An all-time player in the WordCamp field

November 9, 2016

Harshad at WordCamp Nashik
Harshad at WordCamp Nashik

Harshad Mane (from India, Compatibility team) has been part of OnTheGoSystems for almost 5 years now and has taken different roles in our team. He is also involved in the WP community all around the globe. He is big in his achievements, in spite of his small stature. He is a versatile team player. I have talked to him about his WordCamp adventures, and as expected, he has gained vast experience and plans to keep it up . Want to see why? Read below…



When did you start getting involved in the WordPress community?

The first WordCamp I attended was WordCamp Mumbai in the year 2012 with my colleague Bigul Malayi (QA, from India). Due to health issues, I was unable to attend other WordCamp events thereafter. At WordCamp Pune 2015, OTGS India team organized a Workshop to create Multilingual websites with WPML. The experience was good but we wanted to take it to the next level. I said, “Why not?” and decided to start a meetup in our city, Nashik, state of Maharashtra, India. Basically, I wanted to bring the experience to my city at a minimal cost. Several people from Nashik, whom I met at WordCamp Pune, were interested and in September 2015 we held the first Meetup in Nashik in a coffee shop. After a few meetups, we decided to go for a WordCamp in my city. We needed to follow all the guidelines set by WordCamp Central: organize the schedule, estimate the number of attendees, find a venue, etc. It was quite a challenge!

Four OTGSians at WordCamp Nashik 2016 (from left to right): Harshad, Sumit, Bigul and Ankit
Four OTGSians at WordCamp Nashik 2016 (from left to right): Harshad, Sumit, Bigul and Ankit


What kind of different roles have you taken on?

I was a speaker at WC Pune and attended WC Mumbai, WCUS 2015 and WCEU 2016. At local meetups, I gave talks about developing themes/plugins, organizing meetups and setting up a multilingual site. I have been an organizer and will be a volunteer at WCUS 2016.

What have you found the most challenging?

As an organizer of a WordCamp you need to meet the WordCamp Central requirements and they are quite a lot! I enjoyed taking the lead to represent the WP community in my city. We created a BUZZ in India. We focused on professionals so the event was value for money for everyone: the sponsors, the speakers and the attendees. The venue we chose was very good and the wifi was fast and reliable. This was a plus and contributed greatly to the success of the event.

Basically, there are six key factors demanding most of your time as an organizer and which must be taken care of well in advance:

  • Venue
  • Snacks / Lunch
  • Speakers
  • Sponsors
  • Swag
  • WIFI

Yes, I did put lunch before speakers and sponsors, because, even if everything else is perfect, your guests should be able to enjoy a decent cup of coffee and a tasty treat during breaks!

I met many people and learned a lot. There is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders but, at the same time, you need to keep calm. I would like to dig deeper into organizing the teams.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to become involved?

A good way to get started is to join your local community.  If there isn’t one, you can either create one directly on or follow the guidelines at

If there are only 2 people interested – that’s enough. The group will increase gradually. We went from 5 to over 200! It’s good to have an experience as an organizer, as it’s a best way to contribute to WordPress. You need to keep calm, and be able to handle your tasks independently. Focus on quality and not quantity!

What comes next?

I have been selected as volunteer for WCUS 2016 and I’m already looking forward to it.

…as a last thought?

One more interesting fact: in WordCamp Nashik there was a 12-year-old boy Kumar Abhirup who ran a website on WordPress/WooCommerce for his mother. He was young and very professional. We were all greatly impressed!

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