Proposal Update: Decision making checklist for safe, in-person meetups

Feb 4, 2021 Update: The date to give feedback on this post has been extended by one week! Please share your feedback by February 12.

Following the proposal earlier this month around a decision making checklist for safe, in-person meetups, there was additional conversation and questions about how an organizer would use the checklist. To help everyone better understand the process as currently envisioned, I’ve done my best to describe it below, incorporating some additional, excellent ideas that were shared. Before moving forward on this, I invite everyone to read through this process, and to share your feedback. 

A quick note: until this process is implemented, all WordCamps and Meetups are expected to be held online.The Community team knows that it is still very unsafe to meet in person in many areas. The goal of this process is to help meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through 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 will help you find options in your area. organizers assess the risk of hosting an in-person event, in the hopes that some areas that have more effectively contained COVID (like New Zealand and Taiwan) can be supported in hosting in-person meetups.

The process as currently envisioned would look like this for a meetup organizer: 

  1. Review the resources. Meetup organizers would reference some new (to be created) handbook pages in the Meetup Organizer Handbook. These new pages will include: 
    • The checklist to determine whether organizers can proceed, with caution, in organizing an in-person event.
    • Links to frequently referenced health authority data, to help organizers determine positivity rates, basic reproduction number, etc. 
    • Templates to help meetup organizers, such as language for requesting info for contract tracing, expected behavior and safety protocols, etc. 
    • Reporting mechanism that allows organizers and community members to report to Community deputies if they need support or see any safety concerns or broken protocols. 
  2. Use the checklist. The Meetup organizer uses the checklist (put together based off of feedback from the previous proposal), which is a CrowdSignal form embedded in the handbook page. The form will only recommend moving forward with an in-person meetup if organizers are able to answer yes to all questions. Organizers can use the handbook page with links to health authority data, or use local resources, to help fill in the checklist.
    • The checklist recommends “no”. If the checklist says “no”, organizers are expected to follow this recommendation. At this point, they can close out the survey without submitting. If they would like to provide the Community team with feedback on the form, or share what health authority references they used, they do have that option.
    • The checklist recommends “yes, proceed with caution”. If the organizer gets the recommendation that they can proceed with an in-person meetup, they will be required to submit the form, which also asks for: 
      • Agreement to the recommendations and guidelines provided.
      • Organizer name, Meetup URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL, health authority references

Although organizers do not need to wait for further approval from the Community team, submitting the form is mandatory for organizers who want to organize in-person meetups. 

  1. Organize the in-person meetup. If the organizers proceed with an in person event, they can use templates in the meetup description to explain safety protocols or measures to their meetup participants. Some examples might include expected behaviors (wearing a mask, agreeing to share contact information for contact tracing, etc), or that the meetup may move online or be cancelled if local situations change. 
  2. Reporting back to Community Deputies. If something unexpected happens, the Community team would like to know immediately. Organizers and meetup attendees can reach us in a number of ways: by pinging deputies in the #community-events channel, or emailing Community members can report concerns or ask questions, specifically around in-person meetups, using a new, dedicated handbook page. 

Community Team deputies will be responsible for directing meetup organizers to these resources, answering questions as they come up, and broadly, to help all meetups follow these guidelines. 

Feedback requested

Please share your thoughts on this proposal update by Friday, February 12, 2021. Specifically, it would be helpful to hear:

  • Are the steps or checks missing in this process? 
  • Do you have any questions about the process?
  • What happens if organizers or attendees don’t follow these guidelines?

Thank you all for your patience and thoughtful feedback in creating this process. This is a hard, hard topic with no precedent we can refer to, so I am grateful that this considerate community is tackling this together. 

Kudos to @sippis, @andreamiddleton, @evarlese, @jenniferswisher for helping to write this post!