A collection of videos to inspire you

WordPress Meetups are an essential part of the WordPress Community as well as the long-term self-learning path of any WordPress Professional. Local Meetups are varied and have different flavors — culturally and from a topic standpoint. We’ve put together a collection of resources and videos about what makes a Meetup a great experience for it’s members. We hope you’ll be inspired to attend and also give back to your local WordPress Meetup! Check out these helpful resources and videos for inspiration and tips:

  1. The WordPress and Open Source Philosophy
  2. Why you should attend a Meetup
  3. Improving Your Meetup

The WordPress and Open Source Philosophy

WordPress is a free and open source software used to build websites and blogs also called as “CMS” (Content Management System) which is available at WordPress.org. You don’t have to be a coder to use WordPress and being open source helps. It has one of the largest open source communities and WordPress now powers 28% of all the websites on the internet. Four open-source principles:

  • The freedom to use the software for any purpose.
  • The freedom to change the software to suit your needs.
  • The freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbours.
  • The freedom to share the changes you make.

Andrea Middleton: Stronger Together – How WordPress Communities Are Built The WordPress community is built and maintained by volunteers, using the same methods — and many of the same tools — that are used to make WordPress itself. In this session, you’ll get a look at the WordPress community’s “source code” and learn how to contribute to the growth of your local community — or create a community if you don’t already have one.

Aaron Campbell: Community – Getting Involved You love WordPress? Want to pitch in and help out? Not sure how? It doesn’t matter if you’re a designer, a developer, a translator, or just someone that uses WordPress on your own site. This presentation talks about how you can help make WordPress better.

Winstina Hughes: Community Spark – How To Start a Discussion on Community Engagement Council meetings sit empty until a road closes, a subway schedule changes, or property taxes increase. Suddenly, meetings are packed with concerned residents. It’s often too late by that time. Use WordPress.com as an interactive digital communication tool to engage the public before meetings are crowded. Incorporate the public’s voice in your local planning process with simple steps outlined in this session.

Josepha Haden: Communities and The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense If you’ve ever had experience growing a community (WordPress, Open Source, or otherwise), you know that every community has its ups and downs. From trolls in comments sections, face to face name calling, and general toxic personalities, no group is perfect and no one knows how to deal with everything. In this talk, we will discuss the basic principles of healthy communication as laid out by Suzette Haden Elgin and how you can apply it to your community growth to keep your community happy and engaged all while keeping you safe and healthy.

Marc Benzakein: From Homeless to Hopeful Throughout my years as a WordPress Developer, I’ve watched a Community grow and thrive by looking to lift others first before lifting themselves. In my talk, I’ll share the story of how I was able to leverage the knowledge I had, along with the relationships I’ve built throughout my time in the Community to help children who had no place to go when their families fell apart. My goal is to show you how you can take something that’s bigger than you (the Community) and use it to change lives for the better.

A quick look at the Swedish WordPress community – Johan Falk Last year was important for our local WordPress community, and we’re excited for the possibilities that 2017 brings. We will talk about our current state and discuss how we can improve. We’ll also have a couple of exciting surprise announcements!

The WP Crowd: #WPLife 1 – WordPress Community This week Roy talks about how important the WordPress community is to me. It is how he became the developer he is today, and how The WP Crowd was formed! What are your experiences? Made some good friends along the way?

Morten Rand-Hendriksen: Empathy and Acceptance in Design and Community Working on and with the web is engaging in that most human of endeavors: Communication. Even so, it’s easy to forget that the people we interact with and those who access and interact with our creations are just that: People. Learn how to make empathy and acceptance driving forces for your interactions and designs to build great informational experiences for everyone.

Andrea Rennick: WordPress – Changing Lives A look at people in our community that have had their lives changed by being involved with WordPress.

Shayda Torabi: 5 Ways WordPress Can Change Your Life People are doing amazing things with WordPress every day. Whether it’s your friend at an agency down the road, or a designer across the world, WordPress is transforming peoples lives. It’s empowering. Whether you’re looking for ways to grow your business or trying to get more connected in your city, I believe that the tools to be successful exist within the WordPress community. I’m going to share insights from my experience at over 30 WordCamps, and teach you ways in which I believe you can build key business relationships while helping contribute your own story to the WordPress community. You showed up today, don’t you want to make the most of your weekend?

