2016 Global Community Sponsorship Levels and Benefits

tl;dr — new entity = new sponsor benefits and rules, proposal to allow things like coupon codes and calls to action, weigh in

New Benefits for a New Year

For 2016, a new subsidiary of the WordPress Foundation will be created to provide legal and financial support to official WordPress community events. Running the money via this new entity allows us to change some of the rules for event sponsors, since the tax laws for 501(c)3 organizations will no longer restrict us. Yay!

(Good background reading: 2016 Global Sponsorship, for info about new regions/names/etc, and Money, Money, Money, for background about a new financial entity supporting WordPress community events)

While a lot of the IRS rules are great for keeping WordPress community events from feeling like corporate trade shows, the rules are really strict and require a lot of volunteer time. We think we can keep the non-commercial feel of WordCamps and meetups while still allowing sponsors to offer discounts to attendees and make calls to action on their materials. We want to keep the expectation that sponsors will use factual/provable language when referring to their company and products, to avoid sponsors describing themselves as “the best WordPress hosting company in the world,” etc, at events.

Another notable change is the proposed switch the sponsor acknowledgement tweet from the WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each. account (shout-out to Marjorie Asturias for doing these for the last year or so!) back to asking each WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. organizing team to tweet from their individual WordCamp account. While this might require a little more work from organizing teams, with the new organizer roles added to WordCamp Central, I think we can set up some reminder emails to make it easier for organizing teams to remember to tweet about global sponsors.

Oh, and you’ll notice the proposal to give a small discount on sponsorship of WordCamp Europe and WordCamp US for companies that sponsor in both Western and Eastern regions. We can’t include WCEU and WCUS in the Global Sponsorship program — their size and budgets are out of scale with other events in the program — but if companies sponsoring community events *worldwide* wish to sponsor WCEU and WCUS on top of everything else, we’d like to facilitate that.

Finally, we tried to create better differentiation between sponsorship levels, applying some new numbers to things like swag items for the self-serve swag table and tickets for sponsor representatives.

Without further ado, here’s the proposal for a new set of global sponsorship benefits and rules:

Global Community Sponsorship costs and packages

The following prices (posted for comment here) reflect sponsorship for the 2016 calendar year. In 2015, there were 53 WordCamps in the Western region and 34 WordCamps in the Eastern region. We anticipate at least a 10% increase in events in 2016.

Level Western (The Americas) Eastern (Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa)
Gold $160,000 $80,000
Silver $80,000 $50,000
Bronze $45,000 $35,000

Gold Community Sponsor benefits:

  1. Name, large logo, and company description/blurb on all WordCamp websites in the region
  2. Acknowledgment on the sponsors page on WordPress chapter account meetups/user groups
  3. Coupon code in your sponsor description, posted to all meetups and WordCamps in the region (subject to approval)
  4. A blog post written by the sponsoring company posted to the WordCamp site (subject to approval)
  5. Table at WordCamps for meeting attendees if space is available*
  6. Acknowledgment on sponsor page on WordCamp Central, including coupon code
  7. Announcement as a Global Community Sponsor on the WordCamp Central blog
  8. Dedicated tweet announcing your sponsorship from the official Twitter account for each WordCamp you sponsor
  9. Inclusion in the Thank You To Our Sponsors blog post on each WordCamp in the region
  10. Three swag items added to each WordCamp’s “swag table,” if available (subject to approval)
  11. Four free tickets to each WordCamp you sponsor, reserved for your company representatives**
  12. Worldwide sponsors will receive a 10% discount on sponsorship for WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe

Silver Community Sponsor benefits:

  1. Name, medium logo, and company description/blurb on WordCamp websites
  2. Acknowledgment on sponsor page on WordCamp Central
  3. Announcement as a Global Community Sponsor on the WordCamp Central blog
  4. Acknowledgment on the sponsors page on WordPress chapter account meetups/user groups
  5. Dedicated tweet announcing your sponsorship from the official Twitter account for each WordCamp you sponsor
  6. Inclusion in the Thank You To Our Sponsors blog post on each WordCamp in the region
  7. A sticker and postcard added to each WordCamp’s “swag table,” if available (subject to approval)
  8. Two free tickets to each WordCamp you sponsor, reserved for your company representatives**
  9. Worldwide sponsors will receive a 5% discount on sponsorship for WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe

Bronze Community Sponsor benefits:

  1. Name, small logo, and company description/blurb on WordCamp websites
  2. Acknowledgment on sponsor page on WordCamp Central
  3. Acknowledgment on the Global Community Sponsor page on WordPress chapter account meetups/user groups
  4. Announcement as a Global Community Sponsor on the WordCamp Central blog
  5. Inclusion in the Thank You To Our Sponsors blog post on each WordCamp in the region
  6. A sticker or postcard added to each WordCamp’s “swag table,” if available (subject to approval)

*Not all WordCamp venues will have space to provide tables to sponsors, but if the venue has enough space to accommodate sponsor tables, then community sponsors will be offered exhibition space. In your notification email, you’ll be informed whether or not the venue has exhibition space so you can request a table right away.

**Free, reserved tickets will return to the general ticket pool if they are not claimed one month before WordCamp. Tickets reserved for sponsors should not be used for ticket giveaways; these are only for your company representatives who wish to attend the event.

