There’s been an ongoing discussion during DrupalCons surrounding how to share knowledge between Drupal event organizers about how a camp actually comes together, and what subjects you should cover when starting one. This year, at DrupalCon New Orleans I was lucky to attend the best community summit I’ve ever been to, with a bunch of great people who were interested in topics such as how to grow the community, how to put a camp together, how to raise funds and many other things that nobody would think of at first. As a result of the discussions we had, we decided to start a knowledge base for Drupal event organizers to collect and share tips and tricks, and all the useful and not too obvious details that can guide you through organizing a successful event. Keep reading to find out more information about the initiative.
Since I started working with Drupal about 6 years ago, I’ve developed an understanding of the value of contribution, but being a non-coder, I couldn’t really find a way to give back. Then I started to help organize Drupal Developer Days 2014 in Szeged and it struck me that maybe this is my way to contribute. In the two last years, having organized four camps (and three new ones that are still in the making), having attended dozens of camps in Europe and four cons all over the world, it’s safe to say that organizing a DrupalCamp is an extremely useful patch in making the Drupal project. And it’s not just about organizing an event - it is more about understanding what brings them value and what motivates a lot of people from all around the world with the same interest (in our case it is Drupal), and setting up a meeting/coworking space for them. In the end this is how the project is moving forward.
I’m not really a speaker type, but I decided to overcome my phobia of public speaking, because I care greatly about this topic, so I proposed a session to Drupal Developer Days 2016 in Milan about how to organize a DrupalCamp. My session was selected, and I think this is the perfect occasion to start growing the idea born at DC NOLA, and start building this knowledge base - for real this time.
The idea for our initiative is very simple: there are a lot of communities and lot of DrupalCamps all over the world. It’s enough just to take a look at drupical.com to see how many events are planned for this year and even the coming years. We, camp organizers, have a huge knowledge base that we have collected through years of work. This knowledge is extremely useful and totally worth sharing. But we need a platform to do that.
Even though our community is very diverse, when it comes to DrupalCamps (or probably organizing tech conferences in general), there are basics we all need for a Minimum Viable Camp. Such as, how to pick the right venue, how to set ticket prices, how to set the attendee number, etc. All these things might sound relatively small and easy to deal with, but they do matter.
We would like to collect and share the information about how other Drupalists cultivate their own local Drupal communities all over the world, about how they start organizing a camp, and what they pay attention to. We would also like to help first time organizers kick off their events, and even though that road is always kind of bumpy, there are some hints and tricks that you can try to make your life easier.
This knowledge base is intended to be a centralized resource for DrupalCamp howtos, statistics, document templates (e.g. you don’t have to write a sponsor contract from scratch when someone else already did it for you), metrics and a guide to reach out to sponsors, how do we find useful resources to help with administration, budgeting, contracting, etc.
Our further goal with this knowledge base is to have a hub where all camp organizers can connect, where we can just simply start interesting discussions about different topics that are not easy to share in a one single document.
First of all, we now have a github repo to start with: https://github.com/drupalcamps
And we have a form that we’d like to invite every Drupal Camp organizer to fill in: http://goo.gl/forms/8Uio24Eg4m
We would like to reach out to everyone who is willing to share their knowledge and want to hear more about how others are doing their things.
I personally really would like to build this initiative into my session at Drupal Developer Days in Milan. I believe this is a very useful topic, because yeah, there are certain things that are common with every camps, no matter where you organize it - in Balatonalmádi, Hungary, or in Heidelberg, Germany, or in Minneapolis, USA, or in Mumbai, India.
So we are asking you, fellow reader, DrupalCamp organizer, to share your knowledge with us about your DrupalCamp. First just fill in our form, and let us know if you have any topics you would be interested in in the long run. Everyone’s contribution matters.
A huge special thanks goes to Sean Walsh who led the discussion about this topic at DrupalCon’s community summit and who I am happy to work with on the initiative.
If you would like to hear about the basics of organizing a DrupalCamp, how you should start working on it and what will you definitely need on your way, come to Drupal Developer Days in Milan between June 21-26 and check out my session!