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

Announcement: Enabling G Suite (Google Workspace) for WordCamp.org emails

Based on feedback from Community organizers, the WordPress Community team has decided to switch all city@wordcamp.org email accounts to G Suite (Google Workspace)*. We plan to implement the switch a week from now, on Wednesday, August 26. All new WordCamps, along with all existing camps that from 2019 and 2020 that had at least made to pre-planning, will get a G Suite account.

Background

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. organizing teams have always been provided a city@wordcamp.org email address in order to look more official when contacting venues, sponsors, etc. Historically, we have created email forwarders for all camp organizers, and set up POP/IMAP access as well as cPanel based email accounts for some organizers upon request. However, the cPanel based webmail client we used was not very user-friendly and doesn’t work well when multiple people are using it. Organizers have found it challenging to track emails at a central location, and send outgoing emails from the city@wordcamp.org account. 

The WordPress foundation was approved for a G Suite for Non-profits account in April 2020, which we can use for the wordcamp.org domain. G Suite provides a host of tools (including Gmail, Drive and Docs, Google Meet, and YouTube) that WordCamps can use, along with a modern, user-friendly interface. We reached out to organizers to get some feedback on how they would like to use the WordCamp email accounts. The feedback we received was that our existing email service implementation had several shortcomings and made us realize that Community Members would benefit immensely from a G Suite account.

Hence the team has decided to implement G Suite for all WordCamp accounts, in August 2020.  

Features

Here is a comprehensive list of all the tools we have made available for WordCamp organizers, listed along with training docs for the respective tools.

  • Calendar: For scheduling events amongst WordCamp organizers.
  • Drive: You get 30 GB of Google Drive space for all your information.
  • Docs, Sheets, and Slides: You can use these tools to store your docs, create/manage spreadsheets, or even store talk slides. 
  • Gmail: For all your email needs. 
  • Groups for Business: For group communications. 
  • Google Meet: Organizers can use G Suite for video calls between your teams and online sessions.
  • Hangouts Chat: Basic chat features
  • Keep: Helps you store notes.
  • Maps: Useful for in-person WordCamps to store location/map information and to create c custom maps. 
  • Photos: Save and backup photos and albums
  • Tasks: Task management for your organizing team
  • YouTube: You can live-stream your online events and host local Camp/MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. videos.

Getting a G Suite Account for your WordCamp

  • All approved WordCamps from August 2020 will get a G Suite account automatically instead of a cPanel based email account. We can also set up a collaborative inbox for the organizing team upon request.
  • All WordCamps that are currently on the schedule, along with all WordCamps in 2020 that had made it to pre-planning as well as WordCamps that were successfully completed in 2019, will get a G Suite account. The email forwarders for these camps will continue to work, but organizers will lose access to cPanel email accounts (if they were using the same). Organizers of camps that had wrapped up in 2019, as well as camps that had made it at least to a pre-planning stage in 2020, will get a G Suite account. We will email organizers separately with G Suite credentials. 
  • Email addresses of all older camps (Camps that last had an event in 2018 or earlier) will be deactivated. Their email forwarders will also stop working. If any camp organizers from past years would like to keep their city@wordcamp.org email address in G Suite, they can email to support@wordcamp.org to request access for the same. We will consider this on a case-by-case basis. 

Implementation

WordCamp.org currently uses the built-in cPanel emailing feature. We plan to point the MX records of the WordCamp.org domain to G Suite on August 26, 2020 (Wednesday). DNSDNS DNS is an acronym for Domain Name System - how you assign a human readable address to a website’s exact numeric coded location (ie. wordpress.org uses the actual IP address 198.143.164.252). Propagation could take up to 48 hours. However, based on our tests, this should take only a few minutes. During this time, existing WordCamp organizers might face a short downtime for their emails during the migrationMigration Moving the code, database and media files for a website site from one server to another. Most typically done when changing hosting companies. process. 

