WordCamp Europe Demographics and Selection Process

Some people have expressed interest in the overall demographics of the speakers at WordCamp Europe. Since all of the speakers are now confirmed it’s a great opportunity to share some of them with you. I’ve been coordinating the speaker submissions and selection process. I’ve also had a number of questions about the process which I’m happy to detail.

The Aim of WC Europe

When we started discussing WordCamp Europe, we had a number of aims in mind:
1. To showcase speakers from across Europe at a large-scale WordPress event
2. To bring in overseas speakers that people living in Europe would normally have to travel to the USA to see
3. To provide an environment for creating cross-European collaboration and collaboration with the wider international community.

These were all kept in mind while carrying out the speaker selection.

The Data

Let’s start with a basic table. Below are the demographics of submissions alongside the number of speakers. Note that this is based on where people currently live, as WordCamp Europe constitutes a local WordCamp for anyone living in Europe.

Country Submitted Speaking
Non European
South Africa 3 1
USA 25 6
Israel 1 1
Japan 1 1
Australia 2
Canada 1
Zambia 1
European
Italy 2 2
The Netherlands 14 4
Belarus 1 1
Bulgaria 3 1
Switzerland 1 1
UK 11 6
Luxembourg 1 1
Norway 3 2
Germany 6 3
Serbia 1 1
Spain 6 2
Portugal 1 1
Austria 2 1
Ukraine 1 1
Belgium 1
Denmark 1
Estonia 1
France 3
Ireland 1
94 36

The figures work out as follows:

  • European speakers: 75%
  • Non-European speakers: 25%

spread_speakers

The WordCamp central guidelines around speakers states that “If you aim for at least 80% local/regional and no more than 20% visiting, you’re doing great”. WCEU is pretty close to that, which we’re happy with.

We can also compare the number of people speaking to the number of those applied:

  • European submissions: 64%
  • Non-European submissions: 36%

spread_submissions_simplified

Europe had a 64% submission rate and 75% of speakers are from Europe. This means that there is a higher success rate among Europeans as opposed to non-Europeans. This isn’t surprising since we heavily weighted the decision-making process to Europeans.

We did get a lot of submissions from outside of Europe, particularly from the USA. We had 25 submitted from the USA, the next highest was 14 from the Netherlands! It’s great to see that people from all over the world are supportive of WordCamp Europe, and willing to pay the high travel costs required to fly in for the event.

Decision Process

The decision process worked as follows:

  • the team constituted 11 people from the following countries: UK, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, Italy
  • all members of the team voted anonymously, allocating a Yes, No, or Maybe
  • Points were allocated: 2 for yes, 1 for maybe, 0 for no
  • Points were tallied.
  • as a group we reviewed all of the applications. When two presentations were similar and the speakers of a similar quality, the European candidate was chosen.

Lots of talented people were turned down. It was a difficult process and there was lots of back and forth discussion to get it right.

We think, however, that in the end we’ve got a good balance of speakers, including demographics and topics.

I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments about process and overall demographics. However, it wouldn’t be fair to comment on individuals so please don’t single out speakers for discussion.

5 thoughts on “WordCamp Europe Demographics and Selection Process

  1. Pingback: WordCamp demographics and selection processes : Post Status

  2. Michelle Schulp

    Sounds like you put a lot of thought into it! I love seeing other WordCamp Organizers’ processes. I wonder how long until people ask gender/minority demographic questions… I know it didn’t take long for us here in Chicago to be faced with that. I wish I had some more time available to put together our demographic statistics for everyone. :)

  3. shruti9896

    I have been joining local camps in my country. But Europe is too far. Though I would certainly take this opportunity if I have the chance. Soon i guess. It would certainly be a great experience.

  4. Pingback: How WordCamp Europe chose its speakers | WordCamp Central

  5. Pingback: WordCamp Europe: For The Greater Good - Remkus de Vries

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