Even though the call for speakers for WordCamp Europe 2017 has just opened, organizers are already on the hunt for a city to host the event in 2018. The team chosen to host in 2018 will need to be planning throughout 2017 and should be present on the ground in Paris, so the selection process is already underway.
WordCamp Europe is currently WordPress’ largest community event, and support and mentorship have been a key part of its success. Petya Raykovska, a past organizer, said the prospect of organizing the event can be intimidating for new teams but mentors will be available to applicants throughout the process.
“The mentors are supposed to help the local teams prepare a better application,” Raykovska said. “They are all experienced WCEU organizers who can help with many aspects of the planning.”
Host city selection is based on more than two dozen factors, including organizer experience, location, venue, and budget considerations. One of the most challenging aspects is securing a venue that can accommodate 3,000 attendees, but applicants are given a lot of flexibility on the event date.
“We ask volunteers to book a venue for 3,000 people,” Raykovska said. “Not only are there not many venues that can fit us at this scale, most of them are booked years in advance.”
Raykovska said organizers can book dates anywhere from May 1 – June 31, 2018. This makes it possible to have more cities and venues vying to host the event.
Raykovska volunteered in Leiden in 2013 and helped organize WordCamp Sofia after that. In 2014, she applied to host WordCamp Europe in Sofia along with Tina Kesova, Nikolay Bachiyski, Veselin Nikolov, and Mario Peshev. Since that time she has been involved in organizing the event and mentoring newcomers. Potential applicants are encouraged to get in touch if they are wondering if their team has what it takes.
“Sometimes these conversations serve as a reality check,” Raykovska said. “People can get super enthusiastic about organizing without having an idea of the time commitment. We want WCEU to be a positive experience for organizers and make sure our local teams have enough people and are aware what it takes to get involved as a local host.”
Applications for host city will be open through February 15, 2017 and the decision will be made by the end of February. The team selected for 2018 will then join the 2017 planning team to gain a better understanding of the process. Potential applicants who want to be matched to a mentor can get in touch by emailing host at wp-europe.org.
“In late 2013, one tweet pushed the WordCamp Sofia team to apply to host WCEU,” Raykovska said. “It turned into the most incredible journey I’ve taken so far with stops further beyond the future host cities of Seville, Vienna, and Paris. It’s time for someone to write the next chapter of the story.”