Introducing JoomlaCamp: A New Official Joomla! Event Type
Most Joomla community members are familiar with major Joomla conferences like the Joomla World Conference and JandBeyond. Most of us know about the various JoomlaDays held throughout the world almost every single week of the year, and most of also know about our local JUG meetings and newer conferences like the Joomla Developer Conference. There is, however, a new official event type that most of us know nothing about: the JoomlaCamp.
What is a JoomlaCamp?
A JoomlaCamp is an ‘unconference conference.’ It’s an organized event, but it doesn’t have a whole lot of structure. There may be a few scheduled speakers, but outside of that there is a lot of freedom to make connections, collaborate and learn. Unlike a conventional conference that has a predetermined structure with speakers and topics set months in advance, the JoomlaCamp’s agenda is determined by attendees when the event begins. Any attendee can propose a topic, and discussions are typically open to all (instead of having one speaker). Once the group determines topics that they’d like to pursue, there can be informal, workshop-like break-out sessions lead by different attendees.
How did JoomlaCamp begin?
After JoomlaDay NYC 2009, many attendees wanted more. They wanted more workshops, more hands-on sessions and more opportunities for networking. The conference was over, but in many ways attendees felt like they were just getting started. This lead to the beginning of the Joomla unconference discussion, which came to fruition for the first time in 2010 through the efforts of the JoomlaNYC User Group. They’ve been held annually ever since, and Laura Gordon and the Joomla Users New Jersey Group held the last JoomlaCamp last month at the Union Public Library in Union, New Jersey.
Gordon commented that "the event was dynamic and exciting because everyone got to touch on topics they were interested in.” According to Gordon, there were 30 attendees and topics of discussions ranged from mobile Joomla sites and building a component from scratch to Google Analytics and more.
"The event was dynamic and exciting because everyone got to touch on topics they were interested in.”
- Laura Gordon, JoomlaCamp New Jersey 2015 organizer
How can I organize a JoomlaCamp?
If you like the idea of organizing a JoomlaCamp of your own, please visit the Joomla Events site. The Joomla Events Team recently decided to recognize the JoomlaCamp as an official event type. You can now submit your own JoomlaCamp event, and if it’s approved, your event will be featured with other international events. You can also read Gordon’s tips for starting your own JoomlaCamp. Hopefully the concept of the JoomlaCamp takes off and we start seeing a lot more of them moving forward.