Return to In-Person Events: Blue Sky Thinking

When we come together we step outside of our comfort zones and regular thinking and open ourselves to new, innovative ideas. When you’re gathered together, away from the distractions of regular life, your mind opens and creativity flows.

While there was lots of innovation around online events, COVID stopped in person events in its tracks, but that seems to be changing.

This post gives us a place to share ideas on how we can support organizers who are trying to restart in-person events in their communities.

What is Blue Sky Thinking?

Blue Sky Thinking is just another way to say “brainstorming”. The idea is simply that the sky is the limit to any ideas you might have to share. Even if it seems unachievable now, who knows when the right pieces might exist to make it possible.

So, for our purposes here, share your ideas below with kindness and compassion as your only limits.

The Goals of This Exercise

We have three goals to meet in this exercise:

  • support organizers as they navigate COVID concerns
  • help attendees feel safe and comfortable
  • offer resources and options that make being together at in person events exciting and interesting

If we don’t meet the first two, then the community is unlikely to use our ideas.

Why? The people we’re trying to bring with us have changed. This article from Andrea Middleton dives into that a little more.

The Organizers We’re Helping

As people, we’ve been through a lot. We’ve all made some painful choices and worked extra hard just to manage what used to be simple tasks. We’re tired and we’re more cautious than ever.

If we’re feeling that way in general, how much harder must it be for those organizing and attending events?

However, if our organizers feel supported and our attendees feel safe, they’ll more readily embrace ideas we’ve laid out for them to implement.

There’s a very good chance this could be achieved by continuing to clearly state our COVID guidelines and how we help organizers implement them, as well as easy to access channels for both organizers and attendees to ask questions.

It’s Time for Your Ideas to Reactivate In-Person Events

Once people are more comfortable being together, we can move one step further and help make organizing events a little easier.

Fortunately for us, WordPress has been far from idle in the pandemic. New programs like Learn and the Photo Directory have been launched, just to name a few. Along with what’s new, there are also some resources that are still relatively unknown to the community like the do_action events.

These new and existing resources could be used to help ease the weight of planning and streamline a return to events with less additional effort on our part.

But let’s not stop there!

Through brainstorming, we can look at the resources we have with new eyes, and possibly even use them as a prompt for more ideas. Who knows where your creativity and unique perspectives can take us!

This is Blue Sky Thinking after all. Don’t let what we have done or current resources limit your creativity. Any and all ideas are welcome here. How we do it or if we can do it are irrelevant. This is a purely open sandbox.

Before You Share

Remember:

  • this is asynchronous brainstorming
  • there are no wrong answers
  • be kind to fellow brainstormers
  • the discussion on implementation will come later

Guidelines:

  • Share your Concept
  • Answer what you can from this list (no pressure here)
    • Why do you think this is a good idea?
    • Who would benefit?
    • Does this meet Community team goals?
    • Does it use any existing resources?
  • Post your response by April 22, 2022

Let the brainstorming begin!

#discussion #wordcamps #meetups #brainstorming

Meetup Organizer Newsletter: March 2022

Hello everyone,

Welcome to the March 2022 edition of the 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. Organizer Newsletter. We sincerely hope all our community members in Ukraine are safe and sound. WordPress Co-Founder Matt Mullenweg shared his thoughts on Ukraine, community and WordPress in the 26th episode of WP Briefing.

To learn about the latest news and resources from the WordPress community, keep reading this month’s edition and don’t forget to share the updates with your local meetup groups! For more news from the WordPress community, check out the latest Month in WordPress.

Here’s what’s inside this issue:

  • WordPress 6.0
  • Contribute to WordPress
  • A blog for developers
  • WordPress events

🎷 WordPress 6.0 set to release on May 24, 2022

The release schedule for WordPress 6.0, the second major releaseMajor Release A set of releases or versions having the same major version number may be collectively referred to as “X.Y” -- for example version 5.2.x to refer to versions 5.2, 5.2.1, and all other versions in the 5.2. (five dot two dot) branch of that software. Major Releases often are the introduction of new major features and functionality. of 2022, has been published. As an iteration over the Go/No Go demos, WordPress leads will host a live-streamed walkthrough of features slated for the release on April 5, 2022. Follow the schedule to keep up with key dates in the next major WordPress release, and keep your local community in the loopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. https://codex.wordpress.org/The_Loop.!

