Online WordCamp cost guidelines and the budget review process

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WordPress events are online. Please refer to our online events handbook.

For communities COVID-19 has been more effectively contained, returning to hosting an in-person 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. event is possible, with caution, using the resources provided. If you plan to move forward with an in-person meetup, you must use the provided checklist.

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 2021 Global Sponsorship program does not cover online WordCamps and is meant to support Meetup groups. In other words, global sponsorship funds will not be available for online WordCamps happening in 2021. WordCamps will have to rely on local sponsorships to support their online events and will need to be judicious about their expenses.

Production and Captioning Production and Captioning

Organizers have three 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 may be helpful to 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.

Please note: Identified vendors could be expensive. Before you work with an identified vendor, consider whether you will be able to raise sufficient funds through local sponsorships to match production expenses, as global sponsorship grants are no longer available. It is estimated that an identified vendor could charge around US$ 15,000 for producing and captioning a 2 day, 2 track online WordCamp.

If you choose to use these identified vendors for production and captioning services, send an email to support@wordcamp.org to notify Community DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook.. When DeputiesDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. 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, and that you are able to cover vendor costs through local sponsorships, 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.

If identified vendors are too expensive, you can work with a local production vendor or recruit volunteers to wrangle your online WordCamp.

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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. Depending on your local situation, a local vendor could be cheaper than an identified vendor, which could also be a reason for you to choose a local vendor. As with the case of identified vendors, you will need to raise funds through local sponsorships to pay these local vendors.

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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Option 3: Recruit volunteers for video production Option 3: Recruit volunteers for video production

If the cost of hiring local or identified vendors is beyond your budget, you can always consider recruiting volunteers to handle video production and captioning. While working with volunteers for video production is slightly more complicated than hiring a vendor, it is more cost-effective and could be a great way to engage your community members. Many WordCamps such as WordCamp India 2021, WordCamp Prague 2021, and WordCamp Ogijima 2020 used volunteers for the bulk of their production.

Organizers can use tools like StreamYard, Airmeet, or OBS for recording and live broadcasting, as well as tools such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker for editing and stitching videos. The Community team also provides access to Zoom Pro accounts (which can be used for watercooler rooms, hallway hangouts, or sponsor tracks) to support organizers. Even if your WordCamp decides to recruit volunteers for video production, you can outsource some of your tasks (such as creating animations, editing, live broadcasting, etc) to external vendors, if you wish to.

If you decide to go ahead with local volunteer support, you can budget for paid tools and third-party vendor costs – if any (in case you are outsourcing any production tasks). Our only requirement is that your total event cost should be within the income being raised through local sponsorships.

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Budget Review Budget Review

When you receive the quote from any vendors you are working with, 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. You can also include costs for any tools that you plan to use for your event. Make sure that your estimated local sponsorship costs meet the cumulative expenses you have entered in the budget tool so that there is no negative variance in the budget.

However, instead of setting up a meeting to walk through your budget with you, a community deputyDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. will review your budget upon notification. As long as there are no additional questions about your budget, the deputyDeputy Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. Find more about deputies in our Community Deputy Handbook. will approve your budget and send an email to you to confirm. At this point, WPCSWordPress Coding Standards A collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) to validate code developed for WordPress. It ensures code quality and adherence to coding conventions, especially the official standards for WordPress Core. can sign the contract with your production company and any other vendors if required. 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 WordCamps. 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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