Proposal for a Unified Sponsorship Initiative

Purpose: This proposal aims to enhance support for 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. organizers by forming a task force focused on streamlining sponsorship efforts, ensuring sustainability, and improving the overall sponsor experience. This is not intended to diminish the autonomy of WordCamp organizers but to offer them additional resources and support.

Flagship WordCamps have become an essential item in all our calendars throughout the year. They are the largest gathering of WordPress folks in the community and attract a lot of attention from the Media and our partners/sponsors. One of the biggest issues with becoming bigger is the need for more money and therefore more sponsoring activity, while still relying on the work of volunteers to organize this. Selling all the required sponsor spots gets harder and harder from year to year due to inflation and corporate consolidation in the WordPress ecosystem.

Those volunteers are facing the same discussions and questions from year to year when it comes to approaching sponsors:

  • What companies to approach for sponsorship?
  • How can we reach them? Is the list shared?
  • What are the sponsorship packages, what are the benefits to sponsors and what are some rules around them?
  • How can we make sure that sponsorship is sustainable for the community and the sponsor?
  • Why is [ACTION] allowed on WordCamp [Flagship Location] but not in WordCamp [Flagship Location]
  • How to approach this topic?
  • How to handle global sponsors for the flagship even if the rules are written down?

Each flagship is organized by those who apply to be an organizer and therefore follow the call. In the worst case, the whole team is different from the previous year’s and needs to rely solely on the documents of the previous year.

This proposal is to create an initial small task force inside the community that supports sponsorship teams; for now, this would focus on the three flagships (WC Asia, WCEUWCEU WordCamp Europe. The European flagship WordCamp event., and WCUSWCUS WordCamp US. The US flagship WordCamp event.) but have relevance to WordCamps and WordPress events, to help streamline the sponsor experience for everyone involved. The proposal is to open a call for volunteers for this task force as well as directly approach community members who might be a great fit. I’ve structured the possible tasks for a task force to work on it:

Sponsoring itself

  • Harmonize sponsoring benefits across the Flagships with fine adjustments to local e.g.: pricing, booth size, local things, …
    • Successful benefit ideas like tweets, social events, booths,…
    • Unsuccessful benefit ideas should be centrally listed.
    • Common & best practice 
  • Establish clear rules for sponsorship
    • Booth regulations
    • Handling larger companies with multiple brands
    • Designing Sponsorship packages for small businesses while ensuring availability
  • Support for Sponsors and WordCamps Global Lead
  • Crafting wording around “Partner” or “Sponsoring” not “Exhibitor” packages

Sponsor Lifecycle

  • CRM of up-to-date sponsoring companies incl. contacts besides the Global sponsors
  • Guidance for first-time sponsors
    • Crafting detailed onboarding and sponsoring documents
  • Support for “frustrated” sponsoring questioning value
    • Example: More visibility by attending than sponsoring
  • Active outreach for potential sponsors outside the current sponsors but benefit from WordPress
  • Crafting detailed onboarding and sponsoring documents

Support for Sponsor Teams

  • Mentorship for Sponsoring Teams, also available as sparring Partners – a global sponsor mentorship team.
    • Focused on Flagships
    • Available for all WordCamps
    • Trainings on 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.
  • Handbooks on how to approach local companies best
  • Collecting testimonials and ambassadors for the flagships
    • Bring them to the Media Partners 
    • Work with PR Team ahead of Call for Sponsor 
  • Support the sponsor team in the reflection of a WordCamp and centralize their feedback. 

Tooling & Processes

  • Align contract and tooling with Sponsoring benefits
  • Streamlined processes and define the same tools to use for all flagship events, or at least for each one of them
  • Include in the process a survey/inquiry for sponsors that didn’t come back to better understand why

Goals: By implementing this initiative, we aim to:

  • Foster better relationships with sponsors.
  • Attract new sponsors and grow the ecosystem. 
  • Provide a consistent, improved experience across all flagship events.
  • Ensure financial support for the growth of the WordPress community, facilitating impactful, inclusive, and rewarding WordCamps.


  • Better Mentoring for New Sponsors: Provide guidance and community insights.
  • Engage Sponsors: Encourage sponsor participation beyond sponsoring as speakers and media partners.
  • Feedback LoopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. Implement clear communication and feedback mechanisms for sponsor teams.
  • Sponsor Communication: Emphasize the importance of sponsors sharing their work through their booth, recaps and active engagement.

Next Steps

Feedback Deadline: Please provide your feedback on this proposal by July 10th, 2024.

Specific Feedback Needed: Is this initiative worth pursuing? How should the task force be staffed? What are your expectations from this task force?

Post-Feedback Actions: Based on the feedback, if there is general support, we will ask the community team for nominees and open a call for volunteers to form the task force. We aim to establish initial actions before the next sponsorship teams for WordCamp Europe and US begin their work.

Thanks again to @juliarosia @peiraisotta @_dorsvenabili @devinmaeztri for your contributions to this proposal.

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