While you’re waiting for WordPress 6.0, check out the WordPress 5.9.2 maintenance release which was released last week!

🤝 Contribute to WordPress

If you’re looking for new ways to get involved in the WordPress community, the following opportunities are a great way to get started. 

📷 WordPress Photo Directory gets a new Make team

The WordPress Photo Directory has a new Make team! There is currently a poll to vote for team reps and the collaboration is happening at the new #photos channel of the Make WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/.. If you’re interested, join the conversation or contribute by submitting your photos.

🏳️‍🌈 Join the #WPDiversity working group

The #WPDiversity working group is looking for volunteers, and it’s not too late to sign up. Check out this recap of the latest volunteers meeting to see the available roles. Spread the word in your local community, and if you’re interested in joining the group yourself, go ahead and apply

Interested in widening your pool of Meetup and 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. speakers from underrepresented groups? Join the #diverse-speaker-support channel on the Make WordPress Slack.

 💻 Proposal for a new blog for developers

Birgit Pauli-Haack published a proposal to start a blog on developer.wordpress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ to share news and updates relevant to developers. Read the proposal and share your thoughts and ideas for improvements by March 18, 2022.

🌍 What’s happening with WordPress events?

We’d like to thank our global community sponsors for 2022 who make WordPress events possible! 2022 has many exciting WordPress events, both in person and online. As always, we strongly urge you to follow the mandatory safety guidelines and also learn about the legal protections available to you for in-person events. 

🎪 WordCamps on the horizon

We have plenty of WordCamps taking place this year. Below are some of the WordCamps coming up soon—feel free to attend or share them with your meetup groups!

💛 Upcoming WordPress 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.

Check out the WordPress meetups coming up in March:

📚 Support the Learn WordPress initiative

Help make Learn WordPress the official resource on WordPress! Share your knowledge with others by organizing a social learning space based on any of the Learn WordPress workshops. Alternately, use lesson plans on Learn WordPress to organize WordPress meetups in your community! See the Tuesday Training for Meetup Organizers for an overview on how to use lesson plans.

🤝 Sign-up for free to the upcoming WordPress Social Learning Spaces:

And that’s a wrap!


If you have any questions, Community Team 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. are here to help. Please email us at support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events Slack channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow and support the WordPress community—let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring each other with our contributions!

See you online soon!

#meetup-organizer-newsletter #newsletter

The following people contributed to this edition of the Meetup newsletter: @rmartinezduque, @eidolonnight, @harishanker, @mysweetcate, @webcommsat, @lmurillom.

#community-team, #wordcamps

Meetup Organizer Newsletter: February 2022

Hello, hello!

It’s hard to believe that we’re just two months into this year. Nevertheless, we have some exciting stuff to share in the February 2022 edition of the monthly 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. Organizer Newsletter. 

Last month marked a significant milestone for WordPress, not only because of the release of WordPress 5.9. As WordPress Co-Founder Matt Mullenweg announced at last year’s State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/., WordPress News also got a new look—be sure to check out the new design tomorrow (February 16, 2022), when it goes live!

Here’s what’s inside this issue:

  • New guidelines for in-person WordPress events
  • Diversity in WordPress 
  • WordPress 5.9 Joséphine 
  • WordPress events

Keep reading to learn about the latest news and resources from the WordPress community, and share them with your local meetup groups!

✅ Follow the latest safety guidelines for in-person WordPress events

Following the recent proposal for updated safety measures for WordPress events in 2022, we’ve announced new safety measures for in-person WordCamps and 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.

If your local guidelines allow in-person events, you can still host meetups. However, to ensure the safety of the community, we require you to fulfill the safety checklist for in-person WordPress. For more information, read the mandatory safety guidelines published recently.

