Discussing the path to in-person WordCamps

NOTE: At this time, all WordPress events are online, with the exception of MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. 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 meetup.com will help you find options in your area. communities that meet the requirements of the checklist. This is a discussion only, so that the Community Team can be informed in making future proposals around WordCamps.  

Earlier this year, the Community Team created guidelines to help meetups move back to in-person events. Since then, in-person WordPress meetups have been held in Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia. 

Community deputies have received a few inquiries about moving back to in-person WordCamps. Throughout the pandemic, the team has maintained the safety and health of the community as the highest priority, and this has not changed. To that end, and knowing that this is a complex discussion, the Community team invites you to share your thoughts on how the WordPress community can safely move back to in-person WordCamps. 

Recalling our December 2020 conversation on how to return to safe in-person events, a few ideas still seem applicable to start:

  • Mandatory masks
  • Restrictions on the length of events
  • Limits on number of attendees
  • Recommending a lower percentage for venue capacity (for example, suggesting a cap of 50% of a venue’s total capacity)
  • Maintaining advanced or additional safety guidelines around food or drink (for example, avoiding anything communal and asking that all food be consumed in certain areas)
  • Mandatory registration, so attendees can be contacted in case of exposure 

Some new ideas or suggestions could include:

  • Only allowing for WordCamps in communities that also pass the in-person meetup decision checklist
  • Limiting to local attendees only
  • Limiting to local speakers only
  • Recommending that only vaccinated attendees attend
  • Accommodating hybrid events (in-person and livestreamed)

Please share your thoughts

Please respond in the comments with your thoughts by Monday, May 10, 2021, keeping in mind that the team is exploring what a first possible in-person 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. would look like, and that as vaccines are more broadly distributed and case counts reduce, the team will continue to reexamine safety measures. 

  1. As an attendee, what measures would help you feel safe at a WordCamp?
  2. If you are an organizer, how can the Community Team support you in the return to in-person events?

A final note

I’m going to get a little more personal here: returning to in-person WordCamps is going to be an emotional experience that is going to affect everyone differently. The WordPress community has a big range of introverts to extroverts, and we’ve gone through major changes to how we interact with each other. For all that I want to hug everyone, it also is strange and a bit frightening to think about all that human contact after a year-and-then-some of this pandemic. Supporting organizers in bringing back WordCamps in a way that acknowledges and accommodates all our excitement and fears, as well as our love of WordPress, is a worthy goal.  

Kudos to @tacoverdo, @sunsand187, @jenniferswisher, @_dorsvenabili, @andreamiddleton, @kcristiano, @rmarks, @sippis, @adityakane, @kdrewien, @harishanker, @hlashbrooke for helping to write this post!