Rian Rietveld: WordPress Is What We Make Of It You do not have to be a rockstar coder to contribute to WordPress. You can help in many ways, such as translation, captioning, documentation, code, testing, and support. Discover how you can contribute to WordPress and what you and the community get back to.

Rich Robinkoff: Take Care of Each Other – How to Contribute to WordPress Without Writing Code So much attention is paid to the code that goes into making WordPress a stellar product, but you don’t hear much about the human side of it. While you will find the occasional blog post or random tweet talking about mental health and happiness in the WordPress community, most overlook the best way to contribute to WordPress…paying attention to your mental and physical health, and taking care of each other. Give back to WordPress by stepping back from the code and look around you.

Building #WordPress Community Through Meetups Join some community members talking about their experiences building up their local meetup

Why You Should Attend a Meetup

Attending a WordPress Meetup is a great way to learn more about WordPress, as well as meet other WordPress users to connect with, and contribute to the WordPress community in meaningful ways. There’s always more to learn and do with WordPress and the best way is to get involved with your local WordPress Meetup. There are WordPress Meetups for all levels of users — from beginners to professionals.

Kel Santiago Pilarski: Contributing to WordPress for Business, Profession & the Community This talk shares the impact of WordPress contributions to business, professional growth & our community. The four pointers “Five For The Future”, “Where to contribute”, “Community” and “Other contributions” give a walkthrough that may let you discover what you can enjoy sharing to WordPress & continue doing it & inspire others to share too.

Ricky Blacker: How WordPress Changed My Life!: How WordPress Changed My Life! – WordCamp Sydney 2016 This is the story of how Ricky became involved with WordPress, and the WordPress community, and also how attending WordCamp Sydney 2014 changed my life.

Marc Gratch: How To Make The Most Out Of The WordPress Community The WordPress community is full of other users just like you! Regardless of how you use WordPress there are likely other folks in the community doing similar things with varying levels of experience. From total beginner to Advanced Developers, Discover ways to get involved while leveling up your skillset.

Naoko Takano: The Japanese WordPress Community Did you know Japanese is the second active locale based on the number of active WordPress installs, following the default US English? In this talk, Naoko will share some stories from the Japanese WordPress Community to demonstrate what it takes to grow a local community.

Rich Robinkoff: Invest in WordPress by Investing in Yourself: The State of Wellness in the Community So much attention is paid to the code that goes into making WordPress a stellar product, but you don’t hear much about the human side of it. While you will find the occasional blog post or random tweet talking about mental health and happiness in the WordPress community, most overlook the best way to contribute to WordPress…paying attention to your mental and physical health, and taking care of each other. Give back to WordPress by stepping back from the code and looking at the world around you.

Luca Sartoni: Unite and Prosper – How WordCamp Europe Helped Reinvigorate WordPress Communities Three years ago, WordCamp Europe was held for the very first time. But besides bringing together thousands of people from all over the world, this international event had another unforeseen result. WCEU gave a few local WordPress communities unexpected momentum as a consequence of the unique environment it created. As a co-organizer of WCEU 2015 and a member of the Italian WordPress community, I will trace the extraordinary journey from stalling local community to thriving ecosystem of meetups and enthusiastic members, using real case studies from the German and Italian WordPress communities.

Shayda Torabi: How Giving Back to WordPress Grows My Network Communities—like the one we have in WordPress—don’t just happen overnight. For them to be successful, they take people to show up, contribute back, grow with it and most importantly to incorporate new people into the fold. It is ongoing, it requires attention and it needs people like you and me to speak up. A small fraction of people carry the weight of helping it thrive, but the great thing is that despite all that, we all benefit from the community no matter who contributes. In this talk I will cover some known, and unknown tips and tools for making the community work for you and your business, and also help to put back more into the community than what you take from it.

WordPress Community: Giving Back at a Nonprofit Hackathon This week on WPblab we’ll be talking with Natalie MacLees and Alex Vasquez of websiteweekend.la a non-profit hackathon that pairs digital creatives with local non-profits.

Community Service Through WordPress This episode we’ll be discussing doing community service work using WordPress. From hackathons to community website drives we’ll inspire you to get involved and help a non-profit in your area.

Improving your Meetup

Whether you host or attend a WordPress Meetup, there are a number of things you can do to help improve your local Meetup. Some easy things you can do, for example, are to invite a friend to attend with you, or maybe offer to learn with someone else from your Meetup, or simply help share promotional materials with your friends and co-workers. If you are a more experienced WordPress user, you can offer to help less experienced users or maybe give a guest presentation (if you’re not already the presenter) on an interesting WordPress topic.

