During the 2015 State of the Word address, Matt Mullenweg shared a few stats about the growth of WordPress events around the globe. Last year there were 89 WordCamps with 21,000 attendees across 34 countries. A surprising 60% of the 601 WordCamp organizers were doing it for the first time. More people are getting involved in hosting WordPress events but there are many areas of the world that have yet to experience one.
The WordPress community team, which provides support and guidance for WordCamps, will be experimenting with bringing events to new locations in 2016. Ordinarily, WordCamps spring up organically from local WordPress communities with active meetups. The new WordCamp incubator program will bring a WordCamp to three new cities where meetups are not necessarily as well established.
Jen Mylo outlined the goal of the program in a recent post on the WordPress news blog:
The intention of the incubator program is to help spread WordPress to underserved areas through providing more significant organizing support for a first event. In practical terms, this experiment means we’ll be choosing three cities in 2016 where there is not an active WordPress community — but where it seems like there is a lot of potential and where there are some people excited to become organizers — and will help to organize their first WordCamp.
The new WordCamps will be designed as one-day, one-track events that connect the local community and inspire them to establish an ongoing presence. Qualifications for applying are rather loose. Those who have always wanted to get WordPress events going in their city but haven’t had success organizing meetups are encouraged to apply.
Applications will be accepted until February 26, 2016, and cities will be chosen by the end of March. Where do you think the world needs a new WordCamp?