Skip to content
From our Planning Blog:

Call for WPCampus 2021 organizers

Subscribe to Planning Blog updates

With a new year comes an exciting opportunity for a new WPCampus conference. Our ninth conference to be exact.

And this year is obviously quite out of the ordinary. COVID-19 is still prevalent throughout much of our society. “When will it be safe to have an in-person event?” is still a big unanswered question. We usually hold the main WPCampus conference in mid-July. Will we be able to meet in-person this summer?

Looking back to WPCampus 2020

In looking back to last year’s event, I am so grateful to everyone who helped organize WPCampus 2020. The introduction of COVID in early 2020 dealt a massive blow to in-person events and conferences throughout the year, including our own. Our community was so excited to head to Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana (scheduled for July 2020). But so much was out of our control.

The 2020 organizing team gathered community feedback and managed a graceful pivot and WPCampus 2020 migrated from our usual in-person event to a 100% online event. It was the right thing to do. Our members’ emotional and physical health will always be our primary concern. Thankfully, our community is no stranger to online conferences and assembled another successful gathering of the minds.

Hosting a 100% online event also meant many who could not join us in-person (due to financial or other resource constraints) could participate more. Adding voices and increasing access is always a win.

Looking towards WPCampus 2021

So, where do we go from here?

Well, it’s time to start thinking about what we want to do for WPCampus 2021. And with that, I’m officially opening the planning season for WPCampus 2021 and putting out a call for organizers.

Admittedly, we’re getting started a little later than usual, but life sometimes gets in the way. I don’t know about you, but between COVID and U.S. political turmoil, I didn’t have a lot of spare mental bandwidth in January.

A call for action: we need WPCampus 2021 organizers

The first step of planning a WPCampus conference is assembling the conference planning committee. The committee should consist of about 5-10 members, with room for more if needed.

If you’re interested in conference planning, helping plan WPCampus conferences are a great way to get started.

I recommend you read the descriptions for each role and use the included form to submit your interest in being a part of the committee.

Submit interest to be a WPCampus 2021 organizer

A new perk for being on the organizing committee

In exchange for helping plan WPCampus 2021, I’m excited to offer a new and hopefully intriguing perk: all committee members will gain early access to professional event management software that I am building with Sara Clark (we plan to license this software soon).

WPCampus will use the “front-end” of the platform for the event, and the WPCampus 2021 conference organizers will have access to the “back-end” where all the planning fun takes place.

If you’re an event planner or aspiring event planner, this is an opportunity to test-drive our new software for free in exchange for your help planning WPCampus 2021.

The WPCampus 2021 Committee roles

We’re looking for the following committee roles. This list might change or expand once a Committee Chair has been established. Feel free to send me a message in the WPCampus Slack workspace if you have questions. Use the included form to submit your interest in being a committee member.

Submit interest to be a WPCampus 2021 organizer

The Committee Chair (1 person)

I have been the Conference Chair for most of our conferences (which is fine with me) but I would prefer to give up my role and allow someone else to take the lead. I love the idea of fresh ideas and energy, helping someone else, or helping to mentor someone who wants event planning experience.

I will be on the committee and will be available for any guidance. You will have as much support as you want and need.

Responsibilities

  • Organizes the larger vision for the event
  • Organizes committee meetings and communication
  • Manages the budget
  • Generally makes sure things get done

General expectations and time requirements

The time involved varies from week to week. The committee should meet weekly, so that takes about an hour. You should expect to contribute another 1-2 hours a week depending on the timeline and how much work you delegate. Some weeks you may be in waiting mode. Some weeks may require sending a lot of emails and making a few phone calls.

One of the first tasks you’ll need to coordinate is releasing a survey to our community to ask for feedback regarding COVID, dates for the event, and the number of days for the event. It’s also a great opportunity to ask for feedback regarding session formats, social opportunities, and other event-specific information.

The Committee Chair should feel free to change up roles and responsibilities and move things around. The descriptions provided are simply in line with how we’ve planned past conferences. Also, feel free to add an “Assistant Chair” role to the committee.

