The pages of this site should answer the most common questions about organizing a WordCamp. However, there are some questions that are asked often enough that we decided to plunk them on their own page. If there’s something you want to know about organizing a WordCamp that this site has not answered, please leave a comment on this page and we will respond to your question publicly.
Q. How do I know if a WordCamp has been approved?
A. If it’s listed on the WordCamp.org schedule and its site is hosted on WordCamp.org, you know it has been approved and is doing its best to follow the guidelines.
Q. Do I have to be an event planner to organize a WordCamp?
A. No, but some experience in this area is helpful. Each WordCamp should have an organizing team of 5-10 people; this usually allows for tasks to be divvied up into manageable areas of responsibility.
Q. If I organize a WordCamp, how do I get Matt Mullenweg to come?
A. Matt’s schedule is jam-packed, and there are often multiple events per weekend. If you’d like Matt to come, let WordCamp Central know, and they can give him a heads up. He is unable to plan event attendance more than a month in advance, though, so you should plan your schedule as if he will not be there. If he is able to attend after all, he’s usually happy to do an informal Town Hall/Q&A at the end of the event.
Q. If we can’t get Matt, what about someone else from the WordPress core team, or someone from Automattic?
A. It’s usually possible for someone from the core team (like Mark Jaquith, Jen Mylo, or Andrew Nacin) or from Automattic to attend, it will just depend on your location and date. Since the WordPress open-source project is geographically distributed (as is Automattic), there’s usually someone relatively close by. This is where your event date plays a big part: if you choose a weekend that has 4 other WordCamps, you may have to compete a bit for high-profile visitors.
Q. Do I have to be a developer to attend WordCamp?
A. No. Though some events tailor their content to one or more audience (bloggers, developers, businesses, academics, etc), most WordCamps try to have a little something for everyone. The website for your local WordCamp should post in advance who the speakers are and what their topics will be, so you can make an informed decision to attend.
Q. Can I do a track at a BarCamp/PodCamp/other event and call it WordCamp?
A. No. The use of the WordCamp name indicates that it is a standalone event dedicated to WordPress, and to prevent confusion, WordPress “tracks” within larger events such as BarCamp or other conferences are no longer called WordCamps.
Q. How long does it take to get an organizer application approved?
A. Now that we have a new system in place, you should have an answer within a couple of days. If you haven’t heard anything within a week, there may have been a problem with your application’s submission. You can contact email@example.com to check on the status if more than a week has elapsed.
Q. I see the rules regarding official involvement have a higher bar now regarding licensing of derivative code. Can my commercial plugin or theme company still sponsor a WordCamp?
A. Commercial WordPress-based businesses are welcome to sponsor or provide speakers and volunteers to any WordCamp as long as any distributed plugins or themes are 100% GPL — in other words, if you provide your users with the same freedoms that WordPress itself provides, so your customers don’t have to guess or be confused about what’s allowed — and as long as you are respecting the WordPress trademark policy. Whether you charge for these plugins or themes doesn’t matter.
Q. How much do WordCamps cost?
A. Ticket price varies by event, but ranges from free to about $20 per day. The actual costs of putting on the event are usually a fair bit higher, with the difference being offset by donations and financial support from local businesses and the broader WordPress community.
Q. Putting on a WordCamp sounds like a lot of work. Can I give myself a salary from the budget to cover the time I will lose that I could have been working on paying projects?
A. Nope. Organizing a WordCamp is considered a volunteer contribution to the WordPress project, not a paid gig. If you would like to organize a for-profit conference about WordPress, you are welcome to do so as long as you do not call it a WordCamp and do not infringe on the WordPress trademark. There is room for both WordCamps and profit-centric events in the WordPress community.
Q. Why do people organize WordCamps?
A. Organizing a WordCamp is a lot of work, but it’s also extremely rewarding. In addition to the personal and professional benefits of getting to know more people in your local WordPress community, it’s extremely satisfying to bring all these people together and remind everyone that together we are more than the sum of our parts, just like WordPress.
Have a question we didn’t answer? Leave a comment and we’ll post an answer as soon as we can.