#104 – Thomas Fanchin on Community Engagement in WordPress Sponsorship

[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the jukebox podcast from WP Tavern. My name is Nathan Wrigley.

Jukebox is a podcast which is dedicated to all things WordPress. The people, the events, the plugins, the blocks, the themes, and in this case, community engagement in WordPress sponsorship.

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So on the podcast today, we have Thomas Fanchin. Thomas is a WordPress enthusiast and is the partnership manager for Weglot, which is a solution for translating websites, not limited to WordPress.

His role means that he’s immersed in the WordPress community. He’s passionate about connecting with, and learning from, others in the community. Thomas talks on the podcast about Weglot’s involvement in WordPress initiatives and events.

We get into how they decide what to sponsor, and what they hope to get in return. Thomas discusses the difficulties in tracking the effectiveness of marketing efforts at events. They’ve tried all manner of approaches, and we chat about the complex nature of measuring the return on investment, and whether it’s enough to have brand visibility as the only outcome.

The conversation turns to the unique engagement opportunities within the WordPress and open source community. And whether these events are different from other, more corporate, events held elsewhere.

Weglot operates both within and beyond the WordPress ecosystem, and Thomas shares the company’s focus on adaptability and replication in other communities. While profitability comparisons between WordPress and Shopify events are not easy to measure, thomas acknowledges both platforms are strong partners for Weglot, expressing interest in engaging with new content management systems and communities.

Thomas wants to explore some innovative sponsor initiatives beyond typical events in the near future. He thinks that guest posts, supporting meetups, and sharing personal expertise might be potential ways for companies to effectively engage in the WordPress space.

But not everything is new, and Thomas talks about Weglot’s approach towards flagship events, like WordCamp Asia and WordCamp US. They are hard at work already figuring out what they’re going to bring along, and how they’re always trying to think outside of the box.

If you’re interested in learning about the intricacies of sponsorship, the impact of sponsored engagements at events, and the future landscape of sponsor initiatives within the WordPress community, this episode is for you.

If you’re interested in finding out more, you can find all of the links in the show notes by heading to WPTavern.com forward slash podcast, where you’ll find all the other episodes as well.

And so, without further delay, I bring you Thomas Fanchin.

I am joined on the podcast today by Thomas Fanchin. Hello, Thomas.

[00:03:46] Thomas Fanchin: Hey. How’s it going?

[00:03:48] Nathan Wrigley: Good, thank you. Very nice to have you on the podcast. We’ve intended to do this podcast before, but we had some gremlins and so we finally got to it. And I appreciate you staying the course, Thomas. Really appreciate it.

Just to give people some context, we’re going to be talking a little bit about sponsorship, perhaps about events today. But I guess it would be important to give you an opportunity to say who you are, and why your voice matters in this space. So a little time for a bio. Would you just tell us, Thomas, who you are and what your background is with WordPress. Who you work for, that kind of thing.

[00:04:17] Thomas Fanchin: Oh gosh. That’s a lot of information. I’m going to try to stay brief. Who am I? I work at Weglot, as a partnership manager there. My day to day task consisting interacting with tech partners, but also a lot with communities, including WordPress.

I started my journey within WordPress during my time when I was a student. I wanted to create a website. It was a pet website, back in the days I wanted to launch my own business. So that’s how I discovered WordPress. But I didn’t know anything about the community. I was trying to do everything by myself.

When I started to work at Weglot, that’s when I started to interact a little bit with people from the community, meetup organiser, WorldCamps, organisers. But also just people doing podcasts and other things, inside of WordPress. Once you get to interact with people inside of the WordPress community, you’re just always going to talk with a lot of people, and do a lot of stuff around WordPress. So that’s how I got into where I’m right now today

[00:05:23] Nathan Wrigley: We should probably explain exactly what Weglot does, because people may or may not understand what it does. But obviously it puts you squarely in the international localisation space. So just give us a, again, almost like a bio for Weglot. What does it do?

