In-Person Events During COVID-19

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.

UPDATE as of July 2020: As per the latest guidelines from the Community team, all WordPress events (including WordCamps and Meetups) will be online-only till the end of 2020. We will re-evaluate these guidelines in Q1 2021. The guidelines in this handbook page refer to in-person events in 2021 and could be subject to change, based on the prevailing global situation.

In January 2020, we saw many in-person gatherings of all kinds cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As such, many 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. organizers had to decide to either cancel, postpone, or convert their event to an online format. Even though many countries lifted restrictions by May 2020 (when this handbook page was originally published), as of July 2020, the situation around the world has deteriorated considerably, making it incredibly risky to hold in-person events across the world.

After some assessment, the Community Team has decided to continue with online-only events (including both WordCamps and Meetups) until the end of the year 2020. These guidelines will be reevaluated in Q1 2021. 

Community organizers of all types have shown incredible resiliency and creativity over these past few months. As we learn more about the ways in which our various parts of the world will approach gatherings in the future, our community will need to continue to work together to adapt and adjust our in-person get-togethers, when things get back to normal. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few guidelines for future in-person WordCamp planning.

  • In order to account for the financial impact of potential cancellations, all contracts must have zero cancellation fees and any deposit must be fully refundable.
  • Speakers must all be local. While this has the added benefit of strengthening your local community, this also helps to reduce any disruptions that may come from last-minute travel changes or restrictions.
  • In the event that an in-person event is no longer possible for your scheduled event date, organizers would be strongly encouraged to switch to an online event. It’s encouraged that the organization team discuss these expectations early on and lean on their mentors to help with any training or resources to prepare for this possibility.
  • To ensure the health and safety of everyone involved, all WordCamps will have a mentor assigned. The mentor will be directly involved with decisions regarding cancellations and respecting local health authorities.
  • Organisers must adhere to government mandates regarding the size of in-person meetings and other applicable laws.

The Global Community Team is planning to keep the guidelines for holding online-only events in place until Q4 2020. Our recommendations on in-person events listed in this post are still tentative and could be subject to change, depending on the situation of the pandemic across the world. We will re-evaluate our online and in-person event guidelines in Q1 2021.

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