re really excited to announce that the next WordCamp London will be held from 20th – 22nd March 2015 at London Metropolitan University!! The event will break down as follows:

  • 20th March: Contributor Day (for all things contributing to WordPress)
  • 21st – 22nd March: Conference (for all things WordPress)

The next WordCamp London is going to be even bigger than the last, with three tracks packed with everything the discerning WordPress developer, designer, blogger, contributor, business owner, and general aficionado might need. We’re hugely grateful to London Metropolitan University, who will be hosting us this year. We’ve got some exciting plans this year that we think will make our WordCamp really special.

But…uhh…. what about WordCamp London 2014?

We had every intention of holding WordCamp London this year. However, the room that we fell in love with is being renovated until the end of the year. Rather than having a festive Christmas WordCamp or pushing it just to January, we thought March would be a great alternative. This means that there’s a slim chance that the English weather will be nice to us and send rays of sunshine to warm up our WordCamp.

You shan’t be starved of WordPress, however. The WPLDN meetup group continues as usual, and there’ll be a WP Contributor Day in London later this year! Watch the meetup group for information.

What’s Next?

Over the coming months we’ll be making the usual announcements: call for speakers, call for sponsors, call for volunteers, ticketing, contributor day signups, and all of the other goodies you’ve come to expect from your WordCamp.

See you in March!

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WordCamp London needs a venue! Can you help?

Last year, WordCamp London was a huge success and we want to make this year even bigger and better. This means finding a bigger venue that can host two conference days. We’re working our way through venues in London, sending out requests for quotes, collating information, and trying to find a way to keep our costs as low as possible.

We’re committed to keeping the event as cheap for attendees, while still providing an amazing WordCamp experience. Venues in London are expensive, so we’re looking for a venue partner or sponsor who would be able to host our WordCamp for us. By hosting WordCamp London you’ll be supporting an amazing open source project, and we’re happy to discuss what we can do to show our thanks.

We’d like to hold the WordCamp over a weekend some time between August -> December 2014.

Who can help?

We need an venue space that can hold up to 600 people, across three rooms. You might be able to help us if you’re a:

  • University: universities can be perfect spaces because they can hold lots of people and have lots of bandwidth. It’s also a great opportunity for your students to learn about WordPress and meeting people in the WordPress community.
  • Adult Education Centre or College: again, this can be a great opportunity for students to learn about WordPress.
  • Tech company: if you’re a big tech company with a whole load of space, supporting a WordCamp is a great way to support the open source community
  • cinema, theatre, meeting house, community centre, mansion house, historic building, any other big space that can hold 600 people and their laptops!

We’d also be interested in speaking to anyone who thinking they can host the Contributor Day. For that we need a venue of around 150 people.

If you think you can help, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us an email.

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