[00:05:36] Thomas Fanchin: Yeah. So Weglot is basically a transition plugin, that allow you to translate our website into multiple language. It’s super simple plugin to use. It’s easy to set up. If you ever want to try it, just go for it and let us know what are your thoughts about it?

[00:05:52] Nathan Wrigley: Okay, so we’re going to talk a little bit today about the WordPress community, and about decisions that Weglot have made, in terms of where their endeavors lie. Obviously, every company in the WordPress space would love to grow and grow, and one of the ways that people do that is to sponsor events. They might sponsor particular online events, or WordCamps, and things like that.

So we’re going to dig into that a little bit. We’re not talking about what you’re going to do in the future, that’s up to you to decide. But in the past, what kind of things have Weglot done to get themselves out there in front of the WordPress community?

[00:06:27] Thomas Fanchin: We have sponsored quite a few WordCamps and meetups, in the past. During my first year, we’ve sponsored around 50 WordCamps, and it was almost the same with the meetups. Like, we sponsored maybe 30 meetups, something like that. Which was great. There was definitely a lot of logistic behind it.

And back then, we were thinking about becoming global sponsors. Because at some point it was hard for us to keep up with all the events, and for logistic matters too. We thought about it. And also, we were starting to think, yeah, what’s the next big move? What can we do more? What can we do better?

So we tried the global sponsorship, for two years now. It was also super interesting. With the global sponsorship came also new challenges. We also started to invest more into Five for the Future. I would say, yeah, we’re still super invested and trying to support more initiatives, and support more of the WordPress community.

[00:07:31] Nathan Wrigley: When you sit down with all of the decision makers in Weglot, how do you decide what it is that you are going to do? Because, obviously I’m not a sponsor, I have never sponsored anything, but I’ve spoken to quite a few people from different companies. And if we just take the example of WordCamp, let’s just stick with WordCamp and maybe some of the bigger events.

My understanding is that most of the companies who support that with sponsorship, they don’t generally think about it as something which they can measure a return on investment immediately. So let’s say that they sponsor, and they put $50,000 into sponsoring a particular WordCamp. They’re not thinking, okay, we need to get that $50,000 back, or $100,000, or some multiple thereof.

It’s more about just being a good citizen. Making sure that people are aware that the company exists. And we’re in financial times at the moment, where every dollar spent is really something that has to be thought about. So I just wondered if you wanted to give us an idea, why do you sponsor? Why have you been a global sponsor? What have you hoped to get out of it, and has it delivered what you wanted?

[00:08:40] Thomas Fanchin: It’s another big question. So I’m going to try to reply with as much elements as I can. I think, first of all, it depends on the company culture. So if you are a company and you were built, or you are based, around one specific community, then it becomes easier for you to just talk about budget for the community support. Because, I mean, the company is originally based around it. Maybe the owners are already aware of what it is.

And if you take, for example, Weglot, for us, the community, it’s equel feedback. So a lot of people from the team used to do support tickets, back in the days. And a lot of us are still doing it. So it make the connection between the users, the community, the support, which is our frontline, and the company. So it’s just a connection for us. Which can help us when it comes to decisioning to, yeah, we’re going to support this, or we’re going to sponsor this event.

The other part that is also super important, obviously is the visibility part. You mentioned it. It’s super important for us to be visible, for people to be aware of the product, of what it does.

And there is also the giving back part. Because obviously you are a company, you are growing and it’s good. But when you grow, you make the community also, the people that help you to grow, grow with you. So basically, it’s like creating a win win situation between your company growth, and the community.

I think when you combine the three, it’s let’s say, easier to set up budget, and to have this type of discussion. And it also depends maybe on your marketing strategy too. We can get into that.

For us, we divided into two type of strategies. So there is growth marketing, and there you have some KPIs, and it’s based on performance. And you have brand marketing. Brand marketing is not based on performance. But the Weglot brand, it’s combined with community, and with events. So we cannot dissociate both, which is good for us as a brand, and good also for the community. And it’s not based on performance.

