It is more than a week since we had WordCamp Bucharest 2016 and I can still feel the energy of all the participants.
As a brief chronology of our events, in 2012 was the last WordCamp in Bucharest, in 2014 in Timisoara we had WordCamp Romania and we are already thinking of the next one 🙂
For me this WordCamp was a challenge and an achievement. I was the lead organizer and a first time WordCamp organizer, overall, a great experience which I am looking forward to repeat. I’m fulfilled with the way the event happened and I want to share with you a review, with the good and not that so good aspects and also with a little of behind the scene facts.
WordCamp Bucharest 2016 was the biggest WordCamp in Romania so far, with about 164 attendees from 172 sold tickets. When we first started to plan, we estimated between 150 and 200 attendees, so we were in the middle. We had people coming from all over the country but also from other countries like Moldova, Serbia, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria. WordCamp Europe here we come! 🙂
I’m not a quotes person, I like to express myself with my own words but in this context I’ll use one by Henry Ford:
If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
It’s true! I’m so proud of the organizing team who made this WordCamp possible. I’m happy for finding such a cool and fun group and I am grateful to every one of them for the way they got involved and how they managed all the situations. So, a big HURRAY for the team: Andrei Hutanu, Alexandra Giula, Alexandru Muscalu, Bogdan Dragomir, Cezar Cazan, Florin Serbu, Marius Vetrici, Mircea Sandu, Radu Mihai Anghel, Sabina Ionescu, Vlad Ilie.
WordCamp Bucharest 2016 had a single track with 14 speakers, selected from a total of 27 applications. We did have a last minute speaker issue, one speaker dropped out Friday, before the conference but we’ve replaced him with our backup speaker: Vincenzo Buonomano, whom I wish to thank for a great attitude and for delivering such a good presentation. Our local and foreign speakers, with experience or first timers, managed to offer a good diversity for the audience. The next year we would like to see more technical presentations, with even more things to take home for developers.
We encourage local speakers to apply next year, we know there are a lot of stories to tell, we hear some of them at our monthly MeetUps. But, don’t forget, we appreciate those who want to share their experiences with the community and not just to promote companies, services, products or to rise themselves above competition. We’ve learned our lessons now and we promise next year’s lineup will be even more diverse, intriguing and interesting for the audience.
I would like to thank all of our 10 sponsors who supported our WordCamp Bucharest 2016:
- 5 Gold sponsors (Captain Form, Crowd Favorite, Theme Isle + 2 Global ones, WooCommerce and Jetpack)
- 2 Silver Global sponsors (GoDaddy Pro, Blue Host)
- 2 Bronze sponsors (Siteground and a Global one, WPML.org)
- 1 Individual (Andrei Nicolae Cuta – MPX HOLDINGS)
Our Gold Sponsors did a good job arranging their “sponsor tables” in the hall’s lobby, there have been a lot of swag, t-shirts, stickers, pins, even socks and I saw a lot of interest over there.
Sponsors have a great contribution at every WordCamp, so, get involved and support the community!
Hosting the event at The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania was such a good decision. We want to thank everyone working there for their professionalism and for all their help. Everything we needed, they provided, we haven’t had any argue, we lacked nothing from them. The hall we’ve used can accommodate up to 300 people and I’m confident that next year we’ll use the same venue and a second hall for 2 tracks. The general feedback on the venue was very positive and many attendees mentioned the good Internet connection especially during coffee and lunch breaks, when usually at WordCamps the speed is very poor or the connection is just down. Thank you Eduard Ahrisavoaei for taking care of this.
Both halls where we’ve hosted the presentations and the Contributor Day have dedicated coffee and food lobbies where we’ve served everything. I want to thank our vendor Enigma Catering for making sure we didn’t miss anything during the event. The food was very diverse and tasty, with many choices even for our vegetarian attendees, and coffee, water, juices, fruits, snacks have been available all the time.
Together with the organizers, the volunteers represent the core of a WordCamp. They make things happen and their support and help are extremely valuable and important during the conference days. Our volunteers helped us with specific tasks like logistics, preparations, registration, after party, food, and many others and they have also been present all the time when they were needed. My concern before the conference was about the registration process, because we were supposed to deal with a lot of people in just half of hour, but everything went smoothly and fast and we had no waiting lines.
Thank you so much all of you for your involvement: Alexandra Muscalu, Alexandra Turcu, Alex Plop, Cosmin Iacob, Cristian Midvichi, Irina Bucurenciu, Iulia Cazan, Ivelina Dimova, Luminita Ciobanu, Mihai Apetrei, Roxana Hutanu.
Photo, Video & Social
On the video recording side we have been a little on the edge because we’ve decided to use one of the video recording kits available for WordCamps in Europe and the kit arrived Friday afternoon, right before Speakers Dinner. Just in case the kit wouldn’t arrived in time we had a backup plan, too, but our equipment was a little more entry level. Overall everything was good, Florin and Cristian, our “camera crew” handled it like pros. We have already started to upload the our videos on WordPress TV. For the photography we have to give a big thumbs up to Cezar who did an amazing job and we have so many beautiful pictures thanks to him. You can see all of them on our Facebook page.
We haven’t had a person dedicated for the social media and before the event we felt this absence many times, but I hope next year we’ll be able to address this. During the WordCamp we had Iulia doing a great job updating Facebook and Twitter where we had 120 tweets and 245 retweets. In the lobby we had the GetInSight box where people could take pictures and post them on our event’s timeline on Facebook. Thank you Adrian Chifor for your presence and your help.
This year we organized the After Party at Interbelic and we had a lot of fun. It started at 9pm, we talked, we did some networking, we laughed and told stories until about 11:30pm when the placed turned into a club and the dancing started. All our attendees have received free drinks coupons worth 40 lei. We estimate there were 80-100 people who came at the party.
On Sunday we had the Contributor Day, where Adrian Pop presented how everyone can contribute to the WordPress and how to join the polyglots team and help translating the WordPress to Romanian. Totally we had about 40 persons attending, which was more than expected considering how much fun was the night before at the After Party. 🙂 Thank you guys for coming and thank you Adrian for accepting our invitation and for leading the Contributor Day.
Afterwards, we moved to Bucharest Old City’s Center where we organized a 2 hours guided tour together with our friends from TravelMaker.ro.
Give feedback & Get involved!
Help us make WordCamp Bucharest better and spare 5 minutes of your time and complete the survey you have received few days ago from us.
Let us know how much you enjoyed this year’s WordCamp Bucharest and what we can do to improve. We have big plans for the upcoming years and we think any feedback is constructive.
Also, if you want to be closer to the action, come and attend our MeetUps, help us grow the community, share your thoughts, ideas and experiences!
WordCamp Bucharest 2017
You know an event was good when you are asked if you’ll do it again next year and when. We are a great team and we are working great together so we have decided to organize next year’s WordCamp. When? We haven’t thought yet but we’ll involve you, our community, in this decision: when we’ll be ready to start organizing WCBUC 2017 we’ll send a survey and we’ll consider your votes when we’ll select the date. At that moment we’ll also make the call for organizers, if you want to join our super-duper team!
It’s been an honor and a privilege to be the lead organizer for WordCamp Bucharest 2016. WordPress represents almost everything work related to me. My goal for this WordCamp was to promote our community and make it bigger and I think we succeeded. I am happy with how things went. I want to thank you ALL who did get involved and who made this WordCamp possible.
See you in 2017!