Lessons learned from hosting a DrupalCamp

So you want to create a DrupalCamp by where you live eh? Great, running a camp isn’t actually as hard or crazy as you might think. Here are my lessons learned from my experience in co-running the first Florida Drupal Camp for the Florida Drupal Group (I get a nickel every time I mention Florida or Drupal).

These lessons are what I took away but please remember to read the Drupal Camp Organization Guide since it has tons of helpful information.

  • Chicken and the Egg - It’s hard to get sponsors without a location/date chosen. It’s hard to get a location without sponsors.
  • Properly label your tracks and make it painfully obvious
  • Sound systems can be very helpful if you sit down to do a demo
  • Doing live demos are much more stressful then just presenting
  • What can go wrong in a tech demo, will
  • Twittercamp or a similar program is really fun to have projected on a wall
  • You can plan for everything but something will always slip by, have backup people to run and get things or fix it.
  • Cheap chairs aren’t fun to sit in for hours on end. Slightly more expensive chairs don’t really make it easier.
  • Breaks between sessions are good, make people get up and walk around.
  • Don’t overextend yourself. Choose one thing to do and let others do the stuff.
  • Being a presenter and janitor at the same time makes for some interesting conflicts (literally having the bathroom run out of toilet paper while I was presenting)
  • Having a camp/conference that appeals to everybody is close to impossible, pick your target and go for it.

Overall, working on the first Florida Drupal Camp was a blast andbelieveit or not I will do it again… next year. It is a lot of hard work but well worth it in the long run both for you and the community. I can’t stress how important community is to Drupal, even if you can’t code, design or do other technical things, you can always start up a local Drupal group or help somebody out with Drupal or other open source software.

The point of all my ramblings, go out there, do something and make a difference even if its little, it’s worth it.