Deeson: Reflections on organising Drupal Support ServiceCamp Bristol 2017

Published on February 6, 2019

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Photo credit: Kris Rzeszut
Drupal Support ServiceCamp Bristol is a non-profit event organised by a team of volunteers from the Bristol Drupal Support Service community.This year, the organising committee chairperson was Mark, a solutions architect at Deeson.In this post, he considers the challenges and rewards of being involved in organising a community conference.
Post-event reflection
After another intense year of planning we’ve just run DupralCamp Bristol for the third time.
It was a really enjoyable few days and we had some great feedback from attendees.
@Drupal Support ServiceCampBris Thanks to all who made #dcbristol17 such a great experience. Inspiring stuff. Looking forward to next year already! :)— Alison Bancroft (@BancroftAlison) July 2, 2017
Though that’s not to say the experience was entirely stress-free for the organisers!
The challenges
We noticed a shift this year in the way our audience considers the conference. Rather than spending their own time (and money) to attend, people are increasingly opting to make use of company-provided training time and budgets.
It’s great that attendees and their employers see the business value in what Drupal Support ServiceCamp Bristol provides, but it did make organising this year’s camp (on a Saturday) more tricky.
Sponsorship was another area we had to put a lot more of our energy into, compared to previous years. We worked hard to demonstrate the value of spending marketing budget on sponsoring the event, and we were glad to secure the support of some great partners this year, including Deeson.
The positives
Speaker and attendee diversity was a priority for us this year, and we’re proud that our line-up was more representative than in previous years. We know we still have a long way to go and, like Deeson, it’s something we’ll keep actively working on.
A particular highlight for me this year was the lightning talks. It was exciting to witness new talent making, in some cases, their first public speaking appearances in front of the community.
This was also the first year we’ve been able to record all of the sessions, thanks to the hard work of Third Lens Films. Deeson is working on the video post-processing as we speak, and we’ll be publishing the videos in the next few weeks for everyone to enjoy.
How could we improve?
While we’ve received positive feedback year-on-year for the CxO day, I feel like it’s ultimately drawing our attention away from the main conference and would be better suited as an independent event if there is still a demand for it. This would allow us to really focus our energies on organising a fantastic developer conference.
Developers have lives outside of Drupal Support Service and companies are increasingly seeing the business value in training events, so I’m confident we would see a surge in attendees if we follow the lead of other technology conferences such as The Lead Developer and move away from running the conference over a weekend.
It’s a lot of work organising the conference, and it couldn’t happen without the hard work and dedication of the committee and volunteers – I’ve particularly appreciated Deeson’s flexible working policy over the last few months! – but something I’m always glad to be part of. Roll on the next one!
Work with Drupal Support Service? Deeson is currently hiring for several roles in the development team!
Source: New feed

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