2021: State of the Word Watch Parties

Community organizers all over the world can now organize in-person WordPress events, following local laws and safety measures. Check out our latest guidelines for in-person events!

In 2021, State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/. – the annual keynote address for WordPress presented by Matt Mullenweg, was being streamed online. This handbook page was created to help 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. organizers organize a watch party for State of the Word events.

State of the Word 2021 has concluded, and here is a recap of the event. However, you can still use the contents of this handbook to organize a retrospective State of the Word watch party.

Why organize a State of the Word watch party? 

  • If you are a meetup organizer, many folks in your meetup may be unaware about the State of the Word, and a watch party could be a great opportunity to introduce or remind them.
  • As meetup organizers slowly bid goodbye to a tough year, the watch party could be an excellent opportunity to revitalize your group, especially if you haven’t had many events this year.
  • Along with your group, you get a platform to ask questions directly to Matt.
  • And last but not least, a watch party can be the perfect opportunity to reconnect and have a blast with your WordPress friends!

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Schedule a State of the Word Watch party for your Meetup

We have made the process of scheduling a State of the Word Watch Party a lot easier. We have dedicated templates created in Meetup.com to help you schedule an event. 

Note: State of the Word 2021 has concluded. If you are still organizing a retrospective event watch party, please be sure to edit the contents of the event description to clarify to attendees that the event is past, as this template was created for organizers that were organizing the watch party on the broadcast date/time.

  1. Go to your Meetup.com page and click on the red Create Event button followed by the Create New Event button from the dropdown.
    Create new event
  2. On the right hand sidebarSidebar A sidebar in WordPress is referred to a widget-ready area used by WordPress themes to display information that is not a part of the main content. It is not always a vertical column on the side. It can be a horizontal rectangle below or above the content area, footer, header, or any where in the theme. at the top, choose the option: Start from a template.
    Start from Template
  3. You will now see two templates – one each for the in-person and online event. Pick the template that is applicable for you, depending on the meetup format you are organizing.
    Choose the template
  4. You will now see the event details pop up in the event description. Make sure you choose the date and time: (December 14, 2021: 22:00 UTC00:00 UTC (click to convert to your local timezone).
    Note: If your State of the Word is happening at an odd hour in your timezone, you can plan the event at a different time in your convenience and still organize a replay of the State of the Word stream.
  5. Add a featured imageFeatured image A featured image is the main image used on your blog archive page and is pulled when the post or page is shared on social media. The image can be used to display in widget areas on your site or in a summary list of posts. (download from here)
  6. Publish the event!
State of the Word 2021
Feel free to use this image as the featured image for your meetup.

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Organizing an Online Watch Party

The simplest way to organize an online watch party is to schedule an online event for your meetup.com group (template available) and by adding the State of the Word YouTube streaming link (available shortly on the announcement post) directly on Meetup.com. While this approach is fairly straightforward, you will miss the opportunity to connect interactively with your attendees. If your meetup has a SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. group or a WhatsApp/Telegram group though, you can connect over there. 

If you want to be more proactive, you can schedule an online event meeting using tools like Zoom or Google Meet, and broadcast the Livestream over there by screen sharing. This will allow your meetup attendees to interact with each other over video, audio, and chat, as they listen to State of the Word. There are a few other ways to host a watch party as well using Chrome Extensions and third party tools, too. 

Looking for a Zoom Pro account to host your online watch party? Request a community zoom pro account for your event, right away!

Tips for a successful online watch party

  • Make sure that you test screen and audio sharing using your video tool, along with playing back a YouTube video before the event. Try roping in some attendees and check if the audio is clear.
  • Before playing the video, make sure that captions are enabled in YouTube.
  • As the stream is going on, try restricting your interactions to chat within the video sharing tool. If attendees speak as the stream is ongoing, it might make it difficult for other participants to follow. Encourage everyone to keep their mikes muted as the stream is ongoing.

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Organizing an In-person Watch Party

As you may have heard, 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. has announced the return of in-person WordPress 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. all around the world. In other words, if your region allows in-person events and meets the guidelines for in-person WordPress events you can organize an in-person watch party for your meetup. Please note that the in-person meetups are available for:

  • Those who are vaccinated against COVID
  • Those who have recently received a negative COVID test
  • Those who have recently recovered from COVID

If your region meets these guidelines, we strongly encourage you to organize an In-person State of the Word watch party for your meetup group.

Before going ahead with the in-person meetup, let us know by filling out the In-person decision checklist – the checklist will make a recommendation on whether you can organize a meetup or not. You need not wait for our response, you can go ahead and organize the event. Try not to have more than 30 people attend a watch party meetup.

Finding a venue
You do not need a fancy venue for the watch party! All you need is a place that has a large TV screen (that can stream YouTube) OR a projector with a decent audio system. This can even be the home or office of a community member! Make sure that your venue has a decent internet connection that supports seamless playback of HD streaming video. 

Try your best to find a free venue, but if you are facing difficulties in finding a venue, try reaching out to sponsors to get a donated space. It is best to find spaces that allow social distancing practices and COVID guidelines. Brownie points if the venue allows you to serve refreshments, and if it has a separate space for socializing, and if you have guest WiFi enabled. Make sure that you post clear directions for the locations in the meetup listing, so that it is easy for attendees to locate the venue. 

Some things to consider

  • Before the event, make sure that you test the video and audio equipment. Try playing a video before the event (why not experiment with a 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. video) to see if the video is playing well and if the audio is clear. Make sure that you enable subtitles for the video. You might also want to test the internet connection at your venue and arrange a backup in case it is not sufficient.
  • If your venue has a space for socializing, encourage people to interact with each other in a way that does not interrupt the stream.
  • To make things exciting, put together some swag for your meetup. If you haven’t done so, you can request swag for your group right away.

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Request Swag for your In-person Watch Party Meetup

Once you have scheduled your in-person watch party for State of the Word, fill out this form (before November 30) so that we can ship you some swag for your meetup group for you to celebrate! Note: In view of shipping delays, please fill out the request at the earliest.

The swag request form has closed. Please note that the information we collected for swag shipments will be used only for swag shipping purposes and will be deleted by December 31, 2021.

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Tips for organizing a successful watch party

  • Plan the event in advance. It wouldn’t hurt to prepare an agenda for the event. If you want, you can have someone talk a bit about WordPress, State of the Word, etc, before the session starts.
  • Encourage your attendees to interact in the YT live chat. You can perhaps discuss amongst yourself if you have questions and ask the same to Matt in livechat as well (either individually or as a group)!
  • If there is time, plan a short, post-event retrospective – where attendees can discuss the contents of State of the Word, and their learnings.
  • Plan some fun activities around State of the Word: How about a pop quiz after the event? 
  • Encourage attendees to share about State of the Word in Social Media. We would love to see pictures from your local events (both online and offline)! Share them using the hashtag: #stateoftheword.

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Additional resources

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