A chart explaining the steps for hosting in-person WordPress events in 2022 while following safety protocols.

🏳️‍🌈 Help strengthen diversity in WordPress

We believe that diversity leads to a stronger, more innovative, and resilient WordPress community. On that note, the Community Team has recently published an open discussion on diversity in WordPress events. This discussion has been translated into several languages so far, including Indonesian, Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), Japanese, and Portuguese (Brazil).

If you’re comfortable sharing your experience, we want to hear from you. Please share your story by commenting on this post.

✊ Join the Diverse Speaker Training volunteers meeting 

There’s an open invitation for the Diverse Speaker Training zoom call for volunteers that will be held on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, between 5 pm and 6 pm UTC. Join the meeting to learn more about #WPDiversity and how you can contribute to creating a diverse and inclusive WordPress community.

Interested in widening your pool of Meetup and 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. speakers from underrepresented groups? Join the #diverse-speaker-support channel on the Make WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/..

🎷 WordPress 5.9 Joséphine released on January 25, 2022

Keeping with WordPress tradition, WordPress 5.9 Joséphine was named in honor of the acclaimed jazz singer Joséphine Baker. This much-awaited release holds many exciting updates, such as the introduction of blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. themes which makes full site editing a reality. For more information, read the WordPress 5.9 Field Guide and check out the talking points for WordPress 5.9!

Download WordPress 5.9 and organize an event to help spread the word among your meetup groups!

🌍 What’s happening with WordPress events?

2022 has many exciting WordPress events, both in person and online. As always, we strongly urge you to follow the mandatory safety guidelines and also learn about the legal protections available to you for in-person events.

🎪 WordCamps on the horizon

We have plenty of WordCamps taking place this year. Below are some of the WordCamps coming up soon—feel free to attend or share them with your meetup groups!

💛 Upcoming WordPress meetups

Check out the WordPress meetups coming up in February:

📚 Support the Learn WordPress initiative

Help make Learn WordPress the official resource on WordPress! Share your knowledge with others by organizing a social learning space based on any of the Learn WordPress workshops. Alternately, use lesson plans on Learn WordPress to organize WordPress meetups in your community! See the Tuesday Training for Meetup Organizers for an overview on how to use lesson plans.

And that’s a wrap! For more news from the WordPress community, check out the latest Month in WordPress


If you have any questions, Community Team 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. are here to help. Please email us at support@wordcamp.org or join the #community-events Slack channel. Thanks for everything you do to grow and support the WordPress community—let’s keep sharing knowledge and inspiring each other with our contributions!

See you online soon!

#meetup-organizer-newsletter

#newsletter

The following people contributed to this edition of the Meetup newsletter: @rmartinezduque @eidolonnight @harishanker @courane01 @evarlese @webcommsat

#community-team, #wordcamps

Updated Guidelines for In-Person WordCamps and Meetups 2022

TL;DR: The Community team has new, mandatory guidelines for all WordCamps and 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., which include following local guidelines, checking for vaccinations where legally permissible and mandatory masks. In areas where the venue cannot legally check for vaccination status, the area must pass the in-person checklist. See “New guidelines” below for full details.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the recent proposal for updated safety measures for WordPress events in 2022. It speaks volumes of the WordPress community that so many of contributors shared their thoughts on this topic.

Some background

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community team has worked to continually adapt the 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. program — a formidable challenge in this dynamic environment. I am grateful to the 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., organizers, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees who continue to support this team. 

It could make things easier if organizers were simply asked to follow local guidelines when planning a WordCamp. In reading comments on the recent post, I am reminded that many local governments are in similar situations: at the whim of when and what the next variant will bring, and debating best approaches to safety. 

For the WordPress Community team, the priority since the start of this pandemic has always been the safety of community members. 

To be clear, the Community team is not recommending safety guidelines outside of official WordPress events. That is best left to health professionals to determine. For the WordPress Community, another important consideration needs to be the health of the events program. As you might imagine, the people who support this program really, truly, deeply want events that connect and inspire WordPress enthusiasts to continue! Moving forward with in-person events that risk the health of community members is unacceptable, and also poses risks to the program itself. 

