Proposed 2017 Global Sponsorship Program

Below you’ll find my proposed 2017 Global Sponsorship Program.

tl;dr: We’re raising sponsorship rates only about 15% even though we saw around 28% growth in the number of WordCamps and more than 80% growth in the number of 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. groups on the chapter account.

Two suggested new benefits: First, to include a “global community sponsor” visual call-out on global sponsor logos as they appear on 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. sites. If a global sponsor also sponsors WordCamp US or WordCamp EU (they are still excluded from the program and thus companies must sponsor them separately), the acknowledgement on the WCUS/WCEU site will include the “global sponsor” visual call-out.

Second suggested new benefit: Sponsors can “upgrade” to a higher local level to 10 camps per year — a Bronze global sponsor may pay the difference between the local WordCamp sponsorship levels to be able to acknowledged as a Gold sponsor (if spaces are available), up to 6 weeks before the WordCamp is held.

Also, Gold-level global sponsors that confirm their commitment (by signing the contract; billing will go out on Jan 1) by November 30 will be guaranteed table space for Q1 2017 WordCamps. Global sponsors (Gold level) that confirm after November 30 might not have table space reserved for them at Q1 2017 WordCamps.

A long, detailed post awaits your patient attention; post your suggestions or questions in the comments below! 🙂

WordPress Global Community Sponsorship in 2017

One out of every four websites is powered by 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 built and maintained by thousands of volunteers all over the world. The WordPress contributor community is made up of developers, designers, writers, photographers, freelancers, agency professionals, and hobbyists, many of whom gather regularly around the world at locally-organized monthly and annual events. Official WordPress community events are exclusively volunteer-organized, and each reflects the interests and expertise of the local community. In 2016 (as of October 28), there were 2,688 meetings of official WordPress meetup groups and 114 local annual conferences, which we call WordCamps.

What’s a WordCamp?

WordCamp is the annual conference for local WordPress communities; it’s a casual, non-commercial, educational event about WordPress. Events range from intimate 50-person unconferences to multi-track conferences attended by over 1,000. Conference sessions topics include WordPress development, design, business, social media integration, blogging, and marketing. WordCamp tickets are sold at an extremely low price ($20 per person, per day) so that events are accessible to people of any financial background.
In 2016, there were 62 WordCamps in the Western region (up from 50 in 2015) and 50 WordCamps in the Eastern region (up from 34 in 2015).

2016 WordCamps (excluding WCUS/WCEU) Number of events Attendees Average size
Western (The Americas) 62 16,000 258
Eastern (Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa) 50 13,000 260
Total 112 29,000

We anticipate another 20%+ increase in events in 2017, which should result in approximately 140 WordCamps worldwide in 2017.

Additional WordCamp data for 2016:

  • Total number of WordCamps: 114
  • Number of countries that held at least one WordCamp: 34
  • Average number of speakers per WordCamp (YTD 10/28): 24
  • Average number of sponsors per WordCamp (YTD 10/28, includes global sponsors): 19
  • Total number of WordCamp tickets sold (YTD 10/28, excluding WCUS/WCEU): 28,003
  • Average number of attendees per WordCamp (YTD 10/28): 259

WordCamps confirmed for 2017 can be found on the official schedule. Please note that the Global Community Sponsorship program does not include WordCamp Europe or WordCamp US, even though they’re listed on the official schedule.

What’s a meetup?

WordPress meetups are locally-organized user groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis to discuss WordPress (commonly once a month). These events take many formats: presentations/lecture series, hackathons, social gatherings, workshops, coworking, running a WordPress help desk, contributor sprints/drives, and others. Groups hosted on meetup.com can join an official WordPress account and receive financial and organizational support from the WordPress Community team.

WordPress meetup data:

  • Total number of chapter account/official meetup groups: 359
  • Number of countries with a chapter account meetup group: 73
  • Average number of groups per country: 4.93
  • Number of groups in the US: 129
  • Total number of group members (as of 10/28, not unique): 133,566
  • Total number of meetup events (as of 10/28): 2,698 (1,530 in the US)

How does event sponsorship help WordPress?

Companies that sponsor WordPress community events support the WordPress open source project by helping our volunteer-organized, local events provide free or low-cost access for attendees. WordPress community events strengthen, inspire, and connect the community that builds and maintains WordPress.

