Organizers of WordCamp US 2020 announced that this year’s virtual event will be canceled.
“It is with heavy hearts that we have made the decision to cancel this year’s WordCamp US event,” organizers said in a blog post. “In light of the continued pandemic, online event fatigue for attendees, organizers, and volunteers, and the desire for WordCamp experiences to be traditional WordCamp experiences, we have made the difficult decision to stop this year’s planning, and cancel WordCamp US 2020.”
In May, the team announced the event will go fully virtual due to the ongoing COVID pandemic.
However as the world changed, the team realized having a virtual event might not be the best course of action.
According to Organizing Team Member Chris Wiegman, “This was for a lot of reasons. First, there is a bit of online conference fatigue already happening. As the camp wasn’t until Oct we didn’t want to be in a position where we were just another camp, especially as WCUS is supposed to be the flagship. The struggle to differentiate this camp from others with limited time remaining was a big part of that. Add to that there is a lot of discussion on make.wordpress.org on changing what online camps are. Those guidelines may or may not be finalized before WCUS was supposed to happen but ensuring we set the example was a big part of it.”
WordCamp US 2021 is still being planned. “This gives everyone the chance to ensure 2021 is something special and do it right,” Wiegman said.
The decision to cancel was made even harder by the fact that many people did submit talks. “We have been reminded again and again throughout this year how strong, knowledgeable, creative, and capable our community is,” the blog post said.
The blog post said that while the event this year won’t look like it was going to, there could still be smaller virtual events happening that week, though according to Wiegman there isn’t enough information on what those might look like yet. If you want to be kept up to date on those decisions, stop by make.wordpress.org/community.
It’s been a tumultuous year to say the least and WordCamp organizers have been working overtime to find a way to continue to connect the community as well as keeping everyone safe.
It will be interesting to see if other WordCamps and WordPress conferences follow suit. WordCamp Europe had a record number of attendees in their virtual conference in June but the world and landscape are ever-changing.
“Thank you from all of us on the WordCamp US organizing team for your support, your care, and your devotion to WordPress and our community,” the blog post said.