Francesca Marano: The rebirth of the Italian community In 2015 a chain of encounters led a group of strangers to reorganize the WordPress Italian Community. After endless hours on Slack, we have regular monthly meetups in half a dozen cities, Contributors meetings and at least 3 WordCamps planned for 2016. This is our story and we hope it can be your community’s story too.

Sergey Biryukov: Managing a local WordPress community Tips and tricks from my experience of managing the Russian WordPress community for 8+ years.

Judi Knight: Starting / Growing your WordPress Meetup Community What are the ingredients needed to create a committed WordPress Community in your city. Learn secrets to choosing topics, getting speakers, creating camaraderie and keeping people active and involved. Then ask your questions!

Sam Hotchkiss: Be Part of the Global WordPress Community Sam Hotchkiss took a few minutes at WordCamp Mumbai 2015, to speak about the Global WordPress Community and the different ways of contributing to WordPress. So head to http://make.wordpress.org and get started!

Shayda Torabi: You Have Two Hands Community – WordPress doesn’t just happen overnight. For them to be successful, they take people to show up, contribute back, grow with it and most importantly to incorporate new people into the fold. It is ongoing, it requires attention and it needs people like you and me to speak up. A small fraction of people carry the weight of helping it thrive, but the great thing is that despite all that, we all benefit from the community no matter who contributes. In this talk I will cover some known, and unknown tips and tools for making the community work for you and your business, and also help to put back more into the community than what you take from it.

Taco Verdonschot: Your Local Meetup is Only a Few Steps Away This talk consist of two parts. 1. Attending and organizing a local meetup. What is it that makes the tech industry so eager to meet up? Why are you here at WordCamp Torino? What hidden treasures can be found when attending a gathering of developers? What value do we all get from it? Even though there isn’t a single answer to answer all these questions, I’ll give a couple of answers to help you understand. 2. Organizing a local meetup So what if there’s no local meetup to attend? I’ll give some basic tips and tricks to help you start your own, successfully!

Dee Teal: Keys to Growing & Developing your WordPress Meetup Many of us first got into the WordPress Community through MeetUps. Looking back at WordSesh tips on WordPress Meetups we see how to make it happen.

WordSeshTV – Growing your WordPress Meetup Many of us first got into the WordPress Community through MeetUps. Looking back at WordSesh tips on WordPress Meetups we see how to make it happen.

Promoting your Meetup

Promoting a WordPress Meetup is so much more than setting up a Meetup page. The Marketing Team has crowdsourced some of the things that have worked. We hope that this advice is helpful. Please note that these are suggestions, not requirements. Every community has their own nuance and flavor.

Each Meetup should have a static, repeatable event message that gets edited when a speaker or special event is planned. Also, will newcomers understand what your Meetup is about? How about new-to-WordPress people? Is it a class or a discussion? Have fresh eyes take a look at your Meetup page. Would a newcomer be able to easily find all information?

Familiarity eases anxiety for new people. Be sure Meetup organizers are included in, distinguishable, and tagged on group photos, when possible. Familiar faces and knowing who’s “in charge” diminish social anxiety for many.

Here are some suggestions from the Marketing Team (Original Community Blog Post)

WordPress Meetup Tips & Tricks

  1. Blog after each event on your WordPress Meetup’s web property.
    • Post on Facebook Page.
    • Tweet.
  2. Make the event on a consistent basis, regardless of attendance (3 or more works, etc.)
  3. Make the event known (ie announce the Meetup) on Meetup.com at least two weeks in advance. Chapter Meetup events are visible in the WordPress dashboard (after 4.8), so the title of your Meetup becomes very important.
  4. If you don’t have a Facebook Page for the Group and/or Facebook Group, Twitter, then post on your own Facebook Profile.
  5. Consider creating Social Media accounts for your Meetup
    • Twitter
    • Facebook Page
    • Pinterest
  6. Get support from other local Meetups specially Open Source project Meetups. It helps if organizers or members attend other Meetups, too.
    • JavaScript Meetups
    • PHP Meetups
    • UX/Usability Meetups
    • Digital Marketing Meetups
  7. Taking group photos after the event or during the event and then posting on social helps with people feeling included. Ask for volunteer Meetup members to take photos, great way to get them involved! Also, make sure Meetup organizers are included in, distinguishable and tagged on group photos when possible. Familiar faces and knowing who’s “in charge” diminishes social anxiety for some. Perhaps feature organizers in a banner image on the Meetup page.
  8. Weeknight meetings that have a meal provided help with attendance — especially those coming straight from work or who have child-care issues.
  9. Be sure to comment on the Meetup event when someone says they can’t make it or whatever. Pay attention to those Meetup.com notifications.
  10. After the Meetup click “good to see you” for everyone who was there.
  11. Greet people when they enter. If you have more than one organizer this can help a lot with making people feel welcome — especially new people.
  12. Make sure your own (as an organizer and/or attendee) Meetup profile is filled out (with a recent photo).
  13. When you are launching one of the things you want to consider is creating campaigns so people can join the event.
  14. Ask speakers to promote their upcoming Meetup talk/presentation/workshop on their site and social media accounts.
  15. Include a banner image on your WordCamp showcasing Meetup organizers or a post introducing the link between Meetup and the WordCamp which shows the organizers the day of or before the WordCamp starts.
  16. Filming presentations held in the Meetup and posting them on YouTube (or even a closed Facebook group) can be helpful for promotion. Even a 1-minute video posted showing what things happened at the meeting can help.

