Rebecca Gill, founder of Web-Savvy-Marketing, has published a postmortem of WordCamp WarmUp, an event that took place two days before WordCamp Ann Arbor aimed at breaking the ice for new WordCamp attendees. The event surpassed its goal of 50 attendees forcing Gill to close registration early.
“Not only did most WarmUp guests arrive right on time, we had a full room of WarmUp attendees and even had a few unexpected friends show up,” Gill said.
Gill created three different lists that included interesting things about attendees, their interests, and their talents. She then created packets that attendees could use to seek out specific people, “I’m not sure how many people used my lists, but I will say most people took packets with them when they left the event,” Gill said.
She challenged attendees to meet at least 20 people during WordCamp Ann Arbor. While a handful of people completed the challenge, its purpose was to provide an additional incentive.
“I really don’t care how many people an individual met,” Gill said. “My goal was to get them to meet more than they would without WarmUp and to encourage them to get to know others if their personalities allowed.”
Gill conducted a poll shortly after the event to gather feedback and received 15 responses. When asked how the event made their WordCamp experience more meaningful, a number of people offered positive feedback:
- It was nice to come on Friday and already recognize some people
- I was able to connect with other WordCamp goers, which made the following days more exciting. It helped me orient myself mentally to think ahead about what I wanted to learn and what I wanted to get out of the event as a whole.
- I met some people! So then there were familiar faces at the actual WordCamp.
- The event was a great ice breaker to WordCamp.
To read all of the feedback and view photos of the event, check out the wrapup post. If you attended WordCamp Warmup, tell us about your experience in the comments.