The thing that mattered to us, is that the product, again, is visible. And when someone think about multilingual, we want him to think about Weglot. We know that there are agencies, freelancers, partners, people within the WordPress space, but also outside of the WordPress space, who think about Weglot, because they have met us somewhere in Asia, during WordCamp Asia, or at an event five years ago, or at a meetup, or during a conference. But it’s hard to track that. But we know that it’s working.

[00:11:23] Nathan Wrigley: When you say you know that it’s working, is that just an intuition that you anecdotally hear that people, when you maybe ask them, where did you hear about us? It may have been that they can link back to a sponsorship at a particular event. Or, is it more anecdotal than that? You just get a sense that there’s an uptick in sales immediately after events, and things like that.

[00:11:43] Thomas Fanchin: Yeah. I think the tracking part is really hard to measure. We’ve tried a couple of things in the past, like coupon deals. It didn’t work out. We tried QR code too, because I know like a lot of us are trying to flash the QR code, and it wasn’t the best solution too. We tried to have people fill up forms. It wasn’t the best solution. And in terms of logistic, it’s just super hard to maintain.

I know some companies are trying like this massive gift by participating an event, by entering your actual information, and so on. But I’m not sure that it has the best return on investment for them. It’s more a visibility thing, I think. I’m not sure. Maybe it’s working. If it’s working, it’s awesome and it’s cool. But I think it’s more a visibility matter.

I think there is no real tracking that you can set up to measure this type of action. Which is why we separate both, and you have growth marketing and brand marketing. Both goals are set aside.

[00:12:44] Nathan Wrigley: We are in a very interesting community, in that we’re quite unique I think. The open source movement, but WordPress particular. In that we turn up to these events, and we know that there’s going to be sponsors there, and we may interact with those sponsors. But on some level, the open source, the nature of open source has this kind of no sponsorship feel to it, if you know what I mean? There’s this kind of, everything is free, and we give our time for free, and all of that kind of thing.

So I just wonder if you collide with that. You turn up to these events, you’ve paid a lot of money to be a part of the sponsorship area, and maybe the crowd that have turned up are not, you know, that willing to engage with you. Maybe in a different environment, a much more corporate environment, people would be willing to make that trade a little bit more, and they might be more willing to come and talk with you, because, I don’t know, they’ve got a different agenda.

Do you sense that a little bit? Is there something about this community which makes it harder to advertise towards them? And if that’s the case, I presume that you have to keep juggling that.

[00:13:45] Thomas Fanchin: I guess the goal is to try to be really innovative, in a way that people come and interact with you. So, it’s really your role, as a sponsor to try to make sure that you do not cross a certain line. And that everything that you put out there, in terms of content, the booth, the people that are here, the people with whom you are working to, are aligned with the community culture, with the company culture too. That way you make sure that people come and interact with you.

I don’t see people as really like hostile toward us. Working at Weglot for the past five years, I’ve only had positive feedback about what we do inside of a community, and also about the product itself. From time to time, people don’t like it. It’s totally fine. And it’s good, because that way you can, yeah, like amazing feedbacks. To be honest, I don’t see anything wrong within the community and how it’s working out. From my perspective, and from the sponsor perspective too, I don’t know about what others might think, but that’s just my thoughts.

[00:14:57] Nathan Wrigley: In your introduction, when you were describing Weglot, you mentioned that WordPress is one aspect of that. But I’m reading between the lines, I could be wrong. Is it the case that Weglot operates outside the WordPress ecosystem as well? And if that’s the case, do you have a different approach to your marketing in the different markets? So firstly, let’s answer that question. Does it operate outside of WordPress? And if the answer to that is yes, what kind of things do you bolt onto? Is it other CMSs, or what?

[00:15:25] Thomas Fanchin: So the two founders of Weglot, they always had these goals of creating a solution for translation, that could be used on any website on the market. That was the purpose of the tool. We started to launch it on WordPress, but we also made a version for Shopify. And now you have this general integration that you can use on any website. And so the answer is yes. You can use Weget outside of WordPress.