Need even more ideas? You can find them in this blog post!

WordPress Events in the Dashboard

Since WordPress 4.8, there has been Dashboard widget showing upcoming local events. The widget shows upcoming WordCamps and meetup events inside wp-admin, making it easier for people to find out what’s happening in their local communities.

If a site has multiple users, each one will be shown the events that are close to their individual location. The dashboard widget will try to automatically detect their location, but they’ll also be able to enter any city they like. Users can click on a pencil icon and type in the location of their choice. Automatic location detection and the event data for the plugin is provided by an api.wordpress.org endpoint.

The radius for pulling events from users location is 100 kilometers for meetups and 350 kilometers for WordCamps. Events for each location are cached for 12 hours.

How can I attend an event that I see in the WordPress Events and News widget?

If you see an event on the Events and News widget that you would like to attend, just click on the event name to be taken to a page with more information. You’ll be able to RSVP for the meetup event via meetup.com, or buy a ticket for a WordCamp on the local WordCamp website. If you have any trouble, you can email support@wordcamp.org for more information. And welcome to the WordPress community!

I belong to a WordPress meetup group, and our events don’t show up on the widget! Is it broken?

Only groups that are part of the WordPress meetup chapter program are listed on the widget. If your local group’s events aren’t showing up, it’s possible that it just hasn’t joined the chapter program yet! Joining is free, and requires following a few good-faith rules that were created by a group of volunteer meetup organizers. Information on joining the WordPress meetup program can be found here.

What information is collected, and what is it used for?

The plugin sends each user’s timezone, locale, and partially anonymized IP address to api.wordpress.org, in order to determine their location, so that they can be shown events that are close to that location. If the user requests events near a specific city, then that is also sent. The data is not stored permanently, not used for any other purpose, and not shared with anyone outside of WordPress.org, with the exception of any conditions covered in the WordPress.org privacy policy.

How to debug functionality and report a bug?

Following instructions and details are bit developer orientated. If you don’t feel comfortable with code and technical terms, the #community-events Slack channel is the place to get help and report problems with WordPress Events functionality.

Before submitting a bug report, please check that you are not in a local development environment and expecting Events API to detect your location. That will not work, since location detection can’t be done with IP address of local environment. Currently, the ip2location database is used as the source for detection and the data is updated oncea month.

On the Dashboard side, the Events widget saves a few database records to store necessary data. One is `community-events-location` inside `wp_usermeta`, which stores either the location detected or the location manually set by each user. The other record is a transient to store the cached event data. That transient is shared across users, so if you have 500 users, but they’re all in Seattle, then there will only be 1 transient to cache the events for all of them.

If you are availabe to add plugins and read error logs, add this plugin to your `mu-plugins` https://core.trac.wordpress.org/raw-attachment/ticket/41217/log-community-events-requests.php. It will give you the exact api.wordpress.org/events URL that is being queried, making it easier to troubleshoot parameters.

Possible bugs can be discussed in #meta-wordcamp on Slack and reported in Meta Track ticket if the bug seems to be in the Events API. Bugs in Dashboard widget can be reported in Core Track.

Incident Reporting

To report a code of conduct-related issue, email report@wordcamp.org. Emails sent to this address will go to a private mailbox on the global community team’s Help Scout instance, visible only to deputies on an incident response squad.

