MidCamp – Midwest Drupal Camp: Community Day: A new virtual “welcome table”

Community Day: A new virtual “welcome table”

At every pre-pandemic MidCamp attendees were welcomed by a team of volunteers with shirts and badges and stickers and funny hats and answers to every question possible. Our 2020 event had a few warm human moments, like when a room moderator asked 100+ people to come off mute simultaneously before our opening remarks, but ultimately recreating the human-ness of our prior events in a virtual setting proved challenging. This was not only draining for prior attendees but challenging for new community members.

This year, our new “Community Day” sets out to provide a more human on-ramp by:

  1. introducing new community members to the product, the community, and the kinds of conversations that will go on during the event, and 
  2. engaging all attendees in planning the event itself.

In our prior post, we began to define our audience. We’ll begin community day with a morning of short talks and discussions split up into three audience-specific tracks:

  • I’m new to Drupal: these discussions could include a review of the tools on Drupal.org, learning opportunities around the community, or a panel of folks discussing why they’ve stuck around the community.
  • I do Drupal, I’m new to the community: Many folks Drupal, but not every Drupaler knows how they can leverage our incredible community. Here we’ll talk about issue queues, documentation, and novice contribution opportunities.
  • I do Drupal, I’m involved in the community: This group could discuss Drupal core initiatives, triage Contribution Day tasks, or review mentoring opportunities.

If you’re interested in presenting or have a request for a topic, please comment on this Drupal.org issue.

In the second half of Community Day, we’ll open the “Call for Activities/Topics” for our Thursday and Friday Unconference. 

  • Thursday will be focused on building relationships in the community through social events, games, and lightning talks, and other activities that are welcoming to all.
  • Friday will take more of a traditional Unconference schedule, with Birds of a Feather (BoF) discussions and more.

To encourage diversity in discussions, we’ll also be holding a workshop for marginalized, underrepresented, and historically excluded speakers on Wednesday afternoon. 

So, that’s Community Day. With it, we hope to:

  • give new attendees the confidence to bring a topic or activity to the table,
  • give everyone a plan of what they can expect for the next two days,
  • provide opportunities for connection and mentorship.

In the end, this MidCamp we’re encouraging all attendees to:

  • come as you are, 
  • bring your excitement and ideas, 
  • plan for lots of opportunities to engage, and 
  • feel free to step away as you need.