Welcome to the first mycamp.rocks newsletter! Thanks for subscribing or viewing this on the website. Either way, glad to have your eyeballs for a few minutes. As promised, this is meant to be (1) brief (2) targeted to organizers, speakers, and attendees (might not have tips every week for all three). Content for the most part is not earth shattering, but meant to spark thoughts and act as reminders.
In addition, I haven’t promised anything regarding ads or other content but I’ve left a spot BELOW ALL TIPS for misc things.
Feedback: I decided that if you want to leave feedback for now you can (1) ping me on Twitter (2) email me (3) i’m going to leave comments open for now for approximately a week on the website posts if you want to leave your own feedback/$0.02.
You can find this issue on the mycamp.rocks website: https://mycamp.rocks/august-13-2019/
First newsletter, so let’s cover meetup or conference badges. They don’t need to overly consume time, be fancy, or be expensive (these can work great for workshops, meetups, or low cost events). They just need to work. While entire blog posts (like this nice one from Mike Davidson) go into what fonts, designs, and layouts to use I will limit today’s tips to these:
- 90% of the reason why name badges exist is for people to identify themselves so the ACTUAL NAME should be the MOST VISIBLE part of the badge. Full stop. Not the conference logo, company name, or anything else. Reduce the logo, branding, etc. so that nothing distracts from someone finding the person’s name. Make the badges as big as they need to be – good rule of thumb is that I should be able to read a first or last name from several feet away at least.
- If the badge hangs off a lanyard, consider duplicating the same information on both sides of the badge. Badges easily get flipped around and attendees shouldn’t be worried about if their name is showing or not.
- Consider allowing room for customizations in some form to allow attendees to add stickers or markings. These can be used for those looking for work or looking to be hired (great for smaller meetups and networking events) or communicate if the attendee is open to being approached or photographed.
- Don’t forget about lanyards – you can use them to denote who volunteers/organizers are. In addition you can use these to communicate photography policies or communication preferences. Example:
- Black lanyards: fine to photograph/record
- Yellow lanyards: please ask beforehand
- Red lanyards: do not photograph or record me
In a newsletter coming soon, we will be covering tips on submitting talks and responding to “call for papers”. But here’s a tip for those rejected: be careful how you express your disappointment, especially on social media.
Assuming that your talk(s) were not accepted for innocent reasons (such as simply too many applicants and not enough slots), then take rejections with professionalism. This might mean not going straight to Twitter once you read the email that your talk was not accepted. Honestly, I rarely find a good reason to announce on social media unless (1) someone(s) were asking and (2) unless you have a larger point to make that your talk(s) being rejected would make.
Tips on dealing with rejection (which i wrote about once here):
- Honestly ask yourself why you are applying to speak in the first place. Experienced organizers can usually smell “self promotion” a mile away. Even if you don’t think you projected that, maybe you did (get honest opinions from others you trust).
- Consider the odds: have a humble attitude and realize that you are applying for a conference that has a small number of open slots. Next newsletters cover more tactics to try to improve your odds but even these will only work if you keep trying.
- If you don’t get feedback on your rejection, ask for it with a professional tone. Don’t ask on publicly – that puts organizers on the spot. Email or Twitter DM (as a secondary choice).
- Do more speaking in conferences in the same space or in the same local area – this might get your name out organically while scratching that speaking itch.
If you have a special diet check the conference website a few weeks at least before the conference. If you don’t see any food information or information that doesn’t cover your diet, reach out to the organizers.
- Don’t assume if the organizers automatically planned for a certain diet or allergy that they are monsters… innocent reasons like budget considerations, stupid catering companies, and new inexperienced organizers exist. That’s fine. Bring it to the event’s attention (email or private better than social/public, try not not to put people on the defensive). Conference organizers aren’t mind readers. 🙂
- Reaching out a few weeks (or more) before a conference starters gives organizers a chance to prepare, research alternative options, etc. Pinging them the day before a conference likely won’t result in much progress.
- Realize that conferences (especially smaller or volunteer only events that have limited budgets) cannot literally accommodate everyone.
Should organizers be as accommodating as possible and make the event as accessible as possible? Sure (and we’ll share tips on that in the coming weeks). But be a good attendee and act as a positive force.
Misc. Stuff 🤷♂️
These tips were written and/or gathered by David Bisset, someone who’s been helping organizing conferences (such as WordCamp Miami, but others too) and meetups for over a decade. He’s still learning so share any of your tips and it might be included in a future newsletter.