Different rules for sponsors

Here are proposed changes to sponsorship rules for 2016, with last year’s rules included for contrast:

2015 sponsorship rules 2016 sponsorship rules
1. Sponsors may provide:
  • The sponsor’s name and logo
  • Slogans that are an established part of the sponsor’s image
  • The sponsor’s brands and trade names
  • Sponsor contact information (such as telephone numbers, email addresses, and home page URLs)
  • Factual (value-neutral) displays of actual products
  • Displays or handout materials (such as brochures) with factual, value-neutral, non-comparative/non-qualitative descriptions or listings of products or services
1. Sponsor may provide:
  • The sponsor’s name and logo
  • Slogans that are an established part of the sponsor’s image
  • The sponsor’s brands and trade names
  • Sponsor contact information (such as telephone numbers, email addresses, and URLs)
  • Factual displays of actual products
  • Displays or handout materials (such as brochures) with factual, non-comparative descriptions or listings of products or services
  • Price information, or other indications of savings or value, if factual and provable
  • Inducements to purchase or use the Sponsor’s products or services, for example by providing coupons or discount purchase codes (subject to approval)
  • Calls to action, such as “visit this site for details”, “call now for a special offer”, “join our league of savings”, etc.
2. Sponsors may not provide:
  • Promotional or marketing material containing qualitative, comparative, or non-neutral messages about the Sponsor, its products or services (such as “the first name in WordPress hosting”, “award-winning”, or “the best e-commerce pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party”)
  • Qualitative or comparative language, price information, or other indications of savings or value
  • Inducements to purchase or use the Sponsor’s products or services (for example, by handing out coupons or discount purchase codes)
  • Calls to action (“visit this site for details”, “call now for a special offer”, “go to”, “join our league of savings”, etc.)
  • Claims that WordPress Foundation, WordCamps, or WordCamp organizers endorse or favor a Sponsor or its products or services
2. Sponsors may not provide:
  • Promotional or marketing material containing comparative messages about the Sponsor, its products or services, such as “the first name in WordPress hosting”, “the easiest way to launch your site”, or “the best e-commerce plugin”
  • Claims that WordPress, WordPress Foundation, meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. organizers, WordCamps, or WordCamp organizers endorse or favor a Sponsor or its products or services , such as “certified WordPress training” or “WordCamp’s favorite hosting provider”
3. Sponsors agree that the Foundation and WordCamp organizers have the right to request and review sponsor materials in advance of an event, to require changes to any materials in advance, and to require that any materials that do not meet the above expectations be taken down or that any practices that do not meet the above expectations be discontinued during a WordCamp or event. The above restrictions also apply to material placed on any self-serve swag tables reserved for sponsor use. 3. Sponsors agree that the WordPress Foundation, any subsidiary of the Foundation, and WordCamp organizers have the right to request and review sponsor materials in advance of an event, to require changes to any materials in advance, and to require that any materials that do not meet the above expectations be taken down or that any practices that do not meet the above expectations be discontinued during a WordCamp or event. The above restrictions also apply to material placed on any self-serve swag tables reserved for sponsor use.
4. All sponsors are expected to support the WordPress project and its principles, including:
  • No discrimination on the basis of economic or social status, race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability.
  • No incitement to violence or promotion of hate
  • No spammers
  • No jerks
  • Respect the WordPress trademark.
  • Embrace the WordPress license; If distributing WordPress-derivative works (themes, plugins, WP distros), any person or business officially associated with WordCamp should give their users the same freedoms that WordPress itself provides: 100% GPLGPL GPL is an acronym for GNU Public License. It is the standard license WordPress uses for Open Source licensing https://wordpress.org/about/license/. The GPL is a ‘copyleft’ license https://www.gnu.org/licenses/copyleft.en.html. This means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD license and the MIT License are widely used examples. or compatible, the same guidelines we follow on WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/.
  • Don’t promote companies or people that violate the trademark or distribute WordPress derivative works which aren’t 100% GPL compatible.
4. All sponsors are expected to support the WordPress project and its principles, including:
  • No discrimination on the basis of economic or social status, race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability.
  • No incitement to violence or promotion of hate
  • No spammers
  • No jerks
  • Respect the WordPress trademark.
  • Embrace the WordPress license; If distributing WordPress-derivative works (themes, plugins, WP distros), any person or business officially associated with WordCamp should give their users the same freedoms that WordPress itself provides: 100% GPL or compatible, the same guidelines we follow on WordPress.org.
  • Don’t promote companies or people that violate the trademark or distribute WordPress derivative works which aren’t 100% GPL compatible.
5. Sponsorship is in no way connected to the opportunity to speak at an official WordPress event and does not alter the WordPress or WordCamp trademark usage policy found at http://wordpressfoundation.org/. WordPress Foundation reserves the right to modify the above requirements and expectations at any time by providing written notice to the sponsor. 5. Sponsorship is in no way connected to the opportunity to speak at an official WordPress event and does not alter the WordPress or WordCamp trademark usage policy found at http://wordpressfoundation.org/. The WordPress Foundation and any subsidiary of the Foundation reserve the right to modify the above requirements and expectations at any time by providing written notice to the sponsor.

What do you think about these proposed changes? Is any of the language confusing or unclear? Have opinions on coupon codes or twitter accounts? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

#community-management, #global, #meetups-2, #wordcamps