5 Years of WordCamps: Growth, Automation, and Lessons Learned

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in B204


The number of WordCamps (volunteer-organized WordPress conferences) has nearly doubled since 2011. Find out how we’ve improved the WordCamp attendee experience while at the same time improving the experience of our volunteer organizers, through a combination of institutional support and community involvement, plus what problems we hope to solve in the years to come.


Since 2006, more than 500 WordCamps have been organized — on 6 continents, and in more than 66 cities. I started administering the WordCamp program 5 years ago, and have seen the annual number of WordCamps go from 52 in 2011 to 89 in 2015. The program includes an estimated 2,000 volunteers worldwide.

Come learn all the not-really-secrets of the WordCamp program, including how we’ve implemented:

  • a standard set of expectations for anyone who is accepted to organize, speak at, sponsor, or volunteer at a WordCamp
  • hosting all WordCamp websites and providing event organizing tools on wordcamp.org
  • crediting organizers, speakers, and attendees for their participation in WordCamp on WordPress.org
  • discouraging entrenched leadership in local communities
  • roving WordCamp camera kits (so events don’t have to rent expensive AV equipment)
  • WordCamps using the WordPress Foundation (and now the Foundation’s new corporate subsidiary) as their legal and financial entity
  • the global community sponsorship program, which provides a “nest egg” of sponsorship to all WordCamps

All that and more! (Probably not more. That’s a lot for 45 minutes.)

Speaking experience

2014: WordPress Community: Choose Your Own Adventure at WordCamp Orange County: http://wordpress.tv/2014/06/10/andrea-middleton-wordpress-community-choose-your-own-adventure/

2014: A World of WordCamps at WordCamp Phoenix: http://wordpress.tv/2014/06/09/andrea-middleton-a-world-of-wordcamps/

This is a new talk.


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