Getting a new regional Drupalcamp up and running appears daunting at first, but the support of the Drupal Community helps provide a giant head start. While helping the Louisiana Drupal Users Group organize the first Drupalcamp New Orleans planned for Saturday, March 29, I've discovered a variety of helpful services to cover the basic needs for the event.
Fiscal Sponsorship from the Drupal Association
The Drupal Association is an organization dedicated to helping the open-source Drupal CMS project flourish. The DA helps the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, education, promotion, distribution and online collaboration at Drupal.org.
For camp organizers, the Drupal Association offers a fiscal sponsorship service. Fiscal sponsorship provides the basic foundation blocks of a well-run camp and allows the camp organizer(s) to focus on the important part of their organizing: the attendees and content. Fiscal sponsorship also allows you to operate under the same umbrella as DrupalCon with many of the same benefits.
For fiscal sponsorship, the Drupal Association asks the camp organizer to:
1) Create and manage to a budget estimate including expenses and an agreed process for income sponsors or ticket sales
2) Have one member who is the lead contact responsible for fiscal activity
3) Handle all bookkeeping activities
The DA then provides instructions for routing payments to a central account with a camp code, and issues payments for expenses submitted by the lead contact. The DA collects a 10 percent flat fee of gross receipts for providing fiscal sponsorship assistance.
Eventbrite for Registration and Ticketing
Several options exist for coordinating registrations for the camp. Eventbrite integrates well with the Drupal Association's fiscal sponsorship, while providing a robust set of efficient options for promoting and collecting ticket sales.
The service charges a small fee for each ticket sold, with options to subtract the fee from the price of the ticket or to pass the cost of the fees along to the attendees.
Eventbrite offers tracking links for promotions, dashboard reporting and embeddable forms to sell tickets directly from your camp's site.
Camp Site Hosting from Pantheon
Pantheon is an all-in-one Drupal hosting platform, with code repositiories, deployment infrastructure and a Drupal-tuned hosting environment. Pantheon offers free hosting for Drupal Community Projects. The request process is simple: you register an account with the service, and fill out a request form for your project to have all of the features of a paid account activated. Pantheon offers good customer service for this free service, usually responding to ticket requests within an hour.
With a manageable number of attendees expected for the first year of a camp, plenty of free or low cost options should be available. Check with area colleges and coworking spaces. For Drupalcamp New Orleans, our monthly meetup location -- Launch Pad -- is providing their facility for the event.
Spread the word for your camp on Social Media and Drupal.org. You can create an event listing at groups.drupal.org and submit a ticket to the webmaster issue queue requesting front page promotion. Register Social Media accounts for the event and interact with your attendees attendees and sponsors to gather Retweets and other mentions, to increase general awareness of the event. To reach a non-Drupal audience, provide a summary of Drupal and information about the event to local and regional media outlets and area colleges.
Most of all, the spirit of the Drupal Community comes through with members volunteering their time and skills to establish the camp. For Drupalcamp New Orleans, Chris Shattuck of buildamodule.com volunteered to travel in and provide our keynote plus a pre-camp training event. A combination of local Drupal shops offered their talented people to help design and build drupalcampnola.com. Other members of the Louisiana Drupal Users group have stepped forward to help on the day of the event with registration and cleanup.
With so many readily available tools and services to get your camp off the ground, the majority of the time and focus can be spent promoting the event. Speaking of which, make your plans today to join us at Drupalcamp New Orleans, Saturday, March 29 at Launch Pad on Magazine Street. Visit http://www.drupalcampnola.com for registration info and session submission.
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