WordCamps in 2015: the community team edition

To save you some time, this post is nearly identical to the WordCamps in 2015 report that I just published on WordCamp Central — the only difference is that this “community team edition” includes some analysis of possible trends, and an invitation for community team members to weigh in with their observations. 🙂

In 2015, over 21,000 WordPress enthusiasts came together at 89 different events to spend a day or three talking about WordPress, the free and open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. software that now powers 25% of the internet.

WordCamps were held in 34 different countries in 2015, with events in 6 continents: Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America.

We saw a huge jump in WordCamps held in Europe this year — from 17 in 2014 to 29 in 2015, wow! And a whopping 18 WordPress communities organized their very first 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. last year.

As you can see in the chart below, the number of WordCamps has been steadily increasing over the past five years. In 2015, we had more numerous, smaller events, as is evident by the increase in the number of overall events but the numbers of unique speakers and sessions holding steady.

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Total number of WordCamps
Year-over-year growth
89
11%
80
13%
71
6%
67
29%
52
n/a
WordCamps in the US
Year-over-year growth
42
-2%
43
39%
31
-9%
34
36%
25
n/a
WordCamps outside the US
Year-over-year growth
47
27%
37
-8%
40
21%
33
22%
27
n/a
Total number of unique speakers
Year-over-year growth
1,677
0%
1,676
43%
1,176
34%
877
95%
450
n/a
Total number of unique sessions
Year-over-year growth
2,135
-9%
2,355
50%
1,565
62%
967
125%
429
n/a
Total number of unique sponsors
Year-over-year growth
891
-1%
896
72%
522
5%
498
59%
313
n/a
Total number of WordCamp tickets sold
(rounded to the nearest 500)
Year-over-year growth
over 21,000
5%
over 20,000
8%
over 19,000
8%
over 17,000
29%
over 13,000
n/a

Read on for more data than you can shake a stick at.

WordCamp Organizers in 2015
  • Number of unique organizers: 601
  • Number of first time organizers: 366
WordCamp Speakers in 2015
  • Total number of unique speakers: 1,677
  • Most speakers at a single WordCamp: 81 (at WordCamp US)
  • Fewest speakers at a single WordCamp: 8 (at WordCamp Winnipeg)
  • Number of first time speakers: 952
WordCamp Sessions in 2015
  • Total number of unique sessions: 2,135
  • Most sessions at a single WordCamp: 80 (at WordCamp US)
  • Fewest sessions at a single WordCamp: 8 (at WordCamp Winnipeg)
  • Average number of sessions per WordCamp: 25.72
WordCamp Sponsors in 2015
  • Total number of unique sponsors: 891
  • Most sponsors at a single WordCamp: 53 (at WordCamp London)
  • Average number of sponsors per WordCamp: 8.33
WordCamp Attendees in 2015
  • Total number of WordCamp tickets sold: 21,386
  • Most tickets sold for a single WordCamp was: 1,744 at (WordCamp US; 2,424 with live-stream tickets)
  • Fewest tickets sold for a single camp WordCamp: 26 (at WordCamp East Troy)
  • Average number of attendees per WordCamp: 245.82
  • Number of WordCamps with 300+ tickets sold: 36
  • Number of WordCamps with less than 300 tickets sold: 53

Ten Largest WordCamps (listed in order of number of tickets sold) in 2015:

  • WordCamp US
  • WordCamp Tokyo
  • WordCamp Europe
  • WordCamp Kansai
  • WordCamp NYC
  • WordCamp London
  • WordCamp Miami
  • WordCamp Atlanta
  • WordCamp Orlando

Trends and analysis

First time organizers = 366: These numbers might indicate that more than half of all WordCamp organizers are new to the program, except we have only been using the Organizer post type for a few years, so I think it’s too soon to trust that conclusion.

First time speakers = 952: It’s very interesting that just over 50% of our speakers last year were first-time WordCamp speakers. This doesn’t necessarily mean these people are inexperienced speakers; it just indicates that they’re new to WordCamps. Given that, would we like to see the percentage of first-time WordCamp speakers to go even higher, in order to have even broader diversity of speakers?

Average number of attendees = 245.82: This is down slightly from 2014, in which our average was right about 250. This figure, combined with the info that about 60% of all 2015 WordCamps sold less than 300 tickets, seems to support my observation that the program is seeing more events with a smaller attendee count. That said, our big events continue to grow.

What else did the Community team do last year?

The Community team launched some great tools for WordCamp organizers last year: a payments plugin to help organizers and program administrators get vendors paid with less fuss and fewer emails, a CSS cloning tool to help organizing teams copy and then customize designs from other WordCamp sites, and a remote CSS plugin so that organizers didn’t have to make design changes on their live sites.

In 2015, we also built on the Community DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. program that began in late 2014, expanding the number of volunteers who help advise and organize our organizing teams to around 30. Furthermore, we started reporting on deputyDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. oversight/administration progress on our team’s blog, to help the whole community see “behind the scenes” at 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..

Questions?

If there’s a figure above that you’d like to learn more about, or an observation you’d like to share based on the data here, please respond with a comment!

#community-management, #wordcamps