State of the Word Watch Parties

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. is an annual keynote address delivered by the WordPress project co-founder, Matt Mullenweg that is streamed online for those who can’t attend in person and includes key updates about the WordPress project and community, highlights from the past year, and a look ahead at how the project will grow in the coming year.

The keynote ends with a Question and Answer time that community members are encouraged to participate in, even remotely.

Have a question to ask? Send it ahead of time to or ask during the event in the live stream chat on the WordPress YouTube channel.

If you aren’t able to attend in person, here are some tips and resources to help you host a fun watch party with your local community as we look back at the previous year and consider what a new year in WordPress will hold!

Four Reasons to Organize a State of the Word Watch Party 

  1. People in your 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. may be unaware of the State of the Word and how it impacts them. A watch party is a great way for them to experience it.
  2. A watch party is an excellent opportunity to revitalize your group as you begin planning more in-person events.
  3. You and your meetup group get a platform to ask questions directly to Matt without having to travel.
  4. A watch party can be the perfect non-religious way to end a year as you reconnect and have a blast with your WordPress friends!

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Organizing an In-person Watch Party

Finding a Venue

You do not need a fancy venue for the watch party! All you need is a place that has:

  • enough room for your community, preferably wheelchair accessible
  • a large enough screen that you can stream YouTube to
  • a decent audio system
  • a reliable internet connection that supports seamless playback of HD streaming video. 

This could even be the home or office of a community member.

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.

Bonus points if the venue:

  • allows you to serve refreshments
  • has a separate space for socializing
  • offers guest WiFi
  • convenient parking

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. 

Additional Consideration

  • 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.

Venue Support

While we encourage groups to organize watch parties using free venues if at all possible, that’s not always possible. If your group needs to rent a venue for this particular event, you can fill out the meetup venue support request form. You will still need to meet the current guidelines for this event, as for Meetup venue rental support requests:

  • meets minimum requirements for safety
  • adequate seating
  • accessible to all attendees
  • approximately $5 per person

However, you will not need to submit a bill for multiple months in one invoice, as this is a special event.

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.

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Organizing an Online Watch Party

Here are two ways to organize an online watch party. The difference is the link you share with your meetup group. Some prefer to directly share the State of the Word streaming link and interact with each other over a third-party service. Others may use a Zoom or Google Meet link unique to their group and screen share the State of the Word stream.

Both are good options. Pick what’s right for you!

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  • Schedule an online event for your group; use the template we’ve made available if you’d like
  • Add the State of the Word YouTube streaming link available on the announcement post.
  • If you’d like to chat with your group, set up a third-party application: SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at, Discord, or a WhatsApp/Telegram group. Include that link in the invitation. 

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  • Schedule an online event for your group; use the template we’ve made available if you’d like
  • Add a Zoom or Google Meet link that is exclusive to your group.
  • The host will then broadcast the Livestream to the attendees using screen sharing.
  • Meetup attendees can then interact with each other over video, audio, and chat, as they listen to State of the Word. 

There are also 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!

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Tips and Resources for a Successful Watch Party

  • Plan the event in advance. Consider having an agenda for the event. Maybe you could have someone talk briefly about WordPress, State of the Word, etc, before the session starts.
  • Interact in the YouTube live chat. You can perhaps discuss amongst yourself if you have questions and ask the same question to Matt in the live chat 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 what they learned.
  • Plan some fun activities around the State of the Word: How about a pop quiz of WordPress trivia, after the event?
  • Post your pictures, videos, takeaways, and observations on social media using the hashtag: #StateOfTheWord and #WordPress.

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Streaming Tips

  • Test screen and audio sharing using your video tool, along with playing back a YouTube video before the event. Enlist some attendees to check if the audio is clear.
  • Ensure that captions are enabled on YouTube.
  • Ask attendees to restrict their interactions to chat within the video-sharing tool. If attendees speak as the stream is playing, it might make it difficult for other participants to follow.
  • Encourage everyone to keep their mikes muted as the stream plays.

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Additional Resources

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