Regarding question two, I think it’s a similar approach. It might be because of the company culture, and because of where we started. WordPress is like a big part of what we do inside of different communities. We believe that what we are doing here is really positive. And if something is working, and it’s positive, what you are going to try to do is to replicate it in other communities.

It’s really what we try to do, but at the same time, of course, you need to adapt yourselves to the other communities. Because, I don’t know, maybe it’s not the same people inside of a community. Maybe it’s more like corporate people. Maybe it’s people that are not interested about open source. Maybe it’s people who don’t know at all about how to code. I don’t know. There is various communities out there. And yeah, I would say like, we try to adapt ourself, and at the same time we try to replicate what’s working.

[00:16:47] Nathan Wrigley: This is going to be a difficult question to answer, potentially, because you may not have the numbers hand. But do you know if, let’s take the example of Shopify. Do you know if Shopify gives Weglot a greater level of profitability? For every dollar spent on events, or on advertising on Facebook, or Google, or whatever it may be, wherever those dollars get spent. Do you know if there is a greater profitability in one of those communities, than there is in another?

[00:17:15] Thomas Fanchin: That’s the big question. What I can say is that WordPress and Shopify, they are one of our big partners, with a strong attachment to WordPress. Because when the two founders launch Weglot, it was during WordCamp Paris. So that’s what I can say.

I don’t have the specific numbers in mind, but it’s true that there is a lot of new communities and new CMSs out there that are emerging. And it’s definitely super interesting to interact with them for me as a partner manager. And to discover new CMSs, new communities, that comes with new people from like various communities out there.

[00:17:54] Nathan Wrigley: So we’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about sponsoring events, but obviously sponsoring could be in all sorts of different directions. And I think you mentioned things like Five for the Future. I’m wondering if that’s something that Weglot explore. So, you know, if you’re listening to this podcast and you are working for a company, and you’re trying to think of innovative, interesting ways, and obviously you could sponsor a WordCamp, that one’s fairly straightforward.

Are there any other things that you do? So for example, do you sponsor particular individuals to contribute to the code base? Do you sponsor some smaller events like meetups, or anything like that? Do you do things like Five for the Future, or any other things that we may not have heard of? So anything outside the normal typical WordPress events.

[00:18:34] Thomas Fanchin: I think it’s a quite interesting topic, because I think like everyone within the WordPress space, like companies, they can do like various innovative initiatives. We are all like super, super busy with our agendas. But you could contribute by providing, I don’t know, guest posts, content in the areas where you are an expert. For example, for us it would be like multilingual.

So if you have a content team, or people from your content team that could help others. You could also, let’s say, help meet up organisers with their venues. At Weglot, from time to time, there is like this marketing community. They come to have breakfast at Weglot in the morning. It’s not cool for the employees because you get to work and everybody is eating, and you need to work. You could also do that.

From a personal standpoint, I did a couple of talks during meetups, around multilingual. I mean, I’m not the best. I’m sure there is plenty of people with more knowledge than me. But I have my own expertise, and my experience, and I can share it. And so far I’ve received just positive feedbacks. There is various stuff that you could do at a personal level inside of a company.

And yeah, of course we are also doing Five for the Future. We are sponsoring, I think, right now, three contributors inside of the community team, and the Polyglot team too. It’s quite interesting. It’s something totally new for us. We never did it in the past. And what we try to have various people who are really enthusiastic about the community, and who loves to do plenty of stuff. It will be like, I don’t know, recruitment, just someone that would come like to the Weglot team and work. We try to have the same type of people with whom we’re collaborating there, which is awesome.

We also supported, you mentioned meetups, we also supported a few meetups in different ways, because we try to always adapt the budget. And also the way that we support those meetups, because some of them, they need money for the venue. Other needs equipment. And there is like layers of people out there who have specific needs, so we try to adapt ourself.

