I really enjoyed WordCamp Bristol. I was wearing two hats, one as an organizer and the other as a sponsor. From both perspectives it was fantastic. A while ago someone asked me why I’d volunteered to do this, and the answer is simple. It’s where I live, and have lived since 2002. Bristol is a great city, and I wanted other people to see and understand this. From the personal feedback from attendees and sponsors, plus all the Tweets circulating, it would appear WordCamp Bristol was extremely well received. Not that we are the only great city in the world, far from it, but it’s where I live and that’s important to me.
Before diving into the detail, I’d like to thank all my fellow organisers:
- Janice – Overall Lead
- Hannah – Co Lead and Comms Manager
- Simon – Speakers Manager
- Rob – Venue Manager
- Ronald – Volunteers Manager
- Ben – Design Lead, and in particular Grafuu!
- Jacob – Contributor Day Organiser
- Sarah – Filming and Video Editing for WordPress.tv
As sponsor wrangler, I had an easier job than most. I volunteered for this role because I thought it was something I could do well. The sponsor area was full, we literally couldn’t have fitted any more in, and there was a small profit, about £900!
Given the context, it’s hard to talk without bias. So assume I’m exaggerating by at least 25% in my enthusiasm. It was spectacular. I spoke to a lot of people, and there was universal praise.
Without exception, all WordCamps I’ve been to have been at least good, and often great. The people are friendly, welcoming and interesting to talk to. One thing I think we got exactly right was the venue. It was based at the Chemistry building of Bristol University. There’s a big advantage to having purpose-built lecture rooms, everything is tailored to giving talks. Sponsors were set up in the main foyer, with direct access to the lecture halls. This was a great space. People were able to chat and circulate easily, leading to a convivial atmosphere.
Normally I highlight talks after a WordCamp, but since I was also a sponsor I wasn’t able to attend as many as normal, in fact I only went to two. I know a lot of effort went into selecting speakers, there were over 80 applicants for just over 20 spots, so while it made selection difficult it did allow us to choose a diverse and high-calibre set of speakers. There’s an insightful blog post here that describes the process we followed. My one regret was that I didn’t get to see Tess (Our Marketing Manager) talk. Someone had to stay on the stand, and I’ve seen her practice in the office. By all accounts, she smashed it!
As I said, I’m biased, so I’ll let the Internet talk. Here are a selection of Tweets.
A big thank you to the sponsors. Nothing happens without you.