On February 27, 2020, the #WPLDN community came together for what, we didn’t realise at the time, would be the last time for over two years. Today I’m happy to announce that this month (April 28) we’ll be returning!
The journey over the last two years has been challenging for so many, and that journey has not yet come to an end. As I’m sure many will agree, there is still a need to be aware of our personal safety and wellbeing. To that end – the #WPLDN team worked hard to maintain a community spirit at a time when we couldn’t physically come together. The Virtual #WPLDN was born out of this adversity and it brought many positives. The WordPress London Meetup became global, attracting an international audience and lineup of speakers. The barrier to entry to participate was reduced.
As we return to a physical event, we do not want to diminish the positives brought about by the virtual aspect of recent times. So I’m announcing today that as of this month we’ll be delivering two separate events monthly, one physical – #WPLDN – and one virtual – #WPGLOBAL, providing choice for attendees.
#WPGLOBAL – a rebranding of Virtual #WPLDN. For the last two years, the #WPLDN team has delivered a monthly virtual event, which surpassed our expectations in terms of success. The focus on the virtual format brought down barriers and enabled a truly global event. As we work our way back to physical events, we’ve needed to evaluate how we continue to cater for a global audience.
The #WPLDN brand focuses on its intended audience – the WordPress London (UK) community – and as we move forward we want to ensure this is the case. Whilst #WPLDN will continue to live stream its content, there will be a greater focus on the physical presence in the room, over the virtual aspect. As #WPLDN returns, you can expect all you knew and loved about the event – community, connection, education, and even some pizza!
This is why we have made the decision to deliver a dedicated virtual event monthly – allowing the team of volunteers to give the virtual event the same level of dedication as is provided at the physical event.
Some may be asking why not do the two at the same time – the hybrid model? We gave this concept a lot of consideration. Ultimately we feel it can lend itself to creating the worst of both worlds, rather than the best. With both #WPLDN and #WPGLOBAL needing different delivery mechanisms and focus during the events, the idea of trying to run the two concurrently opens itself to many potential pitfalls.
Splitting the physical (#WPLDN) and virtual (#WPGLOBAL) events enables our teams to spend dedicated time focused on the skills that are needed in that specific moment. This will ease the burden on volunteers, and increase the quality of the end product delivered to attendees. If you’re interested in joining either team, we’d love to hear from you.
We look forward to opening both our virtual and physical doors to the community. Starting with this first #WPGLOBAL on April 14 and #WPLDN on April 28.
The event will follow a pattern of the second Thursday of the month for #WPGLOBAL and the last Thursday of the month for #WPLDN. If over the last two years you’ve enjoyed your time connecting with the #WPLDN community virtually, be sure to sign up for #WPGLOBAL today.
I’m also happy to announce a new site – Big Orange Heart Events – a single place where you’ll be able to view all upcoming events and attend, get details on how to host an event, and catch up and watch every session delivered by BOH.