Proposed 2019 Global Community Sponsorship Program

Below you’ll find a proposed draft for the 2019 Global Community Sponsorship Program.

tl;dr:

Rates increase by about 10% this year, across the board.

Benefits we’d like to remove:

  • Dedicated tweet announcing sponsorship from the Twitter account of each WordCamp (this is included in every local package anyway, so why duplicate in the global packages)
  • Event-unique “trackable link” (purl) in your sponsor description (this was not important to sponsors last year)

Two benefits we’d like to add:

  • “Featured” acknowledgement on two meetup organizer newsletters per year (received by 1200+ organizers) — Gold
  • Listing on resource page for new user workshops/charity hackathons organized by meetups or at WordCamps — Gold & Silver

And one experiment:

We propose offering a Global Subscriber package for $2000/year.

Global Subscribers would receive an email notification every time:

  • a meetup group is added to the WordPress chapter program
  • a WordCamp is added to the pre-planning schedule
  • a WordCamp is added to the official schedule

Questions? Feedback?

The actual program description is quite long, so I wanted to make the call for feedback a little earlier. 🙂 If you have any questions, observations, or critical feedback about the program in general or these proposed changes, please comment on this post! Thanks so much for the hard work, input, and feedback by @kcristiano, @lucasartoni, @kenshino, @laryswan, and @radolina!

The Details

One out of every three websites is powered by WordPress, the free and open source 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 2018, groups in the WordPress chapter program met over 4,700 times, and local communities organized 143 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 2,000. Conference session topics include WordPress development, design, business, social media integration, blogging, and marketing. WordCamp tickets are sold at an extremely low price ($20 USD per person, per day) so that events are accessible to people of any financial background.

WordCamp Program Data

Sponsorship Regions Events in 2018 Number of Attendees in 2018 Avg size for non-flagship event
The Americas 57 16,000 250
Europe, Africa, and Asia 83 23,000 256
Total 143 39,000

We anticipate a 10% increase in events in 2019, which should result in approximately 155 WordCamps worldwide next year.

WordCamps confirmed for 2019 can be found on the official schedule.

Please note that the Global Community Sponsorship program does not include flagship events such as 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 become an official WordPress chapter group and receive financial and organizational support from the WordPress Community team.

Meetup Program Data

  • 673 groups
  • 97 countries with a meetup group
  • 192 groups in the US (the country with the largest number of groups)
  • 338,920 group members (as of October 31), program-wide
  • 4,773 meetup events (as of October)

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.

Additional program benefits include:

  • 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 sponsors’ contact information is sent to local organizing teams to facilitate communication.
  • Global sponsor company information is pre-loaded on every WordCamp website by WordCamp Central, so the local organizing team can publish the sponsor’s logo and company description with one simple click.
  • Global community sponsors also receive any benefits that WordCamp organizing teams include in their local sponsorship packages, and for this reason, frequently receive more benefits than those described in these packages.

Please note that the Global Community Sponsorship program does not include flagship events WordCamp Europe or WordCamp US, as the scale of those events are outside the scope of this program.

What are the costs and benefits associated with global sponsorship?

(Here’s an easier-to-scan version of this chart.)

Gold Silver Bronze
Region A (North, Central, South America) $200,000 $100,000 $55,000
Region B (Europe, Africa, Asia) $125,000 $85,000 $50,000
Name, logo, and company description on all WordCamp websites in the region X X X
Acknowledgment in one program-wide email to all WordPress chapter account meetups/user groups X X X
Acknowledgment on sponsor page on WordCamp Central X X X
Inclusion in the Thank You To Our Sponsors blog post on each WordCamp you sponsor X X X
Acknowledgement in the footer of the post-event, wrap-up thank you email to attendees X X X
Notification email sent when events in your sponsored region are added to the official schedule X X X
Notification email sent when events in your sponsored region are approved for pre-planning X X X
Include a discount or coupon code for your product or service in your company description, posted to all WordCamps in your region (subject to approval) X X
Listing, if requested, on official handbook page with resources that meetup and WordCamp organizers can use for new user workshops, charity hackathons, etc. X X
“Featured” acknowledgement on two meetup organizer newsletters per year (received by 1200+ WordPress community influencers every month) X
Table at WordCamps for meeting attendees if space is available* X
Acknowledgement in all WordCamp “ticket purchase successful” pages in your region X
A number of swag items added to each WordCamp’s “swag table,” if available (subject to approval) 3 2 1
A number of free tickets to each WordCamp you sponsor, reserved for your company representatives** 4 2
Unlimited upgrades to higher sponsorship level, up to 6 weeks before the event*** X X

*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.

***Silver and Bronze global sponsors can “upgrade” to a higher local sponsorship level on individual WordCamps by requesting an invoice for the difference between the desired local level and their global sponsorship level, subject to availability, up to 6 weeks before the date of the WordCamp.

Not quite what you were looking for? Try our new experimental package:

Global Subscriber $2000

Receive an email notification every time:

  • a meetup group is added to the WordPress chapter program
  • a WordCamp is added to the pre-planning schedule
  • a WordCamp is added to the official schedule

Please see Rules for Sponsor Materials for more details about terms of sponsorship. Please also see our sample sponsorship agreement.