I think I may be a control freak

I'm not gonna lie, I love to organize events. Normally small events. Poker tournaments, trips with friends to the movies or things like that. But this is the first time I've ever taken on an event the size of WordCamp:Las Vegas. If things go well and we manage to sell out, we are talking about 200 attendees, 10 speakers, a dozen-ish sponsors and a handful of volunteers. That's a bigger group than I've ever put together by a roughly 10:1 ratio.

Everybody I've talked to and everything I've read online has said that the best way to do organize something like WordCamp is to delegate certain portions of the organization process to different people. Put one person in charge of sponsorship, put somebody else in charge of rounding up speakers, etc, etc, etc… The thing is, when I decided to step up and take on the WordCamp project, it didn't dawn on me to go around and ask if anybody else was interested in taking on part of the responsibility. This isn't to say that I haven't had help. A couple of people have provided me with some excellent contacts. But, the legwork has been all mine.

Here's the thing… I'm not bothered by this in the least. To be quite honest, this is exactly how I would have wanted it. That's not to say that I don't want/need any help. Far from it. I've got my dad driving in from L.A. to do the audio, I've got a friend lined up to shoot video and manage the livecast, I've got another friend lined up to shoot photos and live blog the event and a third friend lined up to help with technical issues (wireless network, etc…), plus I'm still in need of a couple people to work the registration booth the day of the event, a couple people to play “security” and check badges at the door, and probably somebody to be a gopher for the miscellaneous things that come up during the day. But other than that, I'd like to think that things are coming together nicely.

Had to do over again, it would be nice to be sharing the duties with a partner. Unfortunately the one guy who I know would have been the perfect candidate to help out has moved a few thousand miles away. True, he's still been a great help in providing me information and some direction, but not getting to see him daily (or even weekly) to bounce ideas off is a big bummer for me.

But hey, with him out of the way, there's nobody to tell me I can't start the show off by riding in on a Shetland Pony surrounded by the ladies of Olympic Garden! (The Power Is MINE!)

If you plan on taking on a project like organizing a WordCamp, don't do it the way I'm doing it. Find a small group of people who you can rely on and hand off projects to save your sanity. You will be happy you did.

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  1. Poodle on November 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Hey man,If you need help that weekend with the booth, or "security", I'll be glad to step up. Just let me know!

  2. Linda Lou on November 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Wow–this is a HUGE undertaking! I'm amazed at all the work you've done. As former VP of the Henderson Writers' Group, I know from putting on writers' conferences what this type of endeavor involves. Hats off to you!

  3. John Hawkins on November 23, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Poodle, that would be great. I would love to have your assistance. I'll keep you posted.

  4. John Hawkins on November 23, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks Linda Lou! If you want to drop a note to your peeps about the upcoming WordCamp, I would certainly appreciate it!

  5. Jason on November 27, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    LMAO – I just read this post. I have to admit I'm pretty bummed that I haven't been able to jump in on this and other projects with you, but I see a good future of projects coming up!My future at LVWC is still uncertain, but, um there is a Miami WordCamp coming up. 🙂 I think I'll go to it to get an idea how another city throws down.I don't think I'd be the type to tell you not to ride in with the OG girls! In fact, I think we should invite them and offer free WP workshops just for them and their "personal portfolio" sites.