WordCamp Toronto took place over the last weekend (Nov 5 and 6), and by most of the feedback I have seen so far, it was considered a successful event by those in attendance. But as with any project, there are things you can look back on to be proud of and things you can look back on and learn from. Here are my thoughts on the weekend.
I know some amazing people…simply amazing.
As we were putting the event together, I reached out to some of the people I knew in the industry/community looking for both sponsorship money and speakers. Almost everyone I approached responded in a positive way and pitched in to help, some as a sponsor (Julia from Make Web Not War), some as speakers (Liesel, Sandi and Georgiana from Montreal Girl Geeks, Brendan from MegaBlocks, Ron and Andrea Rennick of multisite fame, Kathryn Pressner from Zoonini Web Services) and even one as both a sponsor and a speaker (Dale Mugford from Brave New Code).
This event could simply not have happened or been anywhere near as successful as it was without every single one of these amazing people. I owe you all a huge debt of gratitude and will forever be in your debt. Thank you.
The WordPress community in Toronto, while not always visible, is strong.
There were lots of people in attendance this weekend who took a moment to say hi and tell me what a great job we had done or how much they had learned over the weekend. When I had a chance to chat (I was running around very much like a chicken with his head cut off and didn’t get to have as many conversations as I would have liked, but I think that’s par for the course as an event organizer), it was surprising how many people were from Toronto and were making at least a partial living via WordPress. While the community may not be the most plugged-in one, there is still a lot of WordPress activity going on.
There is always room for improvement.
As with anything, there are things that don’t go as well as planned. It’s life. It’s the way things go. It’s the nature of the beast. Etc.etc. etc..
The thing now is to sit down after the dust settles and look at what can be improved upon. We have feedback forms up to solicit comment on the speakers and the event itself and determine what our customer (the attendees) liked, didn’t like, want to see changed for next time…and, yes, there will be a next time!
When you put a solid team together, anything can happen.
Without going into the drama of what’s gone on with WordCamp Toronto over the last year, I need to say I am really grateful for the chance to work with both Craig Taylor and Andy McIlwain on WordCamp Toronto. We are three very different personalities who were able to work to our individual strengths and trusted each other enough to get our respective tasks done. Well done gents. I’m looking forward to doing this again.
I was also blown away by the distance people were willing to travel to attend and speak, from Joe and Allyson from Trailer Trash Design in Ohio to Christine at Blue Lime Media in Vancouver to the Rennicks and Christopher Ross from the Maritimes, and attendees coming from afar. It blew me away how many miles people were willing to travel to attend our little event.
Last thought: you cant please everybody all the time, but we aimed–and seemed to have succeeded–in pleasing many this weekend. I’m glad about that.
See you next year WordCamp Toronto…