Personal thoughts on what makes a great DrupalCamp

After spending a great Saturday at @nwdug’s Unconference in Manchester at the weekend, I found myself reflecting upon what actually makes a great Drupal Camp.

I’m going to keep saying this — these are my personal thoughts — not those of my employer.

First of all, let’s talk about numbers. The number of attendees is not a measure of success in my eyes. I genuinely don’t care how many people attend, I care about the experience of each individual. Did they each get something out of the event? Yes? Then your camp was a success. A camp with 30 attendees can be more “successful” than one of 300.

Next, you don’t need a fancy-pants website. As long as people can see the information they need to see, then you have everything you need. Don’t spend your time building an amazing website and neglect the other things. This is especially hard as so many of us build websites as a job!

Some of the very best conferences I’ve attended have not done any speaker selection at all. The Unconference in Manchester being a prime example. This has two advantages; it reduces the effort you need to put in to run the camp and it also allows for an “unfiltered view” of what people currently find interesting. I think I learn far more about the Drupal community from this unfiltered view than any other way. Consider having at least one full day of unconference-style programming.

Please, please, please, make your life easier and avoid freebies that need multiple sizes/fits, like t-shirts. It’s just not worth the grief of not having the right size or fit. Why do you do this to yourselves??

Have an actual Code of Conduct enforcement process. Don’t just put a CoC on your website and think that’s enough — it isn’t. If you need help with this; ask me.