Reflecting on the NextGen Events Pilot Project and Looking Ahead

Background

In May 2023, the WordPress Community Team embarked on an ambitious journey with the “Next Generation WordPress Events” pilot project. Our goal was to explore innovative event formats beyond the traditional 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. or 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., bringing fresh experiences to our community and attracting new audiences to attend WordPress events. Throughout the latter half of 2023, we experimented with a variety of creative events, each uniquely contributing to the WordPress community. Check out the full list of pilot events.

Today, @adityakane, @devinmaeztri, @no249a002, @francescodicandia, @unintended8, @lanche86, @samsuresh, @yoga1103 and I are excited to share our learnings, reflections, and a vision for the future of innovative WordPress events.

Broadening the Horizon of WordPress Events

Based on our experiences with the pilot program, we recommend concluding the NextGen pilot project, and permanently adopting an expanded scope of WordPress Events. This means expanding the WordPress Events program beyond just WordCamps, 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. and do_actions, to embrace a broad range of creative event formats. The sky’s the limit, and we encourage the community to keep experimenting with new ideas.

It’s important to clarify that “NextGen” is the name of the pilot project, not a new categoryCategory The 'category' taxonomy lets you group posts / content together that share a common bond. Categories are pre-defined and broad ranging. of events. This project was a playground for experimentation and innovation in the WordPress Events program. Moving forward, we propose simply referring to these events as “WordPress Events.” This term encompasses WordCamps, meetups, do_actions, and an infinite number of other event types that are supported by WordPress Community SupportWordPress Community Support WordPress Community Support PBC is a subsidiary of WordPress Foundation. It is created specifically to be the financial and legal support for WordCamps, WordPress Meetup groups, and any additional “official” events organized within the WordPress Community Events program. and the Community Team.

The Ideal WordPress Event

We’ve learned that the ideal WordPress event should be:

  • Replicable: Easy for other communities to adopt and for the same community to organize again.
  • Desirable: Each event should serve a purpose within the WordPress ecosystem and generate excitement.
  • Sustainable: Events should be financially viable and not overly complex to organize, to prevent burnout among our valued community organizers.
  • Scalable: Ideally, events are able to grow and scale as a community grows. 

We wholeheartedly encourage creativity and experimentation in WordPress Events. Innovation is the lifeblood that keeps our community vibrant and helps grow the WordPress project, its user base, and WordPress communities worldwide!

A highlight from the NextGen Pilot project:

The Rome Community Day event format inspired the Swiss community to organize a Switzerland Community Day, demonstrating that this event format is truly desirable, replicable and sustainable! The Rome event organizer mentored the Switzerland organizing team, a testament to the project’s collaborative spirit.

Tools

To sustainably expand the WordPress events program, we need some new tools, workflows, and documentation that will assist Community Team Event Supporters, Program Supporters, and Program Managers in vetting, onboarding, and mentoring events that don’t fit neatly in the established categories of WordCamp, meetup, or do_actiondo_action do_action hackathons are community-organised events that are focussed on using WordPress to give deserving charitable organisations their own online presence. Learn more on doaction.org.. Our new WordPress Events page (events.wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/) is a crucial step in this direction, offering a central URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org and unified platform for all types of WordPress events. Additionally, we have a brand new WordPress event organizer application form, which streamlines the application review process (during the NextGen pilot project, event organizer applications were submitted through a Crowdsignal survey; this was unwieldy for the Community Team to review and process).

What this means for…

WordPress Event Organizers 

We invite you to think outside the box and consider organizing an innovative WordPress Event in your community! Let’s continue to experiment and grow together. Remember, some of the most impactful WordPress events are simple, low-cost, and easy to organize.

Apply now to bring a unique WordPress event to life in your community!

Global Sponsors

Sponsoring the WordPress community’s innovative events provides companies with a unique opportunity to reach new, diverse, and tech-savvy audiences. Global Sponsors already support WordPress Community Events worldwide; innovative event formats offer an opportunity to experiment with new sponsorship benefits and ways to connect with attendees. Do you have ideas that we could test at an innovative WordPress event in 2024? Let the Community Team know by commenting on this post!

Community Team Supporters

In the coming weeks, the Community Team will invite Community Team Supporters to participate in a Zoom session on innovative WordPress Events. This session will provide an opportunity to ask questions and share feedback so that Community Team Supporters are well-equipped to mentorEvent Supporter Event Supporter (formerly Mentor) is someone who has already organised a WordCamp and has time to meet with their assigned mentee every 2 weeks, they talk over where they should be in their timeline, help them to identify their issues, and also identify solutions for their issues. innovative WordPress Events and amplify this exciting new development in WordPress Events. Stay tuned for more details!


Share your thoughts, ideas, and questions in the comments below. Your input is the catalyst for continued innovation and growth in our community. Let’s continue building the next chapter of innovative WordPress Events, making them more inclusive, engaging, and impactful than ever!

Props to the fantastic pilot event and future WordPress event organizers; Community Team NextGen Event Supporters, who reviewed event applications and mentored pilot events; and the entire Global Community TeamGlobal Community Team A group of community organizers and contributors who collaborate on local events about WordPress — monthly WordPress meetups and/or annual conferences called WordCamps. for their incredible effort to make the NextGen Pilot Project a reality by engaging in discussions, sharing ideas, and spreading the word!

The following people participated in writing this post: @juliarosia @devinmaeztri @peiraisotta @_dorsvenabili.

#community-events, #next-gen-events