Dates for WordCamp US 2019 were announced today, less than a week after wrapping up a successful camp in Nashville. Unlike all previous years held in December, next year’s event will take place November 1-3 in St. Louis, Missouri.
For the most part, community reactions to the new dates were positive. Early November dates place the event well ahead of the end of the year holidays that attendees had previously bemoaned.
“I love this date set better than the previous one. It’s so much easier to attend/speak pre-Thanksgiving,” WordPress developer Mitch Cantor said.
#WordCamp US, November 1-3, 2019. This is great news! December is always a mad dash to an arbitrary solstice-based finish line. Moving #WCUS to November takes a huge load off! #WordPress https://t.co/WUToY3eiam
— Morten Rand-Hendriksen (@mor10) December 13, 2018
There is always a conflict for some demographic of attendees. This year the hardest hit are parents of small children who will likely miss taking their kids trick-or-treating due to traveling on or before Halloween in order to make it to the event. WordCamp US is a family-friendly event but bringing children to a WordCamp can be extraordinarily challenging, even when the event includes childcare. (This particular event doesn’t.) For a few attendees, missing Halloween with their children is a deal-breaker.
Exactly what I was thinking. I'd have to fly in on Halloween, no way I'm missing Halloween with my 2 year old.
— Katie Thompson (@katietdesign) December 13, 2018
That’s a good point!
— Tessa Kriesel (@tessak22) December 13, 2018
Though this one is something a lot of parents really enjoy spending with their small children especially in the US. We're not talking about national hotdog day here.
— Patrick Garman (@pmgarman) December 13, 2018
One possible solution for the parents who feel they have to miss WordCamp US because of their kids, might be for the organizers to schedule the contributor day as the first day of the camp. That might enable people to fly in on an early morning flight and still get to experience part of the contributor day and all of the main event.
In a community this large, with many other holidays and WordCamps already on the calendar, it’s difficult to find a date for WordCamp US that doesn’t have conflicts. This is a good problem for the community to have. Matt Mullenweg shared during the State of the Word that the community has experienced 50% year over year growth with more than 350K members in 687 meetup groups and more than 5,000 meetup events. With this rate of growth, the community can expect more regional and local camps to spring up in the coming years, which means more conflicts but also more options for getting together in the future.