Organizing a WordCamp is no easy task. On top of a full-time job, side projects, and a social life, it can take hundreds of hours to put such an event together.
After a three-year hiatus, organizer Ryan Hoover is helping to bring WordCamp Austin back.
It’s a labor of love
Hoover has been a co-organizer of the Austin Meetup group and helped out with the Austin and San Antonio WordCamps, but this is his first time organizing a WordCamp. “As we talked about how to bring back WordCamp [Austin], I was the one who had the interest and the flexibility to take on the lead organizer role,” he said.
The job ended up being a massive one, but incredibly rewarding.
“It’s definitely been a labor of love. I was warned when I took on the role that it would be hundreds of hours of investment. That’s definitely true. But it’s so rewarding hearing from people who are coming to their first WordCamp and can’t wait to learn more about WordPress,” Hoover said.
Of course, he didn’t do it alone. According to Hoover, “I took on that [organizer] role but our entire community has risen to the challenge. We have over a dozen local community members who have committed themselves to WordCamp Austin!”
Organizing comes with challenges
Whenever you plan anything, challenges arise. One of the biggest ones for WordCamp Austin was finding a venue. In fact, that was the problem in the first place.
“For the past few years, the local community has had trouble finding an affordable venue in Austin. As Austin has boomed into a technology mecca, we’ve had challenges finding a venue that is appropriate and affordable,” Hoover said.
Luckily, the team found Fair Market in East Austin. According to the WordCamp Austin website, the venue was recently renovated and has space for indoor and outdoor activities.
“Since 2014 was our last WordCamp, a lot of the institutional knowledge about running a camp had atrophied. The community and city weren’t accustomed to a WordCamp. And sponsors were all fresh leads for us to track down,” Hoover said.
This was also the first time the entire organizing team has organized a WordCamp, so there was a learning curve for everyone.
It’s the best way to learn about WordPress
Though the team had a few hurdles to overcome, everything is coming together and people are starting to get excited.
“We’ve had a number of people tell us how excited they are. Some have heard about WordCamps but never been able to go to one before. Some have just started using WordPress and are ready to dive in deeper. And many people are proud that Austin is having a WordCamp again,” Hoover said.
WordCamps are a great way to introduce people to WordPress. Anyone wanting to learn more about the CMS can come hear from experts in the field, and even find a developer to give some technical advice.
For those more involved in the community, it’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends or make some new ones.
There are still tickets available for WordCamp Austin, happening this weekend Oct. 21-22.
Emily Schiola is the Editor of Torque. She loves good beer, bad movies, and cats.
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