A stand-alone Incident Reporting form is also available, to make it easier for attendees and community members to report issues that come up with their local community organizers, to someone other than their local community organizers.

If the incident response squad receives a report that looks like it could be handled locally — for example, between attendees at a meetup event — a member of the global community team will get in touch with local community organizers to offer assistance.

If the report is *about* a community organizer, then we’ll reach out to the concerned parties and work to resolve the situation.

If the report is about behavior that didn’t happen at an “official” event (which is to say, a chapter meetup event, WordCamp, or other workshop organized as part of a global community team program), we’ll request permission to pass the report along to the team it involves (or to the Escalation Team, currently made up of Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Helen Hou-Sandi, Tammie Lister, Aditya Kane, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, and Jenny Wong).

Currently the people who have access to this private mailbox are: Andrea Middleton, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, Cami Kaos, Hugh Lashbrooke, Aditya Kane, Courtney Patubo-Kranzke, and Rocío Valdivia.

The incident response squad tries to respond to all reports within 72 hours of receiving the report. Resolving the issue reported may take as long as 2-3 months, depending on the nature of the issue.

WordPress 15th Anniversary Celebrations

The WordPress 15th anniversary will be on May 27, 2018 — let’s get ready to celebrate!

Schedule a party

WordPress anniversary parties are a great way to bring local communities together, and easy to organize. Most of the work involves finding a space to gather that’s easily accessible, free (or really, really inexpensive), and safe. Here are some ideas from past anniversary parties:

  • a picnic at a public park
  • a gathering at a family-friendly pub, restaurant, mall food court, library, or community center
  • a potluck at a community member’s home

Lots of groups like to share a birthday cake with the WordPress logo on it — there are logo files you can download on the WordPress 15th anniversary site. There are some other DIY anniversary decoration files on that page as well — get creative, show off your local flair, and have fun with it!

Once you’ve selected a location and a time, you can use the WordPress 15th Anniversary event template on meetup.com to schedule your event. This will help your event show up on the map displayed on wp15.wordpress.net.

After clicking the “Schedule” link, you should see an option to “Schedule from a template”:

Once you click on “Schedule from a template,” a pop-up should come up with two options. Select the WordPress 15th Anniversary Party Template and customize as necessary!

Make sure the description of the event contains the term “#wp15” somewhere; otherwise the WP15 website won’t be able to identify it as a WP15 event. If you’ve added “#wp15” and your event still isn’t showing up on the map after a few hours, then please email support@wordcamp.org with the URL of the event, so that we can add it.

 

Request WordPress 15th Anniversary swag

Once you’ve scheduled your celebration on meetup.com, you can request your special WordPress 15th anniversary swag pack, which includes sticker sheets and party balloons.

Please note that the deadline to request anniversary swag in order to arrive before May 25 has passed. Requests received after May 1 might not arrive by May 25, though the chances are better in North America (Canada and USA).

Information collected for swag shipments will be used only for anniversary swag shipping purposes, and will be deleted by May 31, 2018.

Request financial support for venue rental

We encourage groups to organize their parties using free venues if at all possible.

However, if your group needs to rent a venue for this particular event, you can fill out the meetup venue support request form — the current guidelines will apply for this event as for other venue rental support requests — meets minimum requirements for safety, adequate seating, and accessibility; under $5 per person — except we won’t ask to be billed for multiple months in one invoice. 🙂

On the day

If you’re meeting at a place that is unusual for your group, make sure to post clear directions and maybe even put out some signs to make it easy to find the party.

Share your celebration with the WordPress world by posting photos or videos using the #wp15 hashtag. All #wp15 posts will be aggregated and shared real-time on the WordPress 15th Anniversary website, which will be launched in April 2018.

When a Group Leaves the Chapter Program

Sometimes a group will leave the chapter program. Reasons include:

  1. The lead organizer needs to step down and cannot find a replacement.
  2. The group hasn’t had an event in 6 or more months, and the organizer doesn’t have plans to organize another event.
  3. A group decides they no longer want to be part of the chapter.

In the first two cases, the Community Team makes an effort to find new organizers for the group, and if that effort doesn’t result in a new organizer volunteering, the group will be removed from the chapter program.

When a Meetup group is removed from the WordPress chapter account, WordPress steps down as the organizer. WordPress will no longer pay the dues for the account since WP is no longer the owner of the group.

Since there will also not be any other organizers, no one else will be charged dues until another member becomes the organizer. If a group becomes active again, and and the new or now-active organizers would like to re-join the chapter, they should complete the Meetup Interest Form.