Why sponsor via this program rather than sponsoring individual events?

As the WordPress community continues to grow, many companies find they don’t have time to coordinate with multiple teams of volunteer event organizers. The WordPress Global Community Sponsorship Program ensures that your support reaches WordCamps and meetups quickly and provides stability to locally-organized events. WordPress global community sponsors have a single, centralized point of contact and are billed quarterly, saving companies time and trouble. Global community sponsors are emailed as soon as each WordCamp is added to the official schedule with all the vital details for the event, including contact info for the organizing team, anticipated number of attendees, mailing address for swag, and more.  Global sponsor company information is pre-loaded on every WordCamp website by 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., so the local organizing team can publish the sponsor’s logo and company description with one simple click.

How much does global community sponsorship cost, and what are the benefits?

The following prices reflect sponsorship for the 2017 calendar year.

Level Western (The Americas) Eastern (Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa)
Gold $180,000 $110,000
Silver $90,000 $70,000
Bronze $50,000 $40,000

Please note that this program excludes WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe.

Gold Community Sponsor benefits:

  1. Name, large logo with “Global Community Sponsor” visual call-out, and company description/blurb on all WordCamp websites in the region
  2. Acknowledgment in one program-wide email to all 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 you sponsor
  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**

Silver Community Sponsor benefits:

  1. Name, medium logo with “Global Community Sponsor” visual call-out, 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 in one program-wide email to all 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 you sponsor
  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. Silver sponsors can “upgrade” to a higher local level to 10 camps per year by requesting an invoice for the difference between the local top and second-from-the-top WordCamp sponsorship levels to be able to acknowledged as a Gold sponsor (if spaces are available), up to 6 weeks before the WordCamp is held.

Bronze Community Sponsor benefits:

  1. Name, small logo with “Global Community Sponsor” visual call-out, and company description/blurb on WordCamp websites
  2. Acknowledgment on sponsor page on WordCamp Central
  3. Acknowledgment in a program-wide email to all 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 you sponsor
  6. A sticker or postcard added to each WordCamp’s “swag table,” if available (subject to approval)
  7. Bronze sponsors can “upgrade” to a higher local level to 10 camps per year by requesting an invoice for the difference between the desired local level and the Bronze/third local WordCamp sponsorship levels to be able to acknowledged as a Gold or Silver sponsor (if spaces are available), up to 6 weeks before the WordCamp is held.

In the case of WordCamps, each global sponsorship level will be “merged” into the local WordCamp sponsorship levels, and global sponsors will receive the same benefits offered to local sponsors at the same level, but global sponsor logos will include a visual call-out of its special global sponsorship status.

*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.

Rules for sponsor materials:

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 (value-neutral) 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 superlative messages or unprovable claims 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 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
  • Claims that WordPress, WordPress Foundation, meetup organizers, WordCamps, or WordCamp organizers endorse or favor a Sponsor or its products or services (such as “certified WordPress training” or “WordCamp’s favorite plugin”)
3. Sponsors agree that the WordPress Foundation, any subsidiary or related entity 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.
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 or related entity of the Foundation reserve the right to modify the above requirements and expectations at any time by providing written notice to the sponsor.

How will sponsors be billed?

We’ll bill global sponsors on the first day of every quarter (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1), and all invoices will be due net 30. Sponsors may not be added to the event program until payment has been received.

Gold-level global sponsors that confirm their commitment (by signing the contract; billing will go out on Jan 1) by November 30 will be guaranteed table space for Q1 2017 WordCamps. Global sponsors (Gold level) that confirm after November 30 might not have table space reserved for them at Q1 2017 WordCamps.

How do I sign up?

For more information on supporting WordPress events through the WordPress Global Community Sponsorship Program, email support@wordcamp.org. We will hold open video chat office hours on the following schedule for November:

Nov 8 at 3pm PT/6pm ET
Nov 15 at 12pm PT/3pm ET
Nov 17 at 9am PT/12pm ET
Nov 28 at 3pm PT/6pm ET

Just email support@wordcamp.org to be added to a video chat and have your questions answered. 🙂 We look forward to another amazing year of WordPress community events, and we hope you’ll join us!