Regional WordCamps, WCUS 2017, and design kits

There's a good bit of WordCamp news worth covering right now.

WordCamp US in Nashville

First off, WordCamp US 2017 and 2018 will be held in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville is less than a three hour drive from me, because I know you were curious. It's also a great town with a vibrant music scene, film scene, and much more. I think it's an outstanding pick.

Logistically, I see Nashville having several advantages, including lower cost conference centers and hotels than some other big cities. But the regional airport may prove slightly more expensive than some of the large hubs like Chicago, Atlanta, etc.

The Nashville WordPress community put together a little press kit / marketing package for Nashville if you're interested. Dates haven't been announced, but I can assure you that October is always amazing around these parts. November is rarely too cold either. I'd love to see the event get out of December though; that makes it pretty hard on lots of folks traveling between various holidays.

Regional WordCamps conversation

There's also a conversation happening around the potential for regional WordCamps. I'm not exactly sure the definition of “regional” but it seems to be multi-country camps, perhaps with the exception of the United States.

First came WordCamp SF, which was the first WordCamp ever and became to be the official annual conference of the WordPress open source project. Over the years, WordCamp SF grew as WordPress itself grew (quickly).

Then we tried a new event concept: WordCamp Europe, a large regional event that brings together WordPress community members in Europe to share knowledge and create closer community ties. When discussing WordCamp Europe with the first organizers in 2012, we set very specific goals:

  • to organize an event that exemplified the values of the WordPress project and the WordCamp program
  • to encourage the growth of local communities in Europe (to prompt more WordCamps, not less)

In 2014, WordCamp SF finally grew out of its historic home in the (edit) Moscone Center Mission Bay and became WordCamp US. Unlike the WordCamp Europe tradition of moving to a new city every year, WordCamp US currently moves to a new city every 2 years. WordCamp US is also the event that hosts Matt’s annual State of the Word address.

The success of these two events begs the question: why don’t we organize more regionally-based WordCamps?

Regions could be multi-country, or intra-country. Based on comments I'm seeing, consensus seems to be around basing the regions on population centers, travel time required, and other factors that aren't necessary based on actual borders.

I like the direction this is going, and would be intrigued to see events like WordCamp Australia, WordCamp Midwest, WordCamp India, etc., assuming they don't take away from the local communities, but instead build on them.

WordCamp design kits

Cristel Rossignol has released an open source design kit for WordCamps, which includes web assets, icons, badge designs, and more. All of these designs can be altered in the source files and utilized for an event near you.

For many of you who are involved in organizing a WordCamp, meetup, or other event, this could be tremendously useful. There will also be a portion of folks at WCUS contributor meetup working on alternative designs along these lines.

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