In a series of posts, we lay bare our processes and list the tools that we use. For the sake of absolute transparency and so that other events may pick up a few, since we’ve already tried and tested them. We’ll be revealing the organiser selection, speaker selection and volunteer selection criteria and processes.
Just for One Day
We first decided that we’ll only have a day long WordCamp. There are two reasons we did this:
The cost of attending a WordCamp doesn’t only involve the price of the ticket. If the WordCamp would’ve been for two days, one would have to spend money on accomodation. A one day WordCamp means that a lot of people can come to Pune in the morning and leave for their homes in other cities, at the end of the day.
This single change drops the cost of attending a WordCamp from a possible 3-4K to just 1-2K or even lesser. This can encourage a lot of people from nearby, especially beginners and students, to be a part of the community without worrying about the expenses.
This is the attendance pattern we’ve seen in almost every 2 day conference:
|Day One||1st half||200|
|Day One||2nd half||100-150|
|Day Two||1st half||100-150|
|Day Two||2nd half||50-100|
We could’ve countered this drop in attendance by almost 50-75% using various techniques and measures. However, this is in a way our first WordCamp. We thought we’d rather make sure that we give a full day of rich interactive sessions this year, see how it goes and maybe, we can have a 2 day WordCamp in the future.
Our date had to allow the maximum number of participants(5). So, we looked for a date that isn’t around not just on any public holiday or festivals that people already use for something else, like vacations, family or community celebrations or public festivals.
Our date had to experience nice weather so that people from all over the world can worry about WordPress more and their physical comfort, less. Pune’s scorching summer was excluded so was it’s biting winter. Pune doesn’t experience major rainfall, being a plateau. However, rains are a little inconveniencing.
So, we came down to just one date September 6th after avoiding every major festival and considering that September in Pune is just after rains, just before winter, not exactly spring but pleasant nevertheless.
We needed parallel sessions, so we needed a place that had multiple assembly halls and conference rooms, etc. We also needed a place for 500 people to sit at the same time! Our choice boiled down to a couple of venues.
What clinched the deal was the enthusiasm and proactive interest the faculty from Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce showed in hosting the WordCamp. The Department of Computer Science was extremely co-operative and helpful with the resources they had and very nominal as far as the costs were concerned.
Second, our preference was for a place in the center of the city (Deccan/ Shivajinagar). Modern College, sandwiched between FC Road and JM Road was the perfect point. It is close and well connected to almost every entry and exit point of Pune, including the bus stations, railway station and the airport. The area also has a lot of budget friendly accomodation which added some weight to our choice.