We’re also doing something quite interesting. There’s the Weglot community there, where we invite our ambassadors, inside of the company, for one or two days. And they get to meet everyone from the company, and they get to teach about what they do inside of specific communities, and how it helps Weglot.

It’s super interesting because it helps the company culture. When you are growing, and you have more and more people coming inside of the company, it’s interesting to learn the basics, but also to understand what we are doing inside of WordPress, or inside of other communities too.

Because obviously for us, it’s simple. We know what the community is about. We know what we’re doing. We know what’s WordPress, what’s a meetup, what’s a WordCamp. But maybe like for others, it’s a little bit more, not hard to understand, but there is less visibility on this type of action. Which is why it’s super interesting to have community people to come and just interact with the team.

One thing that is quite interesting, because you mentioned that we are present on different communities, and we also have different ambassadors. And this year we’re making a community day in March, if I’m right. If I’m wrong, my event manager is going to be mad at me. And some of them will be outside of WordPress. And they would meet each other and attend like conference during the day, and teach to each other what they do in different space. And also about their approach, because it’s not the same approach. So it’s going to be quite interesting to have those type of interaction. But yeah, maybe I’m being too long.

[00:22:12] Nathan Wrigley: No, that’s really interesting. You mentioned the ambassadors. Who are they then? it sounds like they’re people who are closely aligned with what you do, but not employees. They’re just people that use your services and products, but they’re not on the payroll. But they’re willing to give some of their time over to your endeavors. That’s interesting.

[00:22:28] Thomas Fanchin: Yeah. The ambassador program is something that we have put together because we started to sponsor quite a few WordCamps. And it was hard for us to be able to travel from point A, to point B, to point C. You could imagine having an event in France, another one in Spain, and another one in England. So it’s hard to commute. At the end you would be like totally tired. And it’s not the goal. The goal is, of course, to have a nice balance between personal life and work life.

We found out that there was plenty of people who were attending WordCamps, and were willing to do it for companies like us. We tried to find some community people who shared the same thoughts as we do, inside of Weglot. Love the product, want to talk about it, and want to participate inside of a community, That’s how it started.

Now we have a few ambassadors who are working with us. We try now, since this year, it’s the first time that we did the community day, so we try to have the ones that are representing us in like various countries, to come up in Paris with us and discuss with the team.

[00:23:40] Nathan Wrigley: That’s a really nice initiative. I like that. I also just like the fact that there’s people who are so into what you do as a product, that they’re willing to donate their time. It’s almost like a little microcosm of the WordPress project inside the Weglot project. You’ve got volunteers who are helping you out. Yeah. That’s fascinating.

I’m going to just encourage the listeners of the podcast to go to the show notes, and I’m going to link to a piece on the make.wordpress.org website by Cate DeRosia. It was published on the 29th of November 2023, and it’s called, Should We Allow Sponsor Demo Rooms or Tracks at Events. I’m also going to link to a piece over on Post Status by Marieke van de Rakt. The name of that piece escapes me at the moment. But it was all about the WordPress community getting divided into participants on the one hand, and sponsors and companies on the other hand.

And I’m interested about this. I’m interested to know from your perspective. Now we’ve talked a little bit about how you make a return on investment, or whether that’s necessary or not. But I’m wondering if, as the years have gone on, you mentioned that you’ve been involved in WordPress for five years or more. Have you still got the same excitement for attending these kind of events, or do you wish there to be some kind of change?

And in Cate DeRosia’s piece, she’s basically saying, do we need to think a little bit outside of the box in order to get sponsors to attend these events? It sounds, the undercurrent, I guess is that it’s harder than ever to get the sponsors, enough sponsors, to cover the cost of the events.

So I’m just wondering if the people in the comments, you have any ideas on how your sponsor dollars could be spent? Such that you feel you’re getting more value than you are at the moment.