Suggestions for Meetup Content

Meetups are an important part of the WordPress experience. It’s good to meet people, build networks, and learn new skills. But what if you feel like your Meetup is stuck? The Marketing Team has put together some ideas to help.

What are some Meetup Formats?

  • Invite speakers from other Meetups to deliver their session remotely, using Zoom or Hangout.
  • Play talks from WordPress.tv. during the Meetup.
  • Lightning talks are a great way to help new speakers and encourage participation.
  • Q & A sessions at Meetups are always a good way to help the audience with speciifc questions and find out where they are.

Meetup Topic Categories

WordPress Core

  • New Plugin
  • New Skill
  • New tech/system
  • Design
  • Localization
  • WordPress Security
  • Changing Themes and The Struggle with Shortcodes
  • How to use the Customizer in WordPress Themes
  • Page Builders: The Good, The Bad, The Needs Improvement
  • Hackathon Night — Bring your worst problems, we’ll fix them.
  • JavaScript Libraries and WordPress Theme Development
  • Leveraging the REST API in your WordPress Site

WordPress Customization

  • Design customization
  • Design for Accessibility: Color Blind, Nearsightedness, and Vision-impaired
  • Internationalizing And Localizing Your WordPress Theme
  • Customize WordPress Child Themes and it’s importance

WordPress Experience

  • New experience that you learn throughout the journey of WordPress
  • Support
  • Giving back
  • Community
  • Backup Solutions
  • Best Practices
  • Site Speed for Developing Environments (3G, 2G)
  • Must-needed plugins for nonprofits, small business, blogs
  • Moderated Forums: Why have password-protected on-site forums instead of a blog or Facebook Group?
  • If SEO is more than a plugin, how do I start to rank?
  • Content Marketing: Long-form versus Short-form
  • Building Your First Plugin
  • The Importance Of Github To Every Developer
  • Gutenberg and my thoughts!

WordPress For End Users/ Bloggers

  • Support
  • Must-needed plugins for blogs
  • Project Management Tools for the Freelancer blogger
  • How often should I blog?
  • PHP What? An Introduction to the beginner.
  • What is WordPress Really? An introduction to LAMP.
  • Teaching Tech to Kids
  • WordPress Development for Beginners: Getting Started

WordPress as Business

  • Why Accessibility Matters to a Small Business Site
  • Support
  • Project Management Tools for the Overworked Freelancer
  • Partnering Up: Building Sites and Gaining New Client Work with Meetup Friends
  • If SEO is more than a plugin, how do I start to rank?
  • Content Marketing: Long-form versus Short-form
  • Building Your First Plugin
  • Mentorship Night. Let’s pair up and keep ourselves accountable to continuous learning
  • Empathy in Tech – Why Marketers should learn Dev and Devs should learn Marketing
  • WordPress as a Platform for Apps
  • Optimizing site performance
  • How to maximize conversion rate of your WordPress Plugin
  • Growth hacks: How to grow & sell premium WordPress Plugins
  • Things you can do to promote your WordPress Plugin at zero expense.

How to WordPress (Tutorial)

  • Training (ie Speaker Training – see curriculum )
  • Unique something for developers that most of the people dont know
  • Googling as a Resource for Solutions
  • How to ask for Support
  • How to Convert into https.
  • How to apply conditional logic to your forms
  • How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress
  • No Stupid Question Night. Seriously. Ask. Let’s chat.

Ways to make these talks work for you.

Full-Length Presentation

30 minutes, followed by a Question and Answer period. This is great for a deep dive into any topic. Try to mix up the type of talks each month.

This is great way for speakers who have experience talking to jump in, but newcomers also always have something valuable to say. It’s also a great way for a speaker to try out something that they want to pitch to an upcoming WordCamp, and get feedback on what to revise.

Lightning Presentation

10 Minutes followed by a Question and Answer: The Q & A can take place either right away or after several lightning talks.

This is a great way to make sure topics stay focused. It also keeps interest in the meeting if the main talk is from more of a technical angle and the lightning talk is more from a user angle or vice versa.

Super Lightning

5 Minute Presentation: Questions at Happiness Session at the end of the evening
This is essentially a top tips type of presentation. It moves super fast.

It’s also a great way for new speakers or new members of your Meetup to feel comfortable speaking. It’s low pressure.