In relation to other conferences, WPCampus conferences are on the smaller side, which allows for a more relaxed and flexible environment. It’s a fun and rewarding opportunity for anyone interested in event planning. We do have some expectations and requirements to ensure we provide a high-quality event. But, in general, we are open to new ideas. We have a lot of experience to help with as much or as little guidance as you need.

Presenter Coordinators (1-2 persons)

Being a Presenter Coordinator is quite rewarding. You get to work directly with outstanding presenters to foster and present quality content for our entire community.

Responsibilities

  • Coordinates the call for presenters
  • Organizes the event program and works to make sure it is diverse of voice and topic
  • Manage communication with presenters
  • Makes sure presenters have everything they need

General expectations and time requirements

This role will be required to attend a weekly meeting. In addition, the time involved will vary with the timeline of the event. When the call for presenters is open, more work will be necessary. You will need to plan for extra time when the call for presenters has closed. You will have to review the proposals and create the program. Once that task is complete, the remainder of your workload will be to manage communication with presenters and work to ensure they have what they need to be successful.

Sponsor Coordinators (1-2 persons)

The WPCampus community has always been fortunate to work alongside an amazing group of organizations who have given us so much support over the years. Being a Sponsor Coordinator is a great opportunity to network with these organizations and help foster and promote our constructive relationship with vendors. Sponsor Coordinators also play a huge role in ensuring our event has the resources we need to host a great event.

Responsibilities

  • Organize and manage sponsor perks
  • Reach out to and recruit past and future sponsors
  • Manage communication with sponsors
  • Make sure sponsors have everything they need

General expectations and time requirements

This role will be required to attend a weekly meeting. In addition, I would plan for 1-2 hours a week. At the beginning of the planning period, this role will be more active to help recruit sponsors and make sure invoices are paid and sponsor information is retrieved. Closer to the event, this role will work to ensure any and all sponsor “perks” are delivered. Overall, this role will send a lot of emails to help manage communication with sponsors and ensure sponsors have everything they need to be successful.

Volunteer Coordinators (1-2 persons)

If you have ever attended one of our events, you know how important volunteers are towards our success. Volunteers make sure presenters are ready, host online rooms, moderate Slack and online chat, and post announcements. Volunteers ensure our events run smoothly. The Volunteer Coordinator is a vital role. If you like logistics and coordination, this role is for you.

Responsibilities

  • Recruit and organize volunteers for the event
  • Organize the volunteer schedule for the event
  • Manage communication with volunteers
  • Make sure volunteers have everything they need

General expectations and time requirements

This role will be required to attend a weekly meeting. In addition, the time involved will vary with the timeline of the event. Your responsibilities will increase as the event draws near. This role will also be fairly active during the event to ensure volunteers are present and active. You will know exactly what to prepare for the event so if you make a little bit of progress each week, you should be able to spread out the workload throughout the planning period and keep your hours to a minimum.

Marketing Coordinator (1 person)

If you’re interested in marketing, then you know how important this role is to the team and to our organization. You will have a lot of support and flexibility to be creative and bring new ideas.

Responsibilities

  • Plans, coordinates, and schedules emails, tweets, and other marketing for the event

General expectations and time requirements

This role will be required to attend a weekly meeting. In addition, the time involved will vary with the timeline of the event. There will be certain periods where we’ll need a big push of communication (e.g. when the call for presenters opens or closes, when registration opens, when we announce the program, right before the event), and other times when the need will be minimal. The more you can plan ahead, the more you will be able to spread out the work and keep your hours to a minimum.

Submit your interest to be a WPCampus 2021 organizer

Use the following form to submit your interest to be a WPCampus 2021 organizer. The submissions will be forward to me, WPCampus Director, and I will begin to assemble what will no doubt be an amazing team.

As always, feel free to send me a message in the WPCampus Slack workspace or send me an email at rachel[at]wpcampus.org if you have any questions about the committee.

The form is loading.

Rachel Cherry

I'm the Director/Founder of WPCampus and a freelance software engineer and accessibility/higher ed consultant. When I'm not using WordPress to help build the web, I enjoy promoting the importance of universal design and an open web. Be sure to say hi on Twitter @bamadesigner.