After receiving 182 applications from cities all over the world, the WordPress Community Team has selected three locations for the WordCamp Incubator program:
Representatives from the thirteen other short-listed locations are encouraged to organize a local WordPress meetup and will have the help of Community Team mentors as needed.
Thanks to the addition of a new volunteer deputy from the Community Team, the program will move forward with three locations, instead of having to scale back to two, as previously anticipated. Each event has been assigned a deputy who will meet bi-weekly with the local team to mentor the new WordCamp organizers.
Andrea Middleton outlined in the announcement how the team plans to proceed with getting these events off the ground.
“Denpasar, Harare, and Medellín will work with their respective deputies to start a monthly WordPress meetup group or add their existing meetup group to the chapter account program,” Middleton said. “Once the local WordPress user group is meeting regularly, each team will work on finding a venue, setting a date, recruiting speakers, and spreading the word about the upcoming WordCamp.”
In order to take the pressure off the new organizers, the Community team will assist them in scheduling and finding speakers. The events will be 100% funded by the global sponsorship grant so organizers can focus on community building without the pressure of fundraising. Middleton said they are aiming for no more than three non-local speakers at each event, which she anticipates will happen in the last quarter of 2016.
The challenge with the Incubator program is to ensure these events are a launching point and not just a flash in the pan. Middleton and the community team deputies are working to establish these emerging communities so that they continue to grow organically after the events conclude.
“The goal for these events is to organize an easily reproducible, one-day, one-track event with about 50-75 attendees,” Middleton said. “Hopefully by the end of the organizing/incubating experience, members of the local community will feel confident that they can organize an annual WordCamp independently in the years to come.”