WordCamp US 2020 Canceled Due to Pandemic Stress and Online Event Fatigue

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WordCamp US 2020, which was originally scheduled for October 27-29, was officially canceled today. In April, organizers transitioned to planning for it to be held as a virtual event, but the tenuous situation with the pandemic in the United States and the stress on the event’s large crew of volunteers has precipitated a full cancellation. The decision was announced on the WCUS website:

It is with heavy hearts that we have made the decision to cancel this year’s WordCamp US event. 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.

After the pandemic started forcing WordCamps and meetups to go online, many community team members seemed to put on a brave face about adapting WordCamps to virtual events, but WCUS organizers are publicly recognizing the reality of online event fatigue.

Angela Jin, one of the lead organizers, said her team discussed how recent online WordCamps have struggled to meet traditional goals of connecting people and encouraging contribution. In light of attendees’ increasing online conference fatigue, WCUS organizers considered the cost of volunteers’ time.

“The Lead Organizers also took into consideration how many volunteers we have on this team, and how much time we were asking them to invest in an event that didn’t seem to be able to offer the same level of joy or satisfaction that an in-person WordCamp would, Jin said.

“As you might imagine, this was a very upsetting realization, but the whole team spent time discussing together, and we believe that we made the right decision.” 

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