Discussion: Revisiting In-person Regional WordCamps

The Community Team is seeing a renewed interest in in-person regional WordCamps in the light of a slow but steady return of in-person WordCamps. This post aims to take another look at our existing guidelines for regional WordCamps and to explore whether the process for organizing an 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. could be improved or simplified. 

Context

Traditionally, WordCamps have been local, city-based events that had active local 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, with the exception of flagship camps such as WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe. In pre-pandemic times, several local communities expressed interest in organizing regional events, which helped our team prepare guidelines for regional WordCamps. Established communities with experienced organizers could organize a regional camp by submitting a formal proposal, which would be reviewed by deputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. before proceeding further. WordCamp Nordic (which was held successfully in 2019) and WordCamp Asia are two camps that were born out of these guidelines. Our team also discussed the possibility of organizing micro-regional WordCamps where multiple cities could come together to organize a single camp. As a result of these conversations, our enthusiastic Dutch community organizers paved way for the return of WordCamp Netherlands in 2020, which was later canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Online Regional In-Person Events

In 2020, the Community team relaxed the pathway to regional online WordCamps, allowing communities to organize regional events without a lot of hassle. This resulted in a bunch of online regional WordCamps in Centroamerica, Greece, Finland, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Taiwan, among others. These events were quite successful in bringing together local communities even despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approaching In-Person Regional Events in 2022

WordCamp Netherlands (which was originally approved in 2019) is back on the schedule for 2022 as an in-person event. Some local communities have also approached WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each., expressing their interest in organizing regional events. At this time, our organizers are still encouraged to plan smaller city-based WordCamps over larger regional events (especially in the light of COVID restrictions that are still in place in many regions). However, I strongly feel that the Community Team should revisit the existing guidelines for regional events due to a renewed interest in the same. I would like to listen to your feedback on how, as a community, we can proceed with in-person regional events, going forward. 

  1. What guidelines should a community meet to organize a regional event?
  2. How can the team better define micro-regional WordCamps, and can we do anything to simplify their process? For example, would a relatively smaller region – such as a state or a group of cities in countries like the USA or Canada, OR a country in Europe such as the Netherlands or Italy – qualify as a micro-regional WordCamp? Additionally, should we even have micro-regional WordCamps – can we just define regional camps using a uniform language and uniform guidelines?
  3. Is there anything that should be changed or simplified about the application process for regional WordCamps? (For example, are proposals still required for a regional guidelines, or can these guidelines still be enforced in orientations?)
  4. Are there any learnings from online regional events in 2020 and 2021 that can be applied to in-person regional events going forward? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments by April 4, 2022 (Monday). Based on your feedback, our team will explore the possibility of revamping guidelines for regional WordCamps and will share the next steps shortly. 

The following folks contributed to this post: @angelasjin @devinmaeztri @peiraisotta @juliarosia and @nao

#regional-wordcamps #discussion