[00:25:21] Thomas Fanchin: From a personal point of view, it’s definitely super amazing to be able to travel to this event. Because you get to travel from all over the globe, thanks to WordPress, which is super cool. I’ve never been in Asia, and I went to Bangkok earlier this year, which was awesome.

And you get to spend time there with people with whom you have a close relationship now, thanks to WordPress. And people with whom you are friends now during this event, and that you’re not probably going to meet throughout the year, which is just amazing.

And from a, more of a sponsor level, I would say maybe five years ago there was more engagement. If you take an event like WordCamp Europe, we’ve talked a little bit about it, let’s talk about it again here. Yeah there were for sure like, maybe more participants and more engagement in WordCamp Europe in Berlin, than maybe now the last WordCamp Europe in Athens. It was like a really huge event, with way more sponsors than five years ago.

People I believe, at least that’s my thoughts, were a little bit lost with all the sponsors, and all the tracks, and everything that was happening. It was still an amazing event. I love it. It was awesome. But yeah, maybe there was a little bit less engagement.

And there were also other events, like in Asia, where it was just like WordCamp Asia, was just amazing. I’ve spoke with so many people that were interested about the product, about what we do. And it was something new, because it was the first time too. So I guess we’ll see like this year, next year, and the coming years how it’ll evolve. But I’m sure it could be positive.

Yeah, maybe right now there is less engagement. But if we go back to the beginning of this conversation, I think the job of a lot of sponsors here, is to try to be innovative to attract people. It could be your booth. It could be the activities that we are doing.

I think right now it is just, we are at a stage where we should all start to think about outside of the box, and think about crazy ideas that we could put together, to have people come interact with your product. But also with what you do inside of a company.

[00:27:44] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I think Cate’s piece really is raising that question. So, maybe it’s off the back of data saying what you’ve just said, where the engagement is maybe down. And it’s curious that you found that the engagement was up in WordCamp Asia. So maybe that’s because they were doing things differently. Maybe they had a different, just a whole different approach, and they’re trying innovative new things. Certainly speaking to some of the organisers, that was very much the intent, was to try out some new things. And from your perspective, that seems to work.

But as attendees of the events will know, the ticket price is incredibly low. And that is largely offset by sponsors. And so if sponsors, like Weglot, determine that the engagement, it’s going down. Maybe we shouldn’t sponsor this particular event. That then jeopardises the event in the future. So Cate’s piece, I guess, is trying to figure out if there are things which would attract the sponsors.

So she’s suggesting things like demo rooms, and various other things are suggested in the chat. But she’s thinking things like, could we have a standalone room just for demos, for sponsors? Would it be possible to offer them different kind of packages? What would those packages contain? Could there be maybe some, I don’t know, an event which is at the end of the event as a whole, where the sponsors get up and get to give away prizes or something like that.

The point is thinking out the box. And we did an episode a few weeks ago, which again I’ll link to in the show notes, where we’re talking about next gen events. And all of that, again, seems to be talking about a picture of, these events are after the pandemic at least. We’re struggling to get them back. We’re struggling for the sponsors to be interested. We’re struggling to get the numbers back. And so being innovative matters.

Do you think that you’ll be, in the next five years, sponsoring these events at the same level, or do you have an intuition that you’ll be going your own route and trying things own way?

[00:29:32] Thomas Fanchin: Yeah. If we’re talking about the flagship events, I know that next year we will still support all of them, which is great. I already know that for WordCamp Europe, we are going to have a really nice booth there. And everyone is right now working to be as innovative as possible, to make sure that everyone has a super nice experience entering into the Weglot booth. I hope it’s going to be amazing.

In WordCamp Asia, I know that we are working right now on the booth, the concept and everything that we’re going to do there, which is awesome. And I think it’ll be the same for WordCamp US.

On a more global perspective, I know that this year, we are not going to be global sponsors. But the reason behind it, is that we want to diversify the way that we support WordPress. And we are going to try to invest more into new initiatives, but also into contribution space, and into Five for the Future.

