It's Wednesday afternoon, about 1pm and tomorrow is Contributor Day on WordCamp Nijmegen. I got a message from my brain, telling me it might be handy to have a shirt with the walktowceu hashtag and url on it, so I can get some attention.
On Contributor Day I was invited to be a lead for the polyglots. Always happy to help people, so I onboarded two new translators, and we all got to do some translating. As a GTE, I managed to review a lot of newly translated strings in Dutch, and so we all made some plugins and themes better understandable for non English speaking users.
In between, I walk around and talked to friends, new and old. It was nice to hear a big art of the people attending Contributor Day had heard or read something about my adventure to walk to Berlin. Since I released my plan to raise funds for DonateWC, not everybody was up to speed about these plans. So, I had a mission. Get as much people aware of my adventure.
Pitching about my adventure
When talking to people and answering their questions about what drives me to do this, or just explaining why I want to this, I built my pitch on the fly. I've repeated that pitch to 30+ people on Contributor Day, and felt the enthusiasm, for both myself as the person(s) I was talking to. This gave me even more energy to make this an event to be proud of, and of course to help the community by raising funds.
After some nice drinks and food at the end of Contributor Day, I walked (yeah, I like walking) to my hotel. After about 15 minutes I realized I was walking in the wrong direction. So, I turned around, made a note to bring a good map and compass to Berlin, and finally arrived at my hotel. Again realizing I'm doing something unique here.
On Friday, the first of two conference days, there was bigger crowd of attendees present. And that's an opportunity to talk to even more people and inform them of my plans. And so I did, again talked to 30+ people. Also, I had a talk with some sponsors and ask them if thy could help me gain awareness, or even donate. All I got was enthusiastic reactions.
Ideas for sponsoring
Since sponsors would like something in return, which I can understand, I quickly realized I had to create some sponsorpackages/deals to make them even more enthusiastic and get them to donate/sponsor. This is on my agenda for the coming weeks. If you have any creative ideas, pleae share them with me in the comments.
The attention, conversations, hearing about sub-communities trying to help me, are all things that generate energy for me to make this a successful adventure. The heartwarming reactions, and support I am getting from the WordPress community is amazing. And as I am writing this, this still gives me goosebumps.