New guidelines 

It is with all of this in mind that the following new guidelines will be mandatory for all WordCamps, and all Meetups that anticipate more than 50 attendees.

  1. Follow local laws and guidelines. If your locality has suggested guidelines on top of mandatory ones, follow those too. 
  2. If you are in a location where local laws or guidelines require or permit venues to limit admission based on a person’s vaccination status and masking, then WordCamps can only happen in venues that are willing to provide staff to check for vaccination status at the door and to remind participants to wear masks during the event. 
  3. If your area or venue legally cannot check vaccination status, your area must pass the in-person checklist at the time of the application, and again at the time of the event. Additionally, the venue must be willing to provide staff who will remind participants to wear masks and check for temperature during the event. Organizers in these areas must be prepared to move online or cancel if the region fails the safety checklist.

Here is a visualization of these new guidelines.

The Community team will also continue to support online events at this time. If your 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. has fewer than 50 attendees, you can move forward with your event following local guidelines/laws. The Community team recommends that you organize the event only for attendees who are fully vaccinated or recently tested negative (within 2 days). 

Next steps and feedback

These new guidelines will be added to all the appropriate places in the WordCamp organizers handbook, and a summarized version of this decision will be included in upcoming Meetup Newsletters. If you have questions, concerns, or feedback, please share them in a comment on this post.

Update (25 January) 

The WordCamp and Meetup Handbook pages have been updated to reflect these changes:

#meetups, #wordcamps

Proposal: Mandatory Safety Measures for In-person WordPress Events in 2022

Last year, the Community Team opened up a pathway to return to In-person WordPress meetups, WordCamps, and do_action charity hackathons. In addition to following local laws and safety guidelines, the Community team’s current guidelines recommend that only individuals who are fully vaccinated, recently tested negative, or recently recovered from COVID-19 could participate in in-person WordCamps. However, 2022 has brought in new challenges related to the pandemic such as new variants that are more contagious, in addition to a spike in infection rates in many regions. 

To address the safety concerns around in-person events, 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. have been discussing potential, additional safety measures for in-person WordPress events. These safety measures include:

  • Mandatory masks for all attendees (even in regions that do not have a mask mandate at this time). 
  • More prominent messaging in 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. websites, emails, and social media posts about COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • Mandatory temperature checks for all attendees at the event (if permitted by local authorities).
  • Accessible hand sanitizing stations in the venue.
  • Maintaining social distancing practices during the event (Larger meeting rooms and seating arrangements with good spacing can be a good way to implement this).
  • Having a plan for contact tracing measures in case of infections (can be done using WordCamp registration data, 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. are a bit tricker).

I propose that, for regions that do not pass guidelines on page one of the in-person safety checklist (but where vaccines and testing are available to everyone), these guidelines become mandatory for all in-person WordPress events, going forward.

In addition to these proposed guidelines, I also recommend that we remove our existing guideline of allowing recent-recovered community members from attending a WordPress event since new COVID variants like Omicron are known to cause reinfection.

Please note: These guidelines are in addition to any local laws for events.
For example, if a region requires mandatory vaccination proof for attending the event, organizers must be willing to verify the same, even though they are not a part of our guidelines. Alternatively, even if a region does not have a mask mandate, organizers must be willing to enforce the same for their event since our guidelines specify the same. 

To support organizers in these important safety measures, WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each. is prepared to budget for additional safety measures such as free masks (providing masks as attendee swag for example), hand sanitizing stations, etc. The Community Team is also continuing to support online events, and encourage your community to explore multiple ways to connect online. 

Please share your thoughts

What questions or concerns do you have about the proposed guidelines? What more can WordPress Community Team do to support organizers in organizing safe in-person WordPress events? If you are planning an in-person WordPress event, what safety guidelines would you follow? Please respond in the comments with your thoughts by January 22, 2022. Based on your feedback, the team will finalize the guidelines and publish them in our handbook by early February 2022. 

