Online WordCamp cost guidelines and the budget review process

Due to the current global health emergency, we strongly encourage you to consider online events instead of in-person in 2020. For more information, please refer to our online events handbook.

Online WordCamps don’t need to consider physical venue fees, catering costs, etc. making them much cheaper than in-person events! Online WordCamps have two primary expenses: captioning services and production services. Because the financial complexity of online events is much lower, the budget review process for your online 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. has also been simplified.

The information in this document about online vendors is applicable only for WordCamps that have a date on the schedule or under budget review with the understanding that they’d be working with a professional vendor as on 23rd July 2020. Other online WordCamps (including those that are currently in planning) will need to find local sponsors if they wish to work with vendors. We will be updating the handbook to reflect the latest information, shortly. You can find more information in the following blog post.

Production and Captioning Vendors Production and Captioning Vendors

Organizers have two options when it comes to production and captioning. Read on to learn more about those options, and how to request a budget review where needed. 

Option 1: Use identified vendors Option 1: Use identified vendors

The WordPress Community team has identified vendors that are willing to produce and caption WordCamps around the world, so if your WordCamp is in English, it is highly recommended that you work with these vendors. They have successfully provided livestream services for many years, and have recently assisted organizers to bring a number of WordCamps online.

If you choose to use these identified vendors for production and captioning services, send an email to support@wordcamp.org to notify Community Deputies. When Deputies receive this email, they will request some basic info about your WordCamp, and put you in touch with the vendors. You’ll work with the production company and captioning service to receive an estimate and invoice. Please use these to fill out your preliminary budget. As long as you don’t have any other expenses outside of production and captioning services, you can submit your budget for review, and it will be readily approved, no budget review meeting necessary! Any extra budget items will be discussed over email. Then, after you have filled out your WordCamp listing, your WordCamp will move to the official schedule

You can submit invoices for the production and caption vendors through your WordCamp website dashboard like normal.

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Option 2: Find local vendors Option 2: Find local vendors

The identified vendors provide services in English, so the Community team will also support your decision to work with a local vendor who speaks your local language. 

If you decide to select a local production company and captioning service, you’ll need to request quotes from your production company and captioning vendor (see this page for more information about selecting and working with a production company). WordCamps try to maintain lean event budgets, so to help you better estimate these costs, here are the ranges that the identified vendors have quoted: 

  • Production Company: depending on the complexity of tracks, our vendors have estimated that it could take between $600-$1,300 USD to produce one track, per day. 
  • Captioning: depending on location, our vendors have estimated that it could take between $600-$1,800 USD to provide captioning services for one track, per day. 

Please aim for cost-effective quotes within these ranges when negotiating with your local vendor.

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Budget Review Budget Review

When you receive your quote, use those estimates to fill out the preliminary budget in your WordCamp dashboard, and submit that for review, similar to how you would for an in-person WordCamp. 

However, instead of setting up a meeting to walk through your budget with you, a community deputy will review your budget upon notification. As long as there are no additional questions about your budget, the deputy will approve your budget and send an email to you to confirm. At this point, WPCS can sign the contract with your production company and any other vendors. As long as these steps are complete, and you have filled out your WordCamp listing, your WordCamp will be moved to the official schedule. 

You can submit invoices for your production and caption vendors through your WordCamp website dashboard like normal.

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Additional considerations Additional considerations

Duration of event

Online WordCamps are typically 2 full days of content, with 5-6 hours of sessions constituting a day (Contributor/Workshop days are excluded). For example:

  • 3 day event, 3 hours of sessions per day = 9 hours (equivalent to 2 days)
  • 2 day event, 3 hours of sessions per day = 6 hours (equivalent to 1 day)
  • 2 day event, 5 hours of sessions per day = 10 hours (equivalent to 2 days)

Additional Zoom accounts

If you need additional Zoom accounts for your WordCamp (e.g. for a Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/.), please fill out this form. Except in special circumstances, WPCS does not cover the cost of additional Zoom accounts. 

Things that are never included in the budget

  • Design services
  • Special perks/gifts for members of the organizing team or vendors
  • Bribes
  • Emcees

Sponsorship

When fundraising for essential expenses, if online booths are included as a sponsor benefit, it’s still going to be important to clearly differentiate between sponsor “spaces” and community event “spaces.” Intermingling the two is confusing for attendees, so all organizing teams should avoid listing sponsor-generated content in a way that implies that it’s part of the event’s main schedule.

Swag and other WordCamp Collateral

We have paused plans to spend money on swag, T-shirts, or other typical WordCamp collateral. It’s important to change our frame of reference for what’s necessary to make online events, away from the WordCamp model. Just because we did things a certain way for WordCamps, doesn’t mean it’s a high priority for online events.

A word about online event platforms

There are a lot of popular event platforms out there, and you might be wondering why those platforms aren’t being recommended. At this time, none of these tools are fully accessible, so they are not a good fit for WordCamp. If you come across any other platforms that you think might be a good fit for WordCamps and are fully accessible, please let the Community team know by emailing support@wordcamp.org. 

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