FAQs

I’m the organizer of a 2020 camp. How do I get access to G Suite?
If you are the organizer of a 2020 camp, you will have received an email about this from us already, announcing the switch. We will follow up with you later this week with an email to your city@wordcamp.org email address, with credentials or instructions to reset your password for the G Suite address before we switch over to G Suite. Please follow the instructions to create a G Suite account. The email account will start working after we officially complete the migration on August 26, 2020 (Wednesday).

My WordCamp has wrapped up, but I’d like to get access to a G Suite account for valid reasons. How do I proceed?
We will provide G Suite access to all WordCamps from 2019 and 2020. We will email the credentials separately to you in your existing account before we make the switch to G Suite (ideally later this week), so that you can reset the password, log in, and access the G Suite account. Typically, we don’t revoke access to city@wordcamp.org email addresses once the Camp has concluded (until the next event). However, email access for the Camp’s email address is only enabled until the event concludes. So if the last edition of your camp was held in 2018 or earlier, we may not be able to create a G Suite account for you (unless you’re applying for a new event that has successfully completed its orientation). However, if you would like to gain access to your camp’s email address for legitimate reasons (for example, to follow-up on post-wrap-up tasks), you can reach out to us, and we’d be happy to provide you access to the G Suite account. Please note: This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Will email forwarders configured originally for the camp during set up stop working?
Email forwarders for all the WordCamps that we will be providing a G Suite address for (WordCamps from 2019 and 2020), will keep working. Email forwarders for other camps (that had their last event held in 2018 or earlier) will stop working. 

I’d like to have a certain feature from G Suite for my Camp
We have only enabled limited G Suite features with the WordCamp G Suite account. However, if you feel that a specific feature would be useful for your camp, you can request it by emailing support@wordcamp.org.

WordPress is an open-source project. Is using a proprietary platform such as G Suite for such a project really a good idea?
The mission of WordPress is to decentralize the internet. In that sense, using the services of one company that is an internet major does seem counter-intuitive given that there are open-source alternatives that we can try out. 

The decision to use G Suite is motivated by pragmatism, and serves to minimize the amount of developer time we require to maintain our systems. YouTube has turned out to be the best way to live stream videos for online WordCamps. Having a G Suite account prevents the risk of using the 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. YouTube account for live streaming, and allows organizers to embed live streams on WordCamp sites without turning on monetization. Additionally, in our research, we found out that most of the organizers were using either a Gmail account or a paid G Suite account, along with other features such as Google Docs and Drive. Hence, G Suite seems like the right fit for our requirements. 

Based on that background, using G Suite for email will also allow us to free up valuable developer time to work on higher-impact contributor tools.

I’m currently managing emails using a POP/IMAP client. How do I go ahead?
G Suite offers a better, more transparent method of connecting to POP/IMAP clients. Organizers will be able to create these connections on their own, rather than having to wait on WordCamp Central Deputies. 


Do you have any questions or concerns about the G Suite implementation? Do you have any suggestions on how best we can make use of G Suite? Is there anything about this announcement that is unclear? Let us know in the comments! 

*G Suite has rebranded itself as Google Workspace on October 6, 2020. This document has been updated to reflect the latest changes.

#email #gsuite #wordcamps #announcements

Reimagining Online Event Sponsorships

As we start reimagining what online events look like, so might we also have to reconsider our sponsorship packages and the perks we offer to our sponsors.

Online events do not incur such a high cost as in person events do, so the requirement to gather large sponsorship funds to make a successful 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. no longer exists. This might mean that WordCamp organizers don’t feel the need to reach out to existing sponsors, and get them involved.

On the other hand, with online events, companies could possibly sponsor many more events worldwide, instead of focusing their sponsorships to local only events. So the possible reach of a sponsor could be wider.

It is important to remember that the option to sponsor a WordCamp has traditionally been with the agreement that sponsors don’t receive any “pay to play” type benefits. So typically sponsor perks have included things like advertising at key locations around the event, and sponsor booths/tables to interact with attendees and hand out swag.

In an online event, this is not possible, so WordCamps have had to adapt. One such example is the option of a Virtual Sponsor booth, where attendees can log in to a virtual room to chat with sponsors. This is something that is already being made available at existing WordCamps.