This post was jointly written by: @angelasjin @harishanker @mauteri @mariaojob @mpc @samsuresh @sippis @sunsand187 @tacoverdo and @yoga1103 

#in-person #meetups #wordcamps #safety-guidelines

Discussion: add a CRM as a new tool for WordCamp organizers

As a 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. organizer, you’re confronted with a lot of data: personal names, corporate names, email addresses, facts, etc. Every year that pool of data increases with new data. Usually, it’s scattered all over Google Drive: in spreadsheets, text documents, but also on P2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at https://make.wordpress.org/.. Every year new organizer starts to look through all this old data, and when they find it they copy it to their own personal corner in either Google Drive or on P2. (Side note: we have to consider GDPR regulations as well)

At this moment the WCEU2022 teams are working on the content of the event, however, they don’t want to reinvent the wheel: besides new content and ideas, the content from previous years could be reused as well. And as parts of the original program for the Porto WordCamp of 2020 was cancelled, getting back in touch with the original speaker applicants or sponsors is one of the first things to do. In the last few months, I have had a number of organizers asking me for info from previous years, info that should be passed on from team to team. The same goes for side info on potential sponsors or sponsors that have been declined for particular reasons. All this could save time for every new organizing team starting up the next WordCamp. Maybe Jetpack CRM (or a different CRM) could be a helping hand here, even Jetpack Forms supports Jetpack CRM. Quite useful for those speaker and sponsor application forms!

With this post, I would like to investigate the interests but also the options and ideas of other organizers. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions.

#wordcamps

#crm

Legal protections for organizers

As the WordPress Community begins to transition to in-person events, organizers are wondering what legal protections are available to them related to COVID-19. Here are a couple of solutions!

Disclaimer on 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. Ticket Purchases

We will be adding a disclaimer to the WordCamp ticket purchase page, which will protect organizers against claims related to COVID-19. The disclaimer text will read:

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

By attending WordCamp {city} {year}, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and waive any claims against the event organizers; volunteers; sponsors; the WordPress FoundationWordPress Foundation The WordPress Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. Find more on wordpressfoundation.org.; WordPress Community SupportWordPress Community Support WordPress Community Support PBC is a subsidiary of WordPress Foundation. It is created specifically to be the financial and legal support for WordCamps, WordPress Meetup groups, and any additional “official” events organized within the WordPress Community Events program., PBC; and their respective affiliates.

This disclaimer will appear on the ticket purchase page for the ticket purchaser to agree to. Agreement is given by checking a box next to the disclaimer (similar to agreeing to the Code of ConductCode of Conduct “A code of conduct is a set of rules outlining the norms, rules, and responsibilities or proper practices of an individual party.” - Wikipedia), before completing their ticket purchase.

We are aiming to roll this update out to WordCamp sites on Wednesday, 13 October 2021.

Insurance Policy

This year, WPCSWPCS The collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) used to format and validate PHP code developed for WordPress according to the WordPress Coding Standards. May also be an acronym referring to the Accessibility, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc. coding standards as published in the WordPress Coding Standards Handbook. added a “communicable disease liability coverage” policy to our event insurance. This policy provides coverage to help defer any legal fees and costs related to lawsuits claiming damages due to:

  • Actual or alleged transmission of a communicable disease
  • An act, error, or omission by or on behalf of WPFWordPress Foundation The WordPress Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. Find more on wordpressfoundation.org./WPCS in:
    • The supervision of any person who transmits, is infected with, and/or alleged to be infected with a communicable disease
    • Testing for a communicable disease
    • Actual or alleged failure to prevent the spread of a communicable disease
    • Actual or alleged failure to report a communicable disease to the authorities

This policy is currently in effect and covers all official WordCamps and WordPress Chapter 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..

Summary

These legal protections should hopefully ease the minds of organizers concerned about planning in-person WordCamps and WordPress Meetups. Please leave a comment below if you have any concerns or questions!

