Over the past few months, the Global Community team and I have gotten many messages asking about COVID-19 and what it means for WordCamps. We’ve all been doing our best to be knowledgeable about the virus while responding in a level-headed way. Now seems like the right time to share some guidance on what to do next.
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We should do our part, as members of a highly connected global community, to limit the spread of the virus while there are still so many unknowns.
TLDR: Current guidance advises that if you are planning an event scheduled between now and June 1, and there is any evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in your area, we strongly recommend that you postpone the event until later in the year or 2021 and/or adapt to an online event.
- As always, WordCamps are encouraged to embrace their local nature, showcasing the WordPress enthusiasts in your own area.
- I’ve asked some experienced global community team deputies to research ways to support community-organized livestream events. Not to replace all WordCamps, but to offer an alternative for any that decide to cancel.
For the remaining 2020 WordCamps designed to gather international attendees (WordCamp Europe, WordCamp Centroamerica, WordCamp US), I’ll assist the global community team as they continue monitoring the situation while gathering information from organizing teams and providing the same support provided to WordCamp Asia.
Epidemics like COVID-19 are unpredictable and I’d rather err on the side of caution. I recognize “caution” is a subjective term, but here it means making decisions that align with the efforts of the world to contain the impact of this virus.
Resources and Kudos
Huge thank you to the members of the Global Community team who have been monitoring this evolving situation. Here are a few of the resources and metrics they’ve been using:
- Updates from the World Health Organization.
- New recommendations for event organizers in light of COVID-19
- Organizing virtual events
- Postponing or canceling a WordCamp
- Community events in the time of COVID-19
- Organizations in our sphere that have limited travel, required remote work, or canceled events (Google I/O, Microsoft MVPMinimum 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 Summit, Mobile World Congress, Game Developers Conference, etc).
- Community thoughts and sentiment, via direct conversations as well as posts from contributors in the WordPress ecosystem.
- Four WordCamps have been postponed so far based on caution, local recommendations, and/or situational preparedness.