This is equivalent to offering a sponsor a physical booth/table in the general sponsors area at a WordCamp, typically in a space where attendees are very likely to walk past and therefore interact with sponsors.

The problem with such an option is that, if attendees have to log off the regular WordCamp platform, then go find some other link to the Virtual Booth, the experience becomes arduous and full of friction for the attendee making, it highly unlikely they’ll attend.

This ends up meaning that the Virtual Booth has no real benefit to sponsors, and as such, may opt out of choosing a higher tier sponsor package, that would include such a perk.

This post serves to open a discussion around the concept of sponsorships for virtual WordCamps, how they might need to change to fit into the new world of the all online event, and how we can better marry the needs of sponsors to the needs of attendees, to make an online event successful.

Please leave suggestions/ideas as comments on this post, which I will leave open for one week until Thursday 23 July 2020 at 3:00pm UTC. After that I will filterFilter Filters are one of the two types of Hooks https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Hooks. They provide a way for functions to modify data of other functions. They are the counterpart to Actions. Unlike Actions, filters are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never have side effects such as affecting global variables and output. the comments in a follow up post, where we can discuss them in detail, with an aim to turn them into an actionable plan for sponsorships of our online events.

Thanks to @hlashbrooke for reviewing this post and making sure I don’t sound foolish 🙂

#events-2, #wordcamps

Reimagining Online Events

This year, the WordPress Community has faced an unprecedented challenge. In response, we took big steps in moving WordCamps, Meetups, and other community events online, and together, we provided the community with some stability during this global crisis, by bringing the 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. experience online.

Now that we’ve had a number of outstanding online WordCamps, including WordCamp Europe, we have the opportunity to think beyond simply recreating in-person events. 

Instead, we can take this chance to get creative and take our online WordPress events to the next level, exploring how we can transform online events to better serve our community.

Let’s innovate and iterate!

Successful WordPress Community events help people learn to use and contribute to WordPress. Community organizers make this possible by connecting WordPress enthusiasts and inspiring people to do more with WordPress, making it easier for people to contribute to WordPress.

How can we best achieve these goals, advancing the growth and adoption of WordPress, through online events? As an attendee, what would inspire you to participate in an online event?

A few concepts that have been brainstormed by Community deputies include:

  • WordCamp JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript or JS is an object-oriented computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. WordPress makes extensive use of JS for a better user experience. While PHP is executed on the server, JS executes within a user’s browser. https://www.javascript.com/.
  • WordCamp Portuguese Online
  • Advanced Developer WordCamp Online, August Edition
  • WordPress 101 Online, Hindi Edition
  • 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. Builders Bi-Weekly
  • WordCamp “How It Works”**
  • Documentation Contributor Workshop
  • WordCamp for Non-Profits
  • Content Creators Weekly Round-up

**Wins the prize for worst event title.

Other, broader ideas include: 

  • Decouple online events from geography
  • Encourage events and workshops defined by topics, languages, etc.
  • Explore shorter, “snack-sized” online events
  • Experiment with the frequency of events

Share your ideas 

What can online events make possible for WordPress? What do you think about these ideas, and what other ideas do you have? What online events have impressed you? What online events have been successful in your local community? 

Please share as many ideas as you can, in comments to this post by 17 July, 2020. Community team deputies will then start working on how to support organizers in creating effective and powerful online WordPress events, to be discussed in a follow-up post. 

Thanks to the following deputies for their feedback and contributions to this post: @andreamiddleton, @bph, @camikaos @courtneypk, @harishanker, @hlashbrooke, @kcristiano, @monchomad, @sippis

#meetups, #events-2, #wordcamps

Proposal: Recognition for event volunteers and attendees in WordPress.org profile

About two years ago Meta Trac ticket (note: please don’t continue in that ticket, this 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/. is the more correct place for it) was opened about adding 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. volunteer and attendee badges to 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/ profiles. A few weeks ago Taco did bring it back to the discussion and I promised to write a proposal to move this forward.

Profile badges are graphics that do show users contributions towards WordPress project.