#policy, #wordcamps

Proposal: how to return to safe in-person WordCamps

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. that have participated in this post: @_dorsvenabili, @angelasjin, @kcristiano, @sippis, @adityakane, @nao, @monchomad, @mpc, @sunsand187, @andreamiddleton 

Deadline for participating in the discussion: August 20th, 2021


Thank you to everyone who has participated in our many conversations about in-person events. Your input has helped to make the current guidelines for organizing in-person meetups.

This post is a proposal to discuss how the WordPress community can return to in-person WordCamps. Please read it carefully and participate in the comments by answering the questions below, thanks! 🙂

If you don’t want to read all of this post, here’s the tl;dr:

“The WordPress community team is discussing the return to in-person WordCamps, building on current guidelines for 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. (defined in this handbook page and image below) with additional guidelines described in the section below on “Proposal for further discussion”

In-person WordPress events this year so far

  • There are 752 WordPress 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. groups in the chapter program in 109 countries around the globe.
  • Since February 16, in-person WordPress meetups have been held in 3 countries: Taiwan, New Zealand, and Australia using the meetup safety checklist
  • Since the latest guidelines announced on July 9, in-person events have been organized in 6 countries: Russia, US, New Zealand, Uganda, Australia and the Netherlands

The discussion so far

Deputies agree that it seems unrealistic to immediately go back to how WordCamps were in 2019. Resetting expectations for WordCamps may be necessary, as the world has changed significantly. This is a great opportunity to rebuild the program by restarting locally, and then building back up to the levels we had in 2019. Before the pandemic, WordCamps came in different sizes and scales. As a reminder, the Community Team considers the “minimum viable productMinimum Viable Product "A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development." - WikiPedia” for a 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. to be at least 50 people, in a room, for one day, talking about WordPress.

Additionally, the normal WordCamp application process requires that there be an active local community in place.  As the community has faced many changes this year, Deputies are thinking about how to handle this requirement. One possibility could  be more flexibility with WordCamp applications, allowing communities that had a meetup pre-COVID to host a WordCamp, even if they weren’t as active in the last year, to help build excitement and restart community activity again.

The deputies also agreed that organizers are encouraged to  experiment with format, content, and more! This is an excellent opportunity to innovate on WordCamps.

Proposal for Further Discussion

This is all new territory for the Community Team, and the input from the WordPress community is invaluable. At this time, the team is putting up for discussion a proposal for in-person WordCamps. Here are some ideas for discussion:

  • To organize an in-person WordCamp, the general guidelines would be the same ones approved for in-person meetups (you can read them fully detailed in the handbook’s page: “2021: Returning to in-person meetups”). 
  • Revise the guideline to allow all communities that had an active meetup before the pandemic host an initial WordCamp, even if the community wasn’t as active in the past year, to help re-energize the community. This new guideline would only apply to the first WordCamp back. Brand new communities would be directed to organize meetups instead of a WordCamp right away.
  • Financial: WordCamps in this transition period will need to be prepared to cover 100% of their expenses in order to happen. For greater context, the Global Sponsorship Program 2021 currently doesn’t include WordCamps, and the team currently does not have expectations set for the future of the Global Sponsorship program.
  • Venue: Venue fee should be fully refundable or should be able to be moved to a later date without penalty. 
  • Food: No buffets. If food is provided, it will be in individual portions (like box lunches).
  • Capacity: Limit in-person attendance or seating capacity to allow for physical distancing, or host smaller events in larger spaces, based on your local/regional health guidelines.
  • AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility)/inclusion: Sessions should be uploaded to wordpress.tv and to be livestreamed when financially possible.
  • Mandatory registration, so attendees can be contacted in case of exposure.
  • Enable refunds for in-person WordCamp tickets, as many folks attending WordCamps could back out at the last minute due to potential issues. 
  • COVID-19 measures: masks, hand-sanitizer, etc., deferring to the guidance of the relevant local government.
  • Innovation: Organizers can try new event formats, for example: deliver WordCamp content entirely online, followed by an in-person social gathering/activities, outdoors sessions/activities, etc.

