WordCamp London 2016 – Organiser’s Interview

If you are one of the thousands of 34SP.com customers who are WordPress enthusiasts, you may be interested in the upcoming WordCamp London 2016. The London WordCamp event is among the world’s largest WordCamps and will be held on April 9th and 10th at London Metropolitan University. There are still a limited number of tickets still available and you can view the entire event schedule here: 2016.london.wordcamp.org/schedule.

34SP.com is once again a major sponsor of WordCamp London and we are very excited to debut our brand new WordPress Hosting platform in London. 34SP.com’s very own Tim Nash will be speaking at WordCamp London 2016 on Saturday April 9 at 11:50 am. If you are attending WordCamp London, please stop by our sponsorship table and say hello.

We asked the organisers of this year’s WordCamp London event a few questions about what goes on behind the scenes and what is in store on April 9th and 10th. Here is what they had to say.

What are the three separate tracks for? Is there a specific track for a specific WordCamp attendee? What was the strategy behind how the tracks and talks are arranged?
Jenny Wong – lead organiser for WordCamp London 2016: “The three tracks are to enable more people to share their stories and experiences of working with and around the WordPress ecosystem. The talks came out of our Call for Papers application. We did a blind voting to rate submissions based on talk title and abstracts that were submitted. After that we reviewed all the applications in score order and then selected talks from the talk taking into account if a speaker had already been selected for a talk before or not. After we picked many of the talks, we realised there were various topics and subjects which were similar to each other and thus the track groupings were created. I think the track groupings really depend on the type of topics that are submitted each year and selected from the selection process. We always try and pick things that are interesting to different people. It really helps when the organising team is made up from people with different interests and backgrounds.”

What is your goal for attendees this year?
Gary Jones, main organiser of Contributor Day: “Like any WordCamp, we want attendees to get out of what they want. For some, it will be about learning something new, be it technical knowledge or how to run their business better. For others, their goal will be to build relationships with other attendees, get to meet and ask questions of speakers, or simply to feel like they are a part of the community.”

What do you hope that attendees get out of the event? Is this at all different from past years?
Jenny Wong: “The goal for us is to welcome all our attendees and make the event as accessible as possible. I personally hope that the attendees will find the event useful and leave having met people who have inspired and support them on their journeys, wherever they may go.”

Do you have any statistics you can share for 2016?
Gary Jones: “For this year, we’ve got 8 organisers, 34 volunteers, 50 speakers and over 470 attendees booked up so far. The attendees numbers may well change as we get closer to the event.”

Could you explain the importance of the Contributor Day?
Jenny Wong: “Contributor Days’ ultimate goal is to facilitate people to give back to WordPress – in any way they want. Sometimes it might be disheartening to contribute to the project being alone at home – or maybe you just don’t have time in your personal daily lives to do this. For all these reasons (and many more) the Contributor Day helps people get the support they might need to start or keep contributing to WordPress. Moreover, you have a whole day for doing that – so it also gives you the time you need to contribute and support the project.”

Gary Jones: “Many of the attendees owe their job or hobby to the WordPress platform. Many freelancers work exclusively with WordPress for all their client work. Being able to give back to the project to help themselves and others, is the best way to support open source software.”

Who is best to attend this extra day and why?
Stef Mattana – main sponsor organiser: “Literally everyone is welcomed at the CD. There are several teams to join, everyone has some particular skills that can be used to improve something. There is no a best profile that matches CDs. Anyone can do it and anyone can start contributing, no matter the level of knowledge of WordPress they’ve got. Contributor Days also serve to learn new stuff whilst contributing.”

Jenny Wong: “Just remember to bring your laptop, chargers and mobile devices!”

What are you really looking forward to this year at WordCamp London? Why is that?
Gary Jones: “This is my first time at being a speaker, and an organiser (and we do or oversee volunteer tasks too). Before this, I’d only been at WordCamps in an attendee role. I’ve seen how much amazing work the other organisers have already done to get this far, and I’m confident the whole event is going to go smoothly. Jenny has been awesome as the lead organiser, but the whole team has been on the ball with everything. There’s been a lot to do, more so than attendees realise, so I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together.”

Anything else you want to add?
Jenny Wong: “Tickets are still available and at £30 a ticket, it’s a bargain. There is also spaces at our creche for little ones.”

Stef Wattana: “WordCamp London is one of the best chances for the UK WordPress community to gather together and meet people who you have probably spoken with only (or mainly) online. You can learn new skills but also have a lot of fun and strengthen personal relationships. It’s not easy to arrange one of the biggest WordCamps in Europe, so I’d like to thank my fellow co-organisers who personally helped me out quite a lot during the latest months. I’d also like to thank all the sponsors, because there’s no WordCamp without their financial support – whether big or small. Last but not least, the volunteers deserve a mention of honour. We have a great squad of fellows willing to roll up their sleeves and support us throughout the conference days.”


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