Pilot Program: Production Vendors for Online WordCamps

Now that organizers and deputies have spent some time exploring the challenges and opportunities unique to online conference organizing, it’s time to explore ways to make life easier for organizers. At the same time, it’s important to help communities to continue meeting and inspiring one another during this global pandemic. With this goal in mind, I’m excited to announce a new pilot program for online WordCamps. 

Through this program, WPCS (WordPress Community Support, PBC) will pay the production costs of online WordCamps hosted in 2020 with the hope that this will result in more online WordCamps during this time of uncertainty and in-person disconnection. Removing the barrier to entry for online event production should help 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 teams focus on the things that matter most: community, connection, and content. 

Online WordCamps will still need to go through the same approval process they normally would and will need to meet accessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) expectations (just like other WordCamps).

How will it work? 

Once an online WordCamp is in pre-planning, organizers can contact a production company from a list of recommended vendors, or request estimates from a local online conference production vendor of their choice. In the budget review stage, if the team wishes to use a local vendor, the budget will be reviewed just like any other WordCamp budget. Once an online production company has been selected, the organizing team and production company will work together directly to stage the event. WordCamp teams will recruit speakers, sponsors, emcees, and live chat moderators, as well as handle site design and communications. The production company will handle the production of the stream & captions, and process the recordings.

Next steps?

This is where you come in. While our community of dedicated organizers and volunteers work through this pilot program, they’re bound to stumble upon more questions and brilliant ideas. Perhaps you already have some of those questions and ideas based on past online event experience. Do you have suggestions for making this pilot more successful? Any questions about details?

Please share your ideas, concerns, or questions in a comment on this post!

#online-events