But yeah, it doesn’t mean that we are stopping anything. We are still going to support the flagships, and other WordCamps too. We are going to be just more selective into the WordCamps that we are supporting.

But I think, for us, it’s more the logistics behind supporting like all the events. It was hard to follow up. And we always had that goal in mind, that if we were going to be global sponsor, we wanted to have someone representing us in all the WordCamps.

And unfortunately, we were not able to maintain that. It’s cool, not cool, but it’s like amazing to support all these events. But you need to make sure that, at least you have someone out there, and not only is there like an empty table with no goodies or with some goodies and no one there.

And even the logistic behind like sending goodies in like, all the places in the world, it’s like crazy. And we were lucky. Now we have our event manager who is working with us, and she put together an amazing program for the goodies itself. So it was like something that she set up only for that. And we were able to work with ambassadors from a lot of places, which is also like super cool, because now we have more and more people working with us. But still it was hard for us to be able to be present everywhere, as we wanted to. So it’s part of the reason why. What was the initial question again? Maybe I got lost.

[00:31:57] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, it was really about whether or not you see the landscape in the next five years being the same as in the last five years. So, obviously money is tight everywhere.

[00:32:07] Thomas Fanchin: I was speaking about this year, and about how we were going to support also like meetups too. So, I’m in touch with some meetup organisers too, and we’re going to support their meetups.

I know that a lot of sponsors are struggling, and as we talk about it earlier, it’s hard to keep a track on everything that we’re doing. And for sure, if there is room for new types of sponsorship, or new types of visibility action that we can put together, it would be awesome.

The thing that you have to keep in mind, is that it’s cool to have these new ideas, but we need to make sure that it aligns with the community. And that we don’t cross that line that we spoke about earlier. The more that people are positive about the new ideas that we have, and the better it is for us, because it means more people are going to engage.

The last thing that you want to have is to put out there like some, I don’t know, new ideas, or new things to get more visibility. And what is going to happen is that you have less engagement, and then sponsors are going to be, okay, it’s not working. There is less engagement than before.

[00:33:13] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. I think the endeavor at the moment seems to be to try a lot of these new ideas out on what they’re calling next gen events. Whether that name will stick around or not, I don’t know. But the intention, really, is to try these out on the smaller events. So try out some new things, try a different approach at a variety of different events. Who knows what that will be, but there was an example of a much smaller, newer event in the UK not that long ago. See how they go, and see if any of the ideas from those can percolate up into the bigger events, possibly.

But you’re right, you risk alienating the community at your peril. If at the end of the day you go over a boundary that the community seemingly can’t tolerate, then you risk polluting the entire river, which would be a complete disaster.

So I guess we’re going to see. Let’s see how these things change in the future. Let’s see how companies cope with the realities of post 2023. Over the next few years, see what their purse strings are like, and let’s hope these events are continued to be sponsored by companies like Weglot.

Thomas, just a quick one. If anybody has listened to this and thought, do you know what, I’m struggling with the same sorts of things, it would be nice to chat to Thomas, see if there’s any alignment. Maybe there’s some sort of opportunities to work together. Where would be the best place to get in touch with you?

[00:34:24] Thomas Fanchin: Maybe on LinkedIn. You could all reach out to me on LinkedIn. I’m not posting every day, but i’m really reachable by message. So if anyone wants to reach out, talk about WordPress, talk about Five for the Future, or contribution, or you have a new podcast idea, you’re looking for support. Or you just want to discuss a little bit about partnership, feel free to reach out to me there.

I also have a Twitter account. It’s my name, so Thomas Fanchin. Have a look at it on both LinkedIn and Twitter. You will find me, I’m almost sure.

And otherwise, you could just reach out to the support team. If you want to reach out, [email protected], and just say that you want to talk with Thomas, and I would be tagged. So that’s also easy if you want to reach out to me. So yeah, it up to you.

[00:35:14] Nathan Wrigley: Thank you Thomas. I really appreciate you talking to me on the podcast today. Thanks so much indeed.Visit TechPros

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