Meetup Organiser Newsletter: 16 April 2018

Over the last few months we have started sending regular newsletters out to WordPress meetup organisers all around the world. In order to share this content and news with more people, we will be posting the newsletters to this blog as well!

Howdy WordPress meetup organizers!

Welcome to another meetup organizer newsletter full of news, information and inspiration. In this edition we’re looking at some upcoming activity in the WordPress project, as well as providing a dose of inspiration for organizers all over the world from one of our local communities.

Newsletter contents:

  • Upgrading PHP
  • WordPress 15th Anniversary
  • Featured Meetup Event Format
  • Quarterly Community Events Report

Help your community upgrade PHP for their websites

The next WordPress release (v4.9.6) is going to include a clear prompt to all users about upgrading the version of PHP on which their website runs. You can find out some of the technical information about this update in the core ticket: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/41191. It will point users to the an information page here: https://wordpress.org/support/upgrade-php/.

Once this prompt is live, it’s likely that a lot of users will be asking questions about what it all means and many will need help with running the PHP upgrade. This is where you, as community organizers, can really support the members of your community be assisting them with the upgrade process.

A great way to do this, is to host a PHP Upgrade Help Desk event where you work with people in your community to find out what version of PHP they’re running and help them to upgrade if they are not running a secure version. There is now a ‘PHP Upgrade Help Desk’ event template on Meetup.com so you can easily set the event up with a few clicks. This is also a great opportunity to educate members of your community on website and server security, so maybe spend some time at the meetup talking about related security topics.

Celebrate the 15th Anniversary of WordPress

In our last newsletter, we spoke about the WordPress 15th Anniversary that is coming up on May 27 — read about our plans for this as a community here: https://make.wordpress.org/community/2018/03/21/wordpress-15th-anniversary-parties/.

This date is fast approaching and we’d love to hear more about what you’re planning for your meetup group! We would also love to help you out with some unique swag for the event — check out our handbook page about the event for more info and swag order form: https://make.wordpress.org/community/handbook/meetup-organizer/event-formats/wordpress-15th-anniversary-celebrations/ — swag orders need to be made before April 23.

You can see what other communities are planning for their events, as well as download assets for printing swag locally, on the WP15 website here: https://wp15.wordpress.net/.

Remember to use the #wp15 hashtag so we can keep track of all the events, photos and updates about the celebration in one place!

Featured Meetup Event Format: Ahmedabad Double Header

From time to time we will feature interesting and notable meetup event ideas, formats and topics in this newsletter — you can use these ideas to bring some fresh inspiration for events in your community.

For this edition, we would like to highlight the Ahmedabad meetup group and the format they use to cater to all types of users. Their events feature two separate talks that focus on two entirely different areas of WordPress, each with their own unique focus. Then, to make sure that they enable social time as well, they schedule one talk for the start of the meetup and one talk to take place at the end, with general community time in the middle — that way, everyone gets to hang out together, as well as to take part in the session that most interests them.

You can see an example of this type of event format here: https://www.meetup.com/ahmedabad-wp-meetup/events/247111225/.

Please let us know by emailing support@wordcamp.org if you have suggestions for any interesting meetup event format ideas that you have seen or organized!

2018 Community Progress Report

It has been an exciting year so far with a lot of great events wrapped up already. With that in mind, we thought it would helpful to reflect on how the program has grown in the past three months:

Meetups:
From January through March, 41 meetup groups joined the chapter program, with 5,195 new members joining groups around the world. In something of a milestone achievement, the meetup program reached 600 groups around the world right at the end of March. We now have WordPress meetup groups in 91 countries, all over the world!

WordCamps:
From January through March, 45 WordCamps were approved for planning. 16 are first time WordCamps for their city — those new WordCamps are: Florianópolis, Verona, Karachi, Ogijima, Granada, Turku, Valencia, Saint-Petersburg, Cancún, Puebla, Montclair, Lausanne, Taiwan, Guadalajara, Iloilo and Nice.

Remember, if you think that at least 50 people in your group would be willing to attend an all-day event about WordPress, then you an organise a WordCamp — find out more here: https://make.wordpress.org/community/handbook/wordcamp-organizer/welcome/.

That’s it for now — chat to you next time!

Your friends on the Community Team
make.wordpress.org/community

WordPress 15th Anniversary Parties

The WordPress 15th anniversary will be on May 27, 2018 — let’s get ready to celebrate!

Parties

We invite all local communities to organize 15th anniversary celebrations for the weekend of May 27, just as we did for the 10th anniversary. We’ll be emailing all meetup organizers on Friday, March 23 with information about the anniversary and a link to the new anniversary celebrations handbook page.

In April, we’ll launch a WordPress 15th anniversary site which will help WordPress enthusiasts find their local celebrations in the weeks leading up to May 27. This site will also aggregate and display the social media posts that include the #wp15 hashtag in and around May. WordPress groups in the chapter program will be included in the map of WordPress celebrations, and of course celebrations will be listed in the events widget (as long as they’re added as an event on meetup.com).

Special swag

This year, we’ll also be sending special WordPress 15th anniversary swag — sticker sheets and (biodegradable) party balloons — printed with a 15th anniversary logo, to chapter meetup groups that are celebrating the anniversary on the weekend of May 26-27. Once you have scheduled an event for that weekend, you can request shipment of a swag pack by filling out the form on the handbook page.

The WordPress 15th Anniversary website will also have a page with special anniversary logo files and DIY party decoration ideas, which will be added as we get closer to the event. If you would like to contribute ideas or DIY decoration files to this page, please comment on this post!

Because international shipping isn’t always fast or reliable, we encourage groups in countries that have trouble receiving mail from the US to schedule their events as early as possible. We’ll be shipping swag in three rounds: April 6, April 13, and April 25. To avoid wasting money on shipping swag that doesn’t arrive in time, the deadline to request swag is April 23. Organizers must schedule their parties on a meetup.com chapter group before requesting anniversary swag.

Venue support

We encourage groups to organize their parties using free venues if at all possible. However, if a group needs help with venue rental costs for this particular event, organizers can fill out the meetup venue support request form —  the current guidelines will apply for this event as for other venue rental support requests (except we won’t ask to be billed for multiple months in one invoice 😉 ).

If you know you’ll need to request financial support for a 15th Anniversary venue, please apply as soon as possible — we may receive an unusual volume of requests in April. If any deputies are willing to help work on venue support requests, please let us know so we can train you on reviewing and handling those applications. 🙂

Questions? Thoughts? Suggestions? Please comment below!