Web Analytics Wednesday: Free and Independent!
If you are one of the thousands of people who have attended one of our Web Analytics Wednesday events over the past few years, well, thank you! Thank you for showing your support of the web analytics community, your local community, and the practice of web analytics in general. I had no idea that our execution of June’s idea would progress to near the point it has … touching so many people and providing a gateway to jobs, employees, and all kinds of new ideas.
That said, two challenges have emerged recently and I felt like a quick blog post that everyone could reference would be the best way to deal with each. In no particular order:
- Web Analytics Wednesdays are designed to be a free event. It has come to my attention that some local chapters of WAW are charging people to attend events. In most (probably all actually) cases these fees are designed to offset the cost of food or drinks, but here’s the thing: we have tons of money for Web Analytics Wednesday and we can almost certainly get more if we need it! If you find yourself in the position of having to ask local members for $10 for an event … please please please email me directly and lets find you money! I am pretty creative, and the 2010 Global Sponsors have already donated very generously, so let me help you make a totally free event if at all possible, please!
- Web Analytics Wednesdays need to be run thoughtfully when held in conjunction with Web Analytics Association events. This gets back to the open-to-all atmosphere of Web Analytics Wednesday, but it has been brought to our attention that some WAA country hosts in Europe have been holding joint WAA + WAW events. This is excellent and wonderful, except if it happens at the expense of A) the global agreement between the WAA and Web Analytics Wednesday and B) the ability for anyone — WAA or not — to participate.
The second point merits additional explanation. Web Analytics Wednesday, as many of you are already aware, is an independent entity created by Analytics Demystified, not the Web Analytics Association. Because it is a “community event” many people mistakenly assume it is WAA but it is not and never has been. We maintain WAW as a private entity because A) we believe it needs to remain open to all, not just those folks able to justify and afford the Association’s $199 annual fees and B) honestly, it’s a lot easier to get financial support for these events as an independent entity.
To clarify this, a few years back June and I hammered out an agreement between the Association and WAW. Without boring you with the details, the agreement specifies that “Web Analytics Wednesday” is an independent brand, that all WAW registrations will occur on our web site and system, and that WAW will be open to all comers, not just WAA members. It’s an awesome agreement because it allows the Association access to WAW events around the globe without needing to have any infrastructure.
The agreement also totally, totally supports local WAA events that want to have a social function as well! If a WAA coordinator or country manager wants to have a “social event” after a sanctioned WAA event that requires registration they have two very simple options:
- Call the event Web Analytics Wednesday, create the event on our platform, advertise the event for anyone and everyone who wants to attend, and ask people to sign up to participate at the official WAW web site;
- Call the event anything other than “Web Analytics Wednesday”
All we are seeking to do is ensure that “Web Analytics Wednesday” continues to be known as a totally free event, open to all comers regardless of financial disposition and willingness to support any association, vendor, or technology. And to that end we are working as hard as possible to provide resources — financial and otherwise — to event planners across the globe, working with great organizations like the WAA, and working with the brilliant and wonderful WAW hosts who have made Web Analytics Wednesday the amazing event it is.
Personally I’m looking forward to getting to know the new WAA Executive Director and working to ensure bidirectional compliance with the long-standing agreement between WAA and WAW. I know the agreement has the board’s support, and we hope the spirit of the agreement continues to maintain the community’s support as well.
I welcome questions, comments, and concerns, and with the Association’s permission I am happy to provide or publish a copy of the agreement between WAA and WAW (but do need the Association’s permission as it is a valid legal document.)