It is suggested that we should:

  • Give a badge for WordCamp volunteers
  • Give a badge for WordCamp attendees
  • Give a badge for MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. attendees

Let’s dive into each badge for a second.

WordCamp volunteers

Technically giving a badge for WordCamp volunteers is probably the most easiest of the badges to give automatically. In coordination with WordCamp MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. team, we could find a way to track all volunteers and their WordPress.org usernames as we do for organisers and speakers too.

It’s also almost unarguable that WordCamp volunteers are contributing to the project, so they should get a badge. In 2017 there was a conversation about recognising volunteers in WordCamp websites, that ended up in conclusion that we should do that. At that time the discussion didn’t consider profile badges and as an end result using Admin Flags functionality was suggested.

WordCamp Attendees

This is technically more harder to do, because we don’t ask WordPress.org usernames when attendees purchase a ticket.

Sure we could add a field and ask that, but then comes the question when badge should be added to profile. When a ticket is purchased? Then what happens if that ticket changes owner, is refunded or attendee doesn’t show up. If we add the badge after attendee has marked as attended in Camptix, not all would get a badge because not all WordCamps do use the functionality to mark attendance.

It’s also arguable whether attending to WordCamp is actually contributing to the project and something from which they should get a badge.

In the Trac ticket @andreamiddleton pointed out that in 2014 WordCamp San Francisco worked out a way display event registration and attendance on the activity log. She suggested that we recognise attendees in that way instead of giving badges.

Meetup attendees

Technically this is the hardest thing to achieve, because Meetups live totally their own lives in Meetup.com and don’t have strong connection to WordCamp.org or WordPress.org systems. We don’t have a way to link Meetup.com profile to WordPress.org username for giving them a badge. Surely it can probably be done if team invests a lot of time on developing this feature.

The same discussion as with WordCamp attendees on their level of contribution to the project also applies to Meetup attendees.

The proposal

I’m proposing:

Badge for WordCamp volunteers

We should create a new badge for WordCamp volunteers and recognise them the same way as we do for organisers and speakers. Technical aspects need to be decided with WordCamp Meta team, but I’d create a new post type and re-use same functionalities that are used for organisers and speakers.

Log note for WordCamp attendees

We should start asking WordPress.org username during ticket purchase with an optional field in preparations to recognising WordCamp attendees.

I’m in favour of Andrea’s suggestion on showing the attendance on profile log instead of giving them a badge. Log note could be added after the WordCamp, in case the ticket changes owner on the first event day. Logic could be that everyone with a ticket does get the note unless there are at least a certain amount of attendees marked as attended when log note would be added only to those attendees.

What about Meetups and other event formats?

For Meetup and our other event format attendees, I would say it’s a too low-level contribution towards the WordPress project and technically too complicated to implement. Hopefully we can start recognising them at some point, but not for now.

Feedback

Read the original proposal and discussion on Meta Track ticket, there are good arguments and points. Note: please don’t continue in that ticket, this P2 is the more correct place for it.

Please share your feedback on the topic and especially on:

  • Should WordCamp volunteers get a badge?
  • Should WordCamp attendees get a badge or a note in their log?
  • What things do we need to take into consideration in these cases?

Share your thoughts before 2020-08-13.

#attendees, #meetups-2, #recognition, #volunteers, #wordcamps #meetups

2020 WordCamps stalled in pre-planning

In a normal year we see a number of events that stall in the pre-planning phase and just kind of fizzle out. The number of those events stuck in pre-planning seem higher than ever due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ask: Deputies will you please update this list of events in pre-planning that have been stalled long enough to require us to check in on their plans to to give us a better idea of which events are cancelled and which will be shifting to an online only event?

Some of these events may already have discussed cancelling or moving online and we’ve had conversations with them but haven’t received their final decision. Some of them may just not have been updated in Central.WordCamp.org. Either way let’s make sure we have the most up to date information so we have an accurate look at what could be coming in the next 6 months.

Through the end of the weekend please select events with which you have already worked and been in contact. After we’ve all had a chance to select events we’ve worked with we can divided up the remainder to reach out to starting Monday.