Diversity Speaker Training Workshop

Have you ever had trouble getting women and other underrepresented groups to speak at your meetups and WordCamps?

Check out the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training workshop: https://make.wordpress.org/training/speaker-training

Variations of this workshop have been run in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Montréal, New York City, Toronto, and Brighton, and all had a significant increase in the number of WordCamp speakers who identify as women. Vancouver and Montreal for example have had at least 50% for 3 years in a row, and in 2017 Seattle had the highest ratio so far, with 60% women speakers.

The global community team has a working group available to train people to run the workshop and provide the materials, and we want to hear from you! To let us know if you’re interested in conducting this workshop in your community, please fill in this form:

Contributor Day

So you want to host a contributor day at your WordCamp. Awesome!

The Global Community Team thinks contributor days are great and would love to see more WordCamps hosting contributor days. Below is an outline of what to expect and what to plan for.

Roles

Contributor Days generally need two people to lead things: one to organize the logistics and one to organize the contributor teams (see below) and lead the day of the event.

Event planning is not easy for everyone, so it is easiest to combine the organization of the contributor day logististics (venue, food, etc) with the WordCamp logistics.

As far as organizing the day-of, the best person will be someone local to the community who has contributed to WordPress before, regardless of their area of contribution. Further below, we will provide information on exactly what that role entails and how to lead individual areas of contribution.

Before the Contributor Day

Contributor days should be free. While everyone gets value from contributor days, it is important that new contributors feel welcome and invited. Paying to contribute makes them less interested and is not great anyway because we are asking them to give up a day for WordPress. That means you will need to build the cost of the contributor day into your budget, including venue, lunch (see below), and any other expenses.

Contributor days are for everyone, on every experience level. Even someone who knows very little about WordPress can contribute by answering support questions. The exception is, perhaps, focused WordCamps (i.e. Developer WordCamps) where attendees are expected to know a bit about development, and thus the accompanying contributor day can be mostly developer-focused. Even then, it is useful to have a plan in case new contributors arrive who are not developers. Make sure you emphasize this point in all your communication with potential attendees.

Attendance will be higher if the contributor day is after the WordCamp, not before. During your WordCamp, you will be able to heavily promote the contributor day, resulting in more enthusiasm for WordPress. Attendees feel most excited about WordPress right after a WordCamp. Use that excitement to encourage them to attend the contributor day.

Post multiple times about your contributor day. Your WordCamp blog is a great way to get the word out about the contributor day. Many people will miss the first blog post… and the second… post four weeks ahead of time about the contributor, then three weeks. At two weeks, start allowing sign-ups (see below).

Post a separate sign-up form for your contributor day. WordCamps that have combined the sign-up for the WordCamp itself and the contributor day have been disappointed with the lack of attendees. It is standard in free software for contributors to “over commit and under deliver”. The same is true for contributor days. A second sign-up form requires more effort – and explicit effort – from a potential attendees and will give you a better idea of how many people will attend.

If possible, allow attendees to “just show up” to contributor day. Sometimes this is not possible due to venue requirements, but encouraging attendees at your WordCamp to “just show up” will increase attendance and, again, lets you promote the day during your WordCamp.

Remind attendees to bring their laptops (or tablets). It seems logical, but many people do not realize they will need their laptops (or a tablet) to contribute. Remind them both on the website and in any emails about contributor day.

The Contributor Day

Attendance will be lower than planned. Because contributor days are free – and sign up is free – attendance will be lower than your sign ups. This is true with all free or inexpensive events.

Do not start your contributor day before 10 a.m. Expecting attendees to wake up in time for a contributor day the morning after a WordCamp after party at even 10 a.m. is hard. We recommend starting at 11 a.m. or even noon, with your free lunch at 1 p.m. or so.

Provide a free lunch. It is an added cost, but a worthwhile one. Of course it is not always possible (due to budgets) to provide a free lunch, but if you can, it is  very helpful in convincing people to attend. Typically, pizza or something simple that can be ordered when you know how many are in attendance is the provided lunch, but we would suggest something more creative like sandwiches or burritos. If you can not provide lunch, you should at least provide a snack and beverages.

Likewise, provide free coffee, water, and/or soft drinks. In the U.S., Starbucks provides cartons of hot coffee at a reasonable charge. Water is also invaluable to have on hand in the form of cheap bottled water or an easily accessible drinking fountain with cups.

