2016 has been a great year for WordPress. It has increased from 25% to power 27% on the internet today. It has also been a great year for OnTheGoSystems and the WordPress community itself. We have seen more and more OTGSians interested in attending, speaking and even organising WordCamps.
First, here at OnTheGoSystems, we created a new position within the organisation. Its mission is to care for our participation in the community. This space has allowed us to organise materials, create new ones, to increase the quantity and improve the quality of our presentations during WordCamps. We have only one goal in mind: to become closer to you, the WordPress community.
Generally speaking, our OTGSians are becoming more and more keen in getting involved with the community. We even wrote about this fever. We had team members attending a WordCamp for the first time, but we also had new organisers, volunteers, new speakers and experienced speakers.
Besides WPML being a Global Community sponsor for several years, in 2016 OTGS has contributed to 26 WordCamps. Taking advantage of our remote distribution, we were able to be present in 4 different continents.
We also had 11 speakers who gave 22 talks. Of this number, 6 offered a WordCamp talk for the very first time in their lives. I will mention Lauren Jeffcoat here who was not only a first time WordCamp speaker, but also presented 6 times with 3 different talks, becoming our most experienced speaker for 2016. She is on fire!
We had also 5 WordCamp organisers: Harshad led WordCamp Nashik, Lauren WordCamp Wilmington, Konstantinos WordCamp Athens and I was involved with WordCamp Medellin and Sevilla.
One of the goals for this year was also to start attending as sponsor representatives. Being a Global sponsor is awesome, but we were lacking that live interaction with the community and our users. In total, we attended to 7 events with 25 sponsor representatives. We had to prepare new materials but luckily we had Peter in charge. Time was short and there was a lot of work involved. However, we learned a lot during this process and we are ready and eager to be closer to you in 2017.
During this post, we have continuously talked about the importance of that first contact with the community. Contributing to a WordCamp as a volunteer is the first step. You meet speakers, organisers and experience all the dynamic energy behind the scenes of a WordCamp, but from a comfortable, engaged position. This year we had 5 volunteers, and I’m pretty sure it will be the first step for new organisers and speakers during 2017.
WordCamp Europe deserves special mention as it continues being a meeting point for our team. Being a remote team, we are aware of the importance of organising an annual company meeting, however WordCamp Europe continues being the event that allows us to meet each other for a second time in the same year. 2016 was not an exception and we were around 25 WordPress enthusiasts having fun in Vienna. For this year, we had 10 representatives and 2 volunteers.
For next year, I (Andrés) will be part of the WordCamp Europe 2017 organisers and we hope to have several of our own speakers as well.
Our goal for 2017 is to continue to increase our presence at WordCamps in every possible role. We already have confirmations for 2 organisers and 2 speakers in the first quarter, but in the final analysis, what we want is to get in contact with you and give something back to this awesome WordPress community.