Maximum Ticket Prices for WordCamps Will Increase to $25 per Day in 2019

For the last seven years, the maximum amount of money WordCamp organizers could charge for ticket prices was $20 per day. In 2019, this will increase to $25 per day.

The new amount accounts for inflation and provides breathing room for organizers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator, $20 in January of 2006 is equal to $25.51 in October of 2018.

Organizers don’t have to charge this amount and are encouraged to keep the ticket price as low as possible. The increase is also part of a delicate balancing act between not being a financial burden and getting 80% or more of attendees to show up.

“The ticket price does not reflect on the value of the event,” Andrea Middleton, Community organizer said.

“In an ideal world, all WordCamp tickets would be free just like WordPress is free but to avoid organizing a conference for 500 registrants and only having 50 people show up on the day of the event, we charge as little as we possibly can for tickets, but just enough that people will show up for the event if they’re sleepy that morning or got a last-minute invitation to a pool party or something.”

When the proposal to increase the maximum ticket price was published in September, many commenters approved of the increase with some suggesting an even higher amount to account for inflation for the next few years. Ian Dunn questioned whether or not budget shortfalls were due to organizing teams spending money on extra things.

“Beyond that, though, I’m curious why camps are having more trouble today than they were 5 or even 10 years ago?” Dunn said.

“Is it harder to get sponsorships? It seems like the opposite is true, especially given how much the global sponsorship program covers.

“Based on experiences in my local community, I suspect that the primary reason for budget shortfalls is that the organizing team is choosing to do extra things, beyond what’s necessary to meet the goals of a WordCamp. For example, holding after-parties at trendy venues, expensive speaker gifts, professional A/V (which I’ve advocated for in the past, but not at the cost of higher ticket prices), etc.”

It is interesting to ponder how much money WordCamps could save globally by eliminating the materialistic aspects of the event such as t-shirts, speaker gifts, lanyards, badges, signs, etc.

At there core, WordCamps are about gathering the local community together in a physical location to share knowledge. Not every WordPress event needs to mimic WordCamp US or WordCamp Europe, two of the largest events in the world.

Although the WordPress Community team tracks data such as how much each WordCamp charges for ticket prices, the information is not readily available. This is because of the large volume of data that would need to be calculated and displayed. It would be interesting to see an info-graphic of this data where you can compare the average ticket price for WordCamps per country.

Hugh Lashbrooke, a WordPress Community team contributor who has access to the data says that, “globally the majority of camps have lower prices.”

WordCamp organizers are highly encouraged to keep track of attendance as the data is used to help make better informed decisions. The team will review the no-show rates at WordCamps at the end of 2019 to determine if the price increase had any effect. If not, the team may increase the price again for 2020.

5 Comments


  1. Playing devil’s advocate….do people realize how much other tech events cost? hundreds and even a couple of thousands of dollars.

    As someone who has volunteered at WordCamps for many years and someone who has organized other (non-WP related) events…Sometimes it seems some things are a waste.

    Lunch, why not go out just print out a list of restaurants in the area of the location of WordCamp. I remember one time, the lunch as it’s main component was rice wrapped in some kind of seaweed crap, I was vomiting most of the night. As a resident of Toronto, when I see people coming from out of city or country, I want them to discover the food diversity of Toronto. So much food waste occurs at WordCamps.
    T-shirts, I love them, but there should be an option to not have a t-shirt, less costs, right? less costs = lower prices?

    For WordCamps that were on weekends, Saturday was day 1, Sunday was day 2, Saturday night was the after party event. I wonder, how many attendees actually attend it.

    So many tech events do fancy things just for the sake of doing it. I got food poisoning from the food provided at a WordCamp I attended a few years ago in Europe. After vomiting that night, every year after that, I just went out and looked around for a food place to eat.

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    1. I think a lot of them go simpler than you seem to be thinking. Even when I went to those in SF or Philly, for a couple days there wasn’t a sit down nice thing, just a coupon to a few local restaurants, or some sandwiches or something.

      And while one you went to may have had sushi rolls, well, don’t eat it if you don’t know what it is. The majority of the local WordCamps I’ve been to have been pretty freeform on lunch.

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      1. I haven’t gone to a WC in the USA, I have gone to Europe and Canada.

        Just out of curiosity, do you prefer something provided for you or list/coupon of local restaurants?

        Some of the bad/crappy food choices could that when you rent at some places like universities/college/convention centres…you have to stick with their catering company/group and you can’t bring outside food.

        If I ever see you at a WordCamp, I’ll ask you for food suggestions.

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  2. The swag is part of the experience that many campers know, appreciate and expect. (I wear my WC Chicago speaker hoodie with pride)

    I personally think the real downfall to the price restriction comes into play for larger cities such as NYC, Chicago, LA which are generally more expensive to hold a conference event of this size. Not to mention housing and food catering is much more expensive in Tier 1 cities.

    Attendees will not go to a pool party or other event if they are generally going to miss out on a great experience. After hours, swag and other WC goodies = the experience and are a must. In my opinion.

    Hats off to the organizers who pull it off and thank you to all.

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  3. Did you know WordCamp Toronto 2018 is free?

    TLDR version: WCTO/WPTO is considered non-profit community group, the place they are having WCTO is City of Toronto property, however, due to it being free, WCTO organizers can’t charge a fee to attend. So it’s all free, we got refunds.

    https://2018.toronto.wordcamp.org/wordcamp-toronto-free-registration/

    Imagine if other WordCamps were able to do that.

    WCTO = WordCamp Toronto
    WPTO = WordPress meeting group in Toronto

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