WordPress’ Community team has proposed a draft for the 2024 Global Community Sponsorship Program, with fees increased to cover the costs of the rapidly expanding number of in-person events.
The program supports the volunteer-organized local events so that they can provide free or low-cost access for attendees. It helps companies streamline their sponsorship contributions across multiple events with less administrative overhead than it would be to sponsor individual WordCamps. The program does not include flagship events such as WordCamps Europe, Asia, and US.
Fees have gone up since 2023 for all three sponsorship packages: Gold, Silver, and Bronze, which offer varying degrees of visibility at in-person WordPress events.
The 2021 and 2022 programs did not include funding for WordCamps, due to the unpredictability of hosting in-person events when the pandemic made conditions unfavorable in many places across the world. At that time many WordCamp and meetup organizers opted to continue with virtual events.
In 2023, WordPress events are ramping back up again. Automattic-sponsored community contributor Isotta Peira said the number of in-person events has increased by 60% compared to 2022, and they expect Next Gen events will keep the program growing into 2024. So far 15 pilot events have been confirmed for the new Next Gen format, with 11 of them happening in 2023.
“As a result of the Meetup Reactivation project that started in July 2022 and ended in June 2023, 270 dormant Meetups started hosting events again,” Peira said. “Today, we have 729 WordPress Chapter Meetups in 107 countries and over 500,000 members globally. In the first 7 months of 2023, the WordPress Community has held 27 WordCamps, and another 29 are scheduled before year-end.”
The proposal highlighted a few stats demonstrating the strong resurgence of community events:
- 36 local WordCamps held in 2023 to date, with 25 more scheduled before year end
- 173% increase in WordCamps since last year: 60 WordCamps anticipated to be held in 2023, compared to 22 in 2022
- 729 meetup groups across 107 countries
- 507,796 meetup group members, program-wide
- 2,998 meetup events scheduled in 2023 to date, and over 340 more scheduled through the end of the year
The uptick in events is the direct result of the Community team’s efforts in 2023 to reactivate dormant meetup groups, bring back in-person WordCamps, and evolve the WordCamp program to make room for new event types.
Companies that are interested to support WordPress’ burgeoning events program can get on board for 2024 by emailing email@example.com before November 30, 2023.