2021: Returning to in-person WordCamps

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

For communities where COVID-19 has been more effectively contained or have easy access to COVID-19 vaccination and/or testing, 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 .

In 2020, WordCamps moved online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After many discussions, the Global Community TeamGlobal Community Team A group of community organizers and contributors who collaborate on local events about WordPress — monthly WordPress meetups and/or annual conferences called WordCamps. made a decision to help WordPress meetup organizers return to hosting in-person meetups with caution, in communities that have effectively contained COVID-19 or have vaccines and testing freely available, as on July 2021. Consequently, in September 2021, the team announced the return of in-person WordCamps following updated guidelines. This handbook page explains the steps involved in organizing an in-person 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..

The WordPress community team is not expecting nor requiring local organizers to organize in-person events, even for fully vaccinated people — we’re simply removing the barrier to doing so. Organizers can continue planning online events for their community – even if it is safe in their regions to organize in-person events or if local laws allow 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.

Guidelines for In-Person WordCamps Guidelines for In-Person WordCamps

Here are the guidelines for organizing in-person WordCamps:


  1. local public health authorities say people can gather in person, AND
  2. your region passes guidelines in Page 1 of the in-person safety checklist,

OR… If:

  1. local public health authorities say people can gather in person, AND
  2. your region doesn’t pass guidelines in Page 1 of the the in-person safety checklist, BUT
  3. vaccines or COVID tests are available for anyone who wants one in your region, 

THEN, local community organizers can (if they want to) plan in-person WordCamps for fully vaccinated, recently tested (negative), or recently recovered community members!

ELSE, local community organizers are welcome to plan and organize online WordCamps.

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How do I organize an in-person WordCamp? How do I organize an in-person WordCamp?

  1. First, check the local safety guidelines. Does your region have any local laws prohibiting in-person gatherings at this time? If so, you cannot organize an in-person WordCamp right now. Consider organizing an online WordCamp instead. 
  2. If your region allows in-person meetups, look up the local health data and use it to fill up updated the safety checklist and submit it.
  3. If the checklist recommends that you are allowed to organize an in-person event (if your region meets our health guidelines or if vaccines/testing is freely available in your area), you can go ahead and organize an in-person WordCamp. Go ahead and fill out the application, already!
  4. If the safety checklist does not recommend organizing an in-person WordCamp based on your inputs, you can still organize an online WordCamp.

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Who could attend the in-person WordCamp? Who could attend the in-person WordCamp?

If an in-person WordCamp is happening, the Community team expects that attendees (including organizers, sponsors, and volunteers) participate only if they:

  • are fully vaccinated,
  • OR recently tested negative,
  • OR recently recovered (in the last 3 months)

You will find a visual representation of the in-person WordCamp guidelines below: 

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Additional Guidelines for In-Person WordCamps Additional Guidelines for In-Person WordCamps

  • Pre-pandemic meetup communities can organize a WordCamp without the requirement of organizing several events the previous months.

This new guideline would only apply to a local community’s first WordCamp post-pandemic.
However, brand new communities would be asked to organize meetups instead of a WordCamp right away.

  • WordCamps need to be prepared to raise 100% of the expenses for their WordCamp.

The Global Sponsorship Program for 2021 does not currently include WordCamps. However, the conversation for Global Sponsorships for 2022 has begun, and funding for WordCamps will be considered. Having communities apply for a WordCamp (whether online or in person) will help add to those conversations. 

  • Venues should be fully refundable in case of any cancellation.
  • Ticket costs should be low and refundable (maximum of 25 USD per person/day)
  • In all cases, always follow local health guidelines!

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Recommendations Recommendations

  1. Experiment with format ideas (both at online and in-person events), and share with the community what you learn in the comments of this post!
  2. Avoid high expenses where possible: try to get together in a free or low cost (+ refundable) venue, encourage organizers not to provide food, and be financially responsible.
  3. Half-day WordCamps with snacks/refreshments and not a full lunch are also a good offering and a cost-effective way to organize an in-person event.

Do you want to apply to organize an in-person WordCamp following the guidelines described above? You can do it by submitting this form now!

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