Switzerland Community Day 2024

Switzerland Community Day and holidays


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What a month! This post is about week 2 of my travels, see week 1 here about Cloudfest and the Hackathon. A new post is coming about week 3 and the visit to the Torino venue for WordCamp Europe 2024 co-organisers.

After the Cloudfest and Hackathon + a bit of tourism in between, we had the Switzerland Community Day on 23 March 2024!

The Swiss event

The Switzerland Community Day organisation was first launched while the “NextGen events” pilot programme was still underway, a programme which led new format of events to be organised in addition to the usual WordCamp and Meetup formats!

I got inspired by the Italian Community (again) as they organised a similar event in Rome in 2023 for the Italian co-organisers!

So some months ago, I asked a few friends in the Swiss WordPress community if they would be interested in doing the same thing. I proposed this event to be held the same amazing place as last year’s WordCamp Switzerland: The Loewenberg Center in Murten/Morat. In a way, this location represents the best of our country’s multilingual character! On the ‘border’ between the French-speaking and German-speaking regions, Murten/Morat is truly multilingual, just like our beautiful Swiss WordPress community!

We also wanted to learn from nearby countries, how their WordPress communities thrive and how we can learn from each other, so we invited guests from Italy, Spain, France and Germany. EDIT: I’ve been asked how we chose them. We looked among friends we know as active WordPress contributors from those countries but also, the aim was not to have someone spending too much money to come and save on travel costs. For the German and Spanish guests, they were attending the Cloudfest event (south Germany) right before and it’s not that far away, the French guest was visiting relatives in the region, and the Italian guest was ‘en route’ to Paris. We would not have wanted people to pay flights/train just for our event.

The goal was also to try and be as sustainable as possible, with no swag, no badge, no fuss! And to allow people to come in the morning and leave after the event and go home (for Swiss residents) without having to spend money on accommodation, we decided not to organise an after-party! We also found additional sponsors to pay for accommodation for our international guests.

It really was an amazing day, with lots of insightful discussions. Not just for event organisers, but for all types of contributors! I was so happy to hear some people even prefered it over a traditional WordCamp. This was very energising and promising for the future! In Switzerland, we have 15 meetup groups (for a 350km wide country and a population of less than 9 millions) and are among the most active communities in the world.

We have published the notes of all the discussions on the event website and you can also find a link to the photo gallery. I really encourage you to read the notes, especially if you want to organise a similar WordPress event.

Rest and work

After the Hackathon, Cloudfest and the Switzerland Community Day, I spent a week in a very special place that is close to my heart. Thirty years ago, my parents bought a week (timeshare, we have it every year) in a Spa resort at Thermalp-Ovronnaz in Wallis. I was able to relax and work in a very quiet place. Then my children joined me for the last two days! It was lovely to see snow again and relax in warm bubbles!

Serendipity 2

(see Serendipity on the previous post)

When I went to the pools and Spa on the first day, a man with tattoos on his face (more like a LA gang than an ethnic one), and at first a sort of “closed face”, and I almost bumped into each other. Then he said “oh sorry” with such a warm smile and so much kindness in his eyes and his face opened so much, I must say I still think about it: It’s funny how we sometimes have stereotypes about how a person looks and behind them there’s a warm person. And how much can happen during a 1 second gaze. I tried to find him later in the week to tell him, but I don’t think he was staying at the resort.

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