If you’re an organizer whose event has been stalled in preplanning, please feel free to update us on the status of your event.

The linked document should be viewable by everyone with the link and several deputies have already been granted access. If you require access please let me know in the comments.

Thanks so much!

#wordcamps #community-management #deputies

Event Cancellation Guidelines and Procedures

Given the unfortunate crisis we find ourselves in with COVID-19 (corona virus) we’ve seen as 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. cancellations this month as we would ordinarily see in a full calendar year. Being mindful that the question of when to cancel, and what to do if cancellation is required, is on the minds of many organizers I’d like to start collecting some information on and common questions you might have around cancelling/postponing an event so we can add them to the WordCamp Organizers Handbook.

We have some existing documentation on procedures followed for WordPress Community Support which we’ll publish along with an FAQ and other guidelines.

I know @courtneypk and @sippis have a lot to add to this conversation, I invite everyone to chime in as well.

While ordinarily we would wait until a call for feedback has been completed to add an update like this, in this case I hope you all agree we should add this documentation as soon as possible and update as necessary.

Please share feedback and concerns in the comments!

#community-events #wordcamps

Scheduled WordCamps in need of feature image/description

We have 36 WordCamps currently on the schedule (yay) but 20 of those events don’t have featured images set so the default is showing on 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. Schedule.

It would be great to have deputies pitch in and email each event to ask them for the updated image. Here’s a spreadsheet with camps in need of feature images and/or descriptions and email addresses to contact.

We have a saved reply ready to go in HelpScout named: WORDCAMP: Banner and “About” text request

If you have a few moments to send out a reminder please sign off on the spreadsheet so we don’t have duplicates sent out. Ideally all WordCamps should be notified by Wednesday, December 11, 2019 with the goal of having all images updated by the end of the year.

Once organizers respond with an image, deputies with admin access to Central.WordCamp.org can update the files.

Let me know if you have any questions!

#community-deputies #wordcamps

Program Wide Payment and Contract Intermission — December 21-29

With most of the Automattic sponsored staff members of the Global Community, who routinely handle WPCS banking, and many deputies offline to celebrate end of year holidays we’ll be pausing our payments programs Saturday December 21 through Sunday December 29.

During this time we’ll halt 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. and MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. vendor payments, reimbursements, sponsor invoicing, sponsor payment attribution, and contract review and approval. If you’ll need to pay for goods or services during that time please submit all requests no later than 9am Pacific Friday, December 20, 2019.

Payments submitted leading up to the payment intermission may have additional delays from year end postal, bank, and business closures so expect additional processing time.

Payment requests submitted after that time will not likely be processed until Monday, December 30, 2019. Sponsor invoices paid December 21-29 won’t be marked paid until after December 30. Contracts will not be reviewed and approved until the following week.

Some deputies, mentors, and community members will still be available by email at support@wordcamp.org or on 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/. in the #community-events channel but response times are expected to be slow.

Additional note: Our banking is done through US accounts and all US banks will be closed Wednesday, January 1, 2020. No payments will be processed that day.

Normal vendor payment and sponsorship attributions scheduled will resume Monday, December 30 2019 though it may take through the end of the week to get fully caught up.

If you have any concerns or question please let us know as soon as possible!

#payments #afk #wordcamps #meetups-2

Advisory for wire transfers to Canada

If you are organizing or mentoring a camp in Canada, please take the below advisory into consideration when submitting vendor payments or reimbursements:

For Canadian clients paying U.S. Dollar Wires to beneficiary bank Toronto Dominion Bank (TD Bank) , the only valid SWIFT BIC code for beneficiary bank is TDOMCATTTOR. Any other BIC will be rejected by TD Bank and the wire will need to be recalled less correspondent bank fees. Please call your payees to confirm beneficiary bank details to avoid delays.

If you have any questions about this, please contact the Global Community Team, or ask in the in the #community-events channel in the WordPress.org Slack.

Feedback needed:

Should this advisory be added to the organizer handbook, in the sections about Vendor Payments and Reimbursements?

#payments, #wordcamps