Online WordCamps – Resources, Tools and Information

UPDATE as of July 2020: We are in the process of making changes to online WordCamp guidelines, and the information on this post may not be accurate. In the meantime, encourage organizers to experiment with different online event formats. Please visit the Make/Community Blog for the latest updates on our Online 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. program.

WordPress meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. groups are already moving their events online, and there are guidelines for online do_action charity hackathons as well. The next event series to evolve into this online paradigm is, naturally, WordCamp.

In order to assist organisers with the process of moving their WordCamp online, and to pave the way for new organisers to get involved, the Community Team has set up some tools, processes, and documentation to make things possible. You will find all of this in the new Online Events Handbook, but read on for a broad overview.

Production & Captioning Vendors for All

Production and Captioning vendor support will be available only for WordCamps that have a date on the schedule or under budget review with the understanding that they’d be working with a professional vendor as on 23rd July 2020. Other online WordCamps (including those that are currently in planning) will need to find local sponsors if they wish to work with vendors. You can find more information in the following blog post.

Since the pilot program for supplying production vendors to online WordCamps was announced, a few WordCamps have taken advantage of this – namely WordCamp Spain, WordCamp Santa Clarita, and the upcoming WordCamp Kent. This pilot program has proved to be a success, which means that all WordCamp organizing teams in 2020 will be able to count on this support.

In practice, this means that the online production and captioning costs associated with any online WordCamp taking place this year will be covered in full without the need for local sponsorship. As an organiser, you can make use of the vendors available or choose to work with a local supplier.

You will find more information in the documentation about production vendors, as well as what to look out for if you do look for local companies.

Updates to WordCamp Guidelines

In order to cater to online WordCamps, the guidelines for these events have been updated to be more flexible and adapt to the needs of the format. You can find these updated guidelines in the new handbook – they cover the regional focus of online events and important changes to the budget review and planning processes.

Note that these updates apply to online events only – when in-person events are able to resume, those events will follow the guidelines that were already in place taking note of these additional guidelines for in-person events taking place in 2020.

Code of ConductCode of Conduct “A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party.” - Wikipedia for Online Events

In order to ensure these online events remain as safe and welcoming as in-person WordCamps, the new handbook includes a code of conduct that has been updated to cater to this new format. There is also some new documentation on effective ways to moderate the chat during a live stream and how you can ensure your event’s chat remains friendly and inviting.

Acknowledging Sponsors at Online Events

You can read this handbook page for some excellent ideas about how to acknowledge your online event sponsors, and more information will be published soon with information about recognising global sponsors. One requirement that has been added in here, is that all organisers must have their sponsorship packages approved by a deputyProgram Supporter Community Program Supporters (formerly Deputies) are a team of people worldwide who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about program supporters in our Program Supporter Handbook. at the budget review stage.

The WordCamp Schedule

The WordCamp schedule has been updated to indicate whether an event is taking place online or not – this will provide an easy reference for anyone interested in attending an online WordCamp no matter where they are in the world. Note that Online WordCamp tickets will always be free, so anyone around the world can easily attend.

Tips for WordCamp Speakers

Since presenting a talk online is a very different experience to doing so in-person, here are some tips for speakers to help you make the most out of the experience.

Guidelines for In-Person WordCamps

If you would like to organise an in-person WordCamp for any date after January 2021, please refer to the updated guidelines for these events.

WordCamps Beyond 2020

The updated guidelines outlined here will be in effect for the remainder of the year. The team plans to review these guidelines in Q3 2020 so that organizers applying for a 2021 WordCamp have greater clarity and enough time to prepare for either an online or in-person event. 
Update as on July 2020: The Community team is in the process of making changes to online WordCamp guidelines. We encourage organizers to experiment with different online event formats. Please visit the Make/Community Blog for the latest updates on our Online WordCamp program.

Does this all sound like something you want to get involved in? Fill out the WordCamp organiser application form to get started!

On a personal note, I’m excited to see the online events that local organisers put together – while this is a challenging new frontier for all of us, the need to move our events online will provide a platform for a huge amount of innovation within our community.

Is there anything you think was missed here? Or any other resources or documentation you think would be helpful for the team to provide for organisers of online WordCamps? Please make it known in the comments!