Tuesday Trainings: When can we start having meetups in person again?

This year we’ve changed the format of Tuesday Trainings to reflect questions that are frequently asked of those of us in the 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. program, or to clear up confusion that we see in everyday planning and discussion. If there’s a question you’d like to see answered please share it in the comments or email me at support@wordcamp.org with the subject line Tuesday Trainings. Now onto this week’s topic.

When can we start having meetupsMeetup 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. in person again?

I know that many communities are anxious to get things back to normal. Or at least as back to normal as can be found in these trying times. But we can only get back to seeing one another in person when it is safe for us to do so.

There have been a lot of conversations around this and what stands out most strongly to me is that everyone is sharing the answer that they feel is right. When so many people have such heightened feelings on a topic it is often more challenging for an entire community to come together and agree. I’m seeing and hearing a lot of frustration around this topic, and that is understandable. But mostly I am seeing people assuming good intent and working together to find what’s right for our community at large, and that is wonderful. 

Because there are some countries, states, cities, or areas where  Covid-19 risk is very low, we see that there is an opportunity for those communities to gather together in a safe way. So while I can’t answer for all meetups in this post, I can tell you that we’re on our way to seeing one another in person once again. But only in locations in which it is allowed by local public health rules and that meet the program expectations shared in this Community Handbook page on returning to in person meetups.

If you’re curious if your group qualifies you can go through the in-person meetup decision checklist to learn if your group is eligible. If you feel that you are eligible you’re required to submit your form before you move forward with organizing. If you don’t meet the criteria there’s no need for you to submit the form.

We qualify to proceed (with caution!!) to organize an in person 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.. Does that mean we HAVE TO?

Nope. It absolutely doesn’t mean you have to. This option is available because there are a few pockets of the world that seem to really have this thing under control with nearly no new infections. If groups in those areas would like to meet in a permitted, safe and cautious way we don’t want to stop them. But no one is required to switch back to in person meetups.

If your local conditions do qualify for in person meetups, please make sure you fill out the checklist form before you proceed, and keep all of the expectations and precautions shared in mind.

My meetup doesn’t qualify but that’s okay, the meetup group two cities away is hosting an event. I’ll go to that.

For everyone’s safety, I’m going to have to ask you to refrain from attending any meetup event that is outside of your immediate, local meetup. The expectations we’ve put into place do not account for people traveling from other areas to attend events. We ask that for the time being you only attend events in your own area. 

I’m so excited about seeing people! Does this mean we can have a 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. in real life too?

I’m excited to see people again too, but we’re not there yet. Meetups are traditionally much smaller and on an event by event basis, much easier to organize. They also present little financial risk if they must be cancelled. At this time we’re not approving any in-person WordCamps, contributor days, or other larger format events. Just the Meetups that fall into the expectations we’ve shared with communities that would like to meet in person.

But how was this all decided?

I’m so glad you asked. A lot of time, effort, and conversation went into this decision. And all the while we kept in mind a need to be morally, legally, and financially responsible about any decisions made for the future of the program. The conversation started with a post from current Community Team RepTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts. @sippis back in July of 2020. You can read his post here, and will also be able to find links to continuing posts in the comments.

I have another question!

I always love another question. If there’s something you don’t feel was covered here or in the linked handbook or discussion threads please ask in comments so we can start a conversation about it.

What’s coming next with Tuesday Trainings?

I’m taking a couple of weeks off to unwind, but I didn’t want to leave you all without something to learn on upcoming Tuesdays. Please be sure to join us the next three for Tuesday trainings posts from @kcristiano and a Tuesday Training discussion on March 16 with @harishanker! I can’t wait to see what they’ve shared when I return!

#meetups-2, #tuesdaytrainings