Orientations are scheduled after an event application has been reviewed and approved to proceed.
These orientations have three purposes.
- Discuss any questions or concerns that arose during vetting face-to-face and voice-to-voice. we could more formally call this meeting an interview and orientation.
- Answer any questions the organizer or organizing team have.
- Inform the organizer or organizing team of the guidelines and expectations for the event.
Orientations happen with the lead organizer (and their team if they like) for every event each year. The meeting must take place before the website is set up and the event is moved to “Pre-Planning”.
The Importance of Orientations
The idea behind an orientation is to talk over event guidelines, expectations, available tools, and recommended practices so that every organizer understands the community expectations for any events that is part of the WordPress open source project.
Because our tools and expectations change periodically, even repeat organizers are asked to participate in an orientation every year.
It’s also a good opportunity for us to get a sense of what kind of event is being planned, and verify the event is right for their local community and aligns with the program philosophy.
Meeting Best Practices
- Start the conversation by asking them to tell you a bit about their involvement the WordPress community. It’s good to get a feel for their level of experience in events as well as what it is they do with WordPress.
- Take notes. This is an excellent time to find out what kind of event they’re planning.
- Offer guidance. If they’re planning to do something that doesn’t match program guidelines, it’s an opportunity to help them form an event that does fall into the guidelines of the WordPress open source project.
Questions we commonly ask
- How do you use WordPress?
- What’s your involvement in your local Meetup group?
- Has your meetup group held any events? If so, what kind?
- Have you been involved in organizing past events?
- What were the best things about your community’s event(s)?
- Is there anything you’re planning to change for this year?
Leading an Orientation
Just as every organizer (and team) will be different, every orientation will be different. Some folks will sit silently and listen, others will take detailed notes, still others will have questions at every turn.
We provide you with a script, and you should be prepared to pause or slow down as needed. You’re welcome to share the link to the script with the attendees. Some people learn best when they can read and review information on their own.
Remember, you may not be able to answer all of their questions. That’s okay. That’s one reason we take notes. You can always get back to them later
- Start at the beginning of the script.
- Pause for questions at the end of each section.
- And when you come to the end stop for final questions. Make sure you give the organizer(s) one more chance to ask questions on anything you addressed.
It can be helpful at the end of the scripted portion to ask if anyone would like you to send them the text of the orientation script over Slack or email, particularly if you feel there might be a language barrier or you were asked more than once to repeat a segment of the script.
When you’ve shared all the program information and answered any questions they may have, it’s time to thank them and acknowledge that this program wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and initiative of our community organizers. Express how much their efforts are appreciated, and let them know that they can reach out to us at any time, either on Slack or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
After the Orientation
- Follow the Next Steps at the end of each event script
- Send them a link to the relevant event handbook via Slack or email
- Add your notes to the Add Private Note section of their event tracker
- Update the event tracker based on what is written in the Next Steps