Last week, 12 folks (including one brand new face) joined our first MidCamp 2021 planning meeting. The intent of our meeting was to begin discussions for a format for 2021, but almost like clockwork, our discussion quickly came back to the classic existential question: “What are we doing here?”
You might be thinking: “Uh, what? Why is a reliably delivered event now in its seventh year and with a sizable incumbent organizing team questioning their existence?”
Well, we’d pose to you: “Why not?”
I’ve played various roles on the MidCamp team since our inception at Drupal Camp Fox Valley 2013 and from the beginning our team has been dissatisfied with the status quo. From early efforts—like blind session selection and walking lanes, to early iterations of the Drupal Recording Initiative, to live captions as a service—the MidCamp team is always trying to be one step ahead… “trailblazing” if you will, which was my old Boy Scout troop’s motto.
So after we, hand-in-hand with NERD Summit, set the early standard for virtual Drupal events in March of 2020, of course our team wouldn’t be satisfied with “just another Zoom conference.”
There are lots of interesting ideas floating around in this space now: all new sessions, all BoFs, un-conferences, substituting monthly meetups for a yearly event, virtual sightseeing. This all leads back to: Why should MidCamp exist in 2021? What do we add to the conversation?
Here’s what we know:
- We will not be hosting a physical event in March of 2021.
- We are known for the care we take in crafting Drupal events for humans.
- We are not satisfied with the status quo and seek to continue being pioneers in the events space.
- Contribution beyond the Drupal space is essential for Drupal’s vitality, now more than ever.
- While we welcome all, MidCamp’s goal is to serve Chicago-area Drupalists first.
Here’s what we don’t know:
- Does the world need another virtual conference?
- What does being a “regional camp” mean when events are globally available?
- Is it better to have more speaking opportunities or more focused content?
- How can we (or can we at all) recreate the human-centric experience that we all look forward to each year without being together IRL.
If you’ve got this far, we’d love for you to share your answers and help shape MidCamp 2021.
MidCamp 2021-2022 Lead