Thank you event organizers!

I was planning to write on a different subject today for this week’s #project26 blog post, but due to recent events, I had to write this one today.

WordCamp Asia 2020

February is over, and it was an eventful month for me. Or should I say, it was not? I was really looking forward to my first ever trip to Asia, visiting WordCamp Asia in Bangkok, Thailand. It was scheduled for 21 – 23 February and I have booked my flights and hotel, organized my vacation (as it’s not part of my job to visit WordCamps) and prepared myself for a nice and warm time with many old and new friends. But on 12 February, I got the sad news, that WordCamp Asia had to be canceled.

I was lucky to be able to cancel my hotel and flights without any costs, so I canceled my whole trip to Asia for this year.

CloudFest 2020 Hackathon

This month, from 14 to 16 March, I will be attending my first real Hackaton. It’s not organized only for WordPress community members, but for a broader audience with amazing people from other open source communities and companies specialized in hosting. But I’m also not attending this conference, as CloudFest also has to be canceled.

WordCamp Retreat Soltau 2020

Two years ago, I visited one of my best WordCamps ever. It was not a regular 2-3 days event, where you would meet “from 9 to 5” for talks and workshop, but spend some days all in one hotel 24/7 with not only talks, but also some cool activities. This retreat was planned to take place every two years and was scheduled for 30 April – 3 Mai. It was scheduled, because also this event has to be canceled/postponed to next year just yesterday.

Thank you organizers!

If you now wonder, why I want to thank the organizers, it’s pretty easy. Sure, I’m feeling very sad not to be able to attend all these amazing events … this year. But all organizing teams said, that they want to continue organizing the event in 2021. Most of them in the same places and around the same time.

I have organized four WordPress conferences in Berlin and am currently organizing WordCamp Europe for the fourth time. I know how much work, time, energy and passion goes into organizing these community events. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for all organizers of those WordCamps that had to be canceled (there have been more) and also for the team behind CloudFest, and its hackathon.

With the cancellation of an event, you don’t just stop working. You have to deal with the whole process of canceling any contract and refunding as many people involved as possible. You will also receive some negative feedback from people not understanding the decision (e.g. “there was no case of corona infection in that area”). All organizers involved in those events and the hard decision need our support.

So if you are like me and an event you’ve planned to attend was canceled, take a moment and send a Thank You to the organizing team, as they have made this tough decision in the best interest of the health, both physically and mentally, of our communities. And please support them by attending next year’s event. Maybe even think about becoming a volunteer. This will give you some first-hand experiences on how passionate these organizers are to create these amazing events for all of us.

Thank you event organizers ❤

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Bernhard is a full time web developer who likes to write WordPress plugins in his free time and is an active member of the WP Meetups in Berlin and Potsdam.

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