You can use the THATCamp Registrations plugin to accept registrations for your THATCamp. Expect a 15% cancellation rate. Most THATCamps choose to make all participants user accounts with Author privileges on your site. Use these sample emails to reply to participant registrations and prompt them to propose sessions.
Applications or registrations?
One decision you’ll need to make is whether to pick and choose who you’d like to attend your THATCamp (i.e., accept applications) or whether to accept everyone on a first-come first-served basis (i.e., accept registrations). That decision is up to you, but in general, we recommend that you set a quota based on how many people you can accommodate (for instance, 75 people) and then accept everyone who applies as long as you have space for them. This is more in line with THATCamp’s principles of openness, and it simplifies logistical decisions such as meal planning. Moreover, most THATCamps don’t fill up, and even those that are oversubscribed don’t usually have to disappoint more than 10-20 people. (There are plenty of THATCamps these days for people to attend!) You can run a wait list if more people want to come than you have space for.
Our experience shows that for local THATCamps, about 15% of registrants will cancel or simply won’t show up. The exception to this rule is THATCamps held in conjunction with other large events for which people have made extensive travel arrangements. After all, THATCamp is usually free, or nearly so, so unless people have booked flights and hotels, there’s not much of a commitment, and emergencies and conflicts will inevitably crop up. Most cancellations will happen in the last few days before the THATCamp takes place.
Website registration form
If your THATCamp website is hosted on thatcamp.org, you can use the THATCamp Registrations plugin to manage registrations: first fill in the THATCamp Registrations Settings, then create a page called (for example) “Register” and type the shortcode [thatcamp-registration] on the page. See also our page on building a THATCamp website for instructions on using the plugin. If your THATCamp website is hosted elsewhere, you can use any other web form (such as a Google form) you like.
T-shirt size data formatted differently (e.g., “Men’s Large”) will not be stored in the user’s profile on thatcamp.org.
Once your file is properly formatted, go to Users –> Import From CSV in your thatcamp.org site and import the file. Be sure to check both the checkboxes so that the system will email users and will nag them to change their passwords when they first log in. (If you are running a WordPress site on another domain, download and install the Import Users From CSV plugin to enable this functionality.) By default, users will be imported as Subscribers. Go to All Users and click on “Subscriber” to show all the Subscribers, select the checkbox next to Username to select all users, and do “Change role to Author” in the dropdown.
All the THATCamp Users should have a user account with “Author” privileges so that they can post session ideas, session notes, and other items to the blog. And be sure to let them know that they should fill out their user profile and should begin contributing to the blog!
As of this writing (May 2012), it is not possible for site administrators to obtain a list of registered THATCamp participants with all their registration information, though we hope to provide this feature soon, by fall 2012 at the latest. Write email@example.com to obtain a list of registered THATCampers with all their attached information.
Here are some sample emails to participants to send when their registration is Pending or Accepted (these can be entered directly into the THATCamp Registrations Settings) and when it’s time to remind or educaate them on proposing unconference sessions. Feel free to adapt these for your own use.