Additionally, the deputies proposed creating a standard operation process of handling COVID-related issues to further support organizers.

Please share your feedback!

It would be great to get some feedback on this proposal, specifically in the following areas:

  1. What do you think about the proposal? 
  2. Is there anything that you’re missing or that you’d change? Why?
  3. Are there any ideas listed above that you’d include as guidelines for in-person WordCamps in this transition period?
  4. What could the Community Team do to assist with easier and/or inexpensive WordCamp events?

Deadline: August 20th, 2021
**** Edited on Aug 16, 2021 for adding the deadline above.****

#community-team, #in-person, #proposal, #wordcamps

Announcement: Review of WordCamp sites without a tracker item – removal of some old WordCamp sites

Already some time ago, @iandunn handed me the list of 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. sites missing their counterpart in the WordCamp tracker.

Some of these sites are for WordCamps that did never take place at the end. Some sites are for WordCamps that have taken place well before the WordCamp tracker was introduced or do lack their counterpart for some other reason

I’ve gone thru the list of 60 sites and checked their status. Based on that, my proposal is that we:

  1. Create the counterpart post in the WordCamp tracker to backfill the history, with simple details like location, lead organiser (if available) and dates

OR

  1. Remove the WordCamp site, as the event never happened or the page links to a domain that does not work/isn’t controlled by WPCSWPCS The collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) used to format and validate PHP code developed for WordPress according to the WordPress Coding Standards. May also be an acronym referring to the Accessibility, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc. coding standards as published in the WordPress Coding Standards Handbook. or WPFWordPress Foundation The WordPress Foundation is a charitable organization founded by Matt Mullenweg to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software. Find more on wordpressfoundation.org..

Some of these sites go back to the early years of WordCamps, to 2008. More eyes on this list and determining the right action for the site would be highly appreciated, in case there is some historical information that isn’t available from the site.

The list of sites and proposed actions is here.

Please leave a comment on this post if you think that the proposed action in some of the sites is wrong. The discussion will be open until 2021-04-23 after which we’ll start to remove the sites and creating counterparts in the tracker. If you’d like to help with creating these counterparts, let me know in the comments!

#wordcamp-sites, #wordcamp-org, #wordcamps

WordCamps in 2019

In 2019, over 36,000 WordPress enthusiasts came together at 142 different WordCamps to spend a day or three talking about WordPress, the free and open-source software that now powers 35% of the web!

WordCamps were held in 49 different countries in 2019, with events in 6 continents: Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America.

As you can see in the chart below, the number of WordCamps stayed at the same level that was reached in 2018 but number of people involved have steadily increased!

20192018201720162015
Total WordCamps14214312611589
Total Registered Attendees46,45845,17742,93137,70827,354
Unique Attendees36,25835,75533,74429,58521,436
Total Organizers1,407 1,3951,061815600
Unique Organizers1,3311,3421,017797583
Total Sessions3,6483,5403,3152,9982,284
Total Speakers3,5903,4793,2652,9652,376
Unique Speakers2,7752,6342,4592,2841,762
Total Sponsors2,7912,6502,4782,3121,672
Unique Sponsors1,3341,2081,0421,2401,113

Notes on this report:

  • Data was gathered using reporting tools. Numbers before 2018 may vary slightly from past years (which were gathered manually).
  • We are reporting on “total sessions”, rather than “unique sessions”. This is because determining unique sessions is subjective and therefore difficult to track.

Flagship WordCamps Data

  • 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. Europe tickets sold: 3 868
  • WordCamp US tickets sold: 1 750
  • WordCamp Nordic tickets sold: 606

Trends and Analysis

An average number of attendees per WordCamp = about 327. This is a continued increase from the past few years, most likely due to the increase in tickets sold for flagship events.

What else did the Community Team do in 2019?

Questions?

If there’s a figure above that you’d like to learn more about or an observation you’d like to share based on the data here, please respond with a comment!

#report, #wordcamps