Pick three or four areas to focus on. There are a lot of ways to contribute. Unless you are planning on having a very large contributor day, it is best to focus on a handful of ways to contribute. The standard three are core, support, and docs. Depending on available contributor leads and location, you may wish to include theme reviews, meta, or polyglots as well. Each team has a page on how to contribute at a contributor day. The contributor leads should rely heavily on those pages if they are not familiar with contributing to that area.

Give a preview of the focus areas. Each contributor lead should introduce their focus area and talk a little bit about what people will be working on if they join that group.

What areas can people contribute to?

There is a complete list at make.wordpress.org, but below is a list, along with links to how to get started with that team at a contributor day. For each team you are planning on supporting at your contributor day, you will want to have someone familiar with contributing to that group and familiar with the contributor day page (a group lead). Different groups will do different things, but your group lead should be prepared for both experienced contributors and new contributors.

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  • Core – There are generally two different groups at a contributor day: those who have contributed to core before and those who have not. It is usually best to split the core group into two, letting previous contributors work on new contributions and teaching new contributors how to contribute. You will probably want two leads here, but it will depend on attendance at your WordCamp. For new contributors, you need to go through a number of things, most of which are listed in the sidebar of the core contributor handbook. Be sure to cover how to use trac, what makes a good ticket, how to setup a local development environment (if needed), and general best practices (coding standards).
  • Support – Most contributions here will be to the support forums. You should go through what the support team does and focus on answering questions in the support forums. Be sure to give information on stock answers and help users setup a WordPress.org account.
  • Docs – At contributor days, docs contributions are generally editing and improving the theme and plugin developer handbooks. However, some people may want to improve the codex or contribute examples to the developer hub. Talk to a docs contributor ahead of time to make sure someone is around to give out Editor status on make/docs.
  • Theme Review Team – A full walkthrough on how to review themes is important. Likewise, be sure to contact a TRT admin so they can be around during your contributor day and can assign tickets to new contributors.
  • Mobile – The mobile handbook is generally up-to-date. For contributors to either the iOS or Android apps, they should have a knowledge of development on their respective platform. Following the handbook at that point should not be hard.
  • Polyglots – Contributing string translations to a current localization of WordPress is a great way to get started. The document linked to walks through how that should be done. If you are hosting a WordCamp in a language that does not have a full translation of WordPress (or related projects), it can be good to set one up ahead of time with the polyglots team and kick off your translation work there. The first step there will be requesting a new locale.
  • Meta – The meta team is programming-based, for the most part. The WordPress Meta Environment (based on VVV) is the best way to get setup and contribute to the open sourced projects that the meta team manages, including wordcamp.org, global.wordpress.org (rosetta), jobs.wordpress.net, developer.wordpress.org, and apps.wordpress.org.
  • Accessibility – Generally, we group the accessibility team with core so they can contribute their testing or programming expertise to core tickets with the “accessibility” focus.
  • Training –
  • Community – (Including speaker workshops)
  • Design –
  • Marketing –
  • Security –
  • Plugin Review –
  • WordPress TV –

Tip: Here is a quiz on this article. Read quizzes page if you have any questions about quizzes and how to navigate them.

Additional Preparation

Now that you’ve handled all the big ticket items for the day, there are just a few small tasks that you need to take care of. These are basic things that don’t take too long to do, but are necessary for the day to run smoothly.

Website setups

Ideally, you want WordPress to be installed and setup for all of the teams before they arrive in the morning. This means that you will need to have the FTP and database details for each of the non-profits in order to run the WordPress install on their new domains. In some cases, your host may handle this for you, but if they do not then make sure to have it sorted out before the day begins.

Connection details

This is also important for your teams to all have access to on the morning of the event – the websites may be all setup with WordPress, but the teams will need the domain FTP details as well as the WordPress admin login details. Make sure to have all of that information available for each team. Often the best way to do this is to print out the info for each team and have the printed sheet available on their tables when they arrive.

Name badges

It’s a good idea to have name badges for all of the attendees (non-profit representatives as well as participants). The simplest (and altogether cheapest) way to do that is get sheets of stickers and a few pens so that when people arrive they can write their name on a sticker and stick it on their clothing.

Stationery

Aside from the name badges, it’s helpful to have some basic stationery available for the teams. If you can get a notebook and pen for each individual that would be great, but if not then one notebook for each team is also helpful. This gives them a space to sketch designs, plan UI flows, and generally take a few helpful notes. There’s a good chance that one of your sponsors can provide branded notebooks for this, so make sure to chat to them about that.