Why can't we have a Drupalcon in Ghana

fszakka's picture

I will like to know why can't we unite under one umbrella and have a Drupalcon Africa in Ghana?.

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Is your community ready?

jpoesen's picture

Hi

this same question has been brought up in the South Africa, Senegal and Nigeria groups.

While a Drupalcon in Africa would undoubtedly be awesome, we're not quite ready for it. For a country to organize a DrupalCon there needs to be a good, active, thriving community.

  1. there has to be a solid user base to pull off the logistical aspect.
  2. there has to a large enough community to actually have enough people attend the event
  3. there has to be a large enough interest from the business community

It basically comes down to the fact that here has to be a visible track record of smaller Drupal events in the country to demonstrate to potential sponsors that the organizing team can pull it off and that there really is something in it for sponsors and international speakers/visitors to attend.

Both the South African and Senegalese Drupal communities have started to gently work towards this goal by organizing regular Drupal meetups and camps. The main goals, with regards to preparing for a possible DrupalCon at some point, are:

  1. cultivating the community in several cities
  2. getting experience with organizing events
  3. showing a growth in the community (more users, more contributers, more buy-in from local companies/organizations)
  4. starting to build a relationship with (potential) sponsors.

If you're really serious about a DrupalCon in Ghana, I'd suggest you follow the same approach. Grow the community. Reach out to organizations. Start organizing events. Slowly build an event organizing team and get experience with the logistics (fund raising, venue, promotion, managing volunteers, ...)

Having organized a few camps in Belgium, France and Senegal, and having co-organized DrupalCon Paris, I'd be happy to assist you any way I can.

organising events

fszakka's picture

Jpoesen is there a way in which you can show me on how to grow the community and arrange events.

Step by step

jpoesen's picture

Sure.

A first step would be to organize regular (monthly) meetups in your town.
Even if only a few people show up, with time the number of participants will grow.

Having a dedicated website for your community helps too. It gives a face to the community, offers more visibility and more flexibility than this group on gdo.

Key will be to communicate well on a facebook page, on twitter and on groups.drupal.org.

Once you've had a few monthly meetups you can organize a DrupalCamp. The first one can be really simple: find an organization that lets you use their space for free: a community center, a university or even a tech company that has a large meeting room and space to allow people to mingle and have coffee/tea together.

Budget-wise you only need a little bit of money for coffee and tea, and with a bit of asking around you should be able to find a few companies willing to sponsor coffee, tea, etc.

That's really all you need to get things going: regular meetups, a few camps and someone willing to push things a bit and 'just do it'.
If you take the initiative, people will follow. Many people are just waiting for someone to take the lead.
It might be frustrating in the beginning, but hang in there, and in a year's time you'll see you can really provide an impulse to the community.

Hope that helps.
J.

+1

skjalf's picture

As both a drupaler and hardcore Black Stars fan I would love to go to a Drupalcon in Ghana. +1
(hello and support from the Pacific Northwest US)

I think we are ready

devicehandler's picture

I think the continent as a whole is ready to host a Drupalcon our main stumbling block will be logistics, though I am sure if people can afford to go to Europe or North America then they can travel to Ghana or South Africa. I once brought up this subject and the response was more or less the same are we ready? Well yeah, I see the Drupal Cape town and Joburg guys making quite a lot of inroads in terms of fostering the community and I honestly think in 2 years max the anxiety will be killing everyone so much they will have to just do it and see what the response is like.

Get experience first

jpoesen's picture

In my humble opinion no community is ready for such an event until:
- they have enough critical mass to attract 150-200 people
- managed to get full sponsoring for wifi, audiovisual gear and catering
- managed to successfully organize volunteers, catering and cleanup crew
- managed to record, edit and publish all sessions

And this is only the beginning. Once you're talking about a DrupalCon, more things come into play:
- hotel logistics (at the very least listing them and making deals)
- travel and visa logistics
- logistical support
- a legal entity to organize this
- insurance
- speaker selection and schedule shuffling
- heavy duty wifi
- ...

I want a DrupalCon in Africa as much as anyone else, but trying to run before you can walk is a recipe for failure.

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