The process for becoming a W3C Office is as follows:
- Ensure that you fulfill the criteria laid down for an Office (Vendor Neutral, Contributing W3C Member, Established Network of Contacts).
- Check your finances. The Offices receive between 15 and 40% of the membership fees paid by W3C members in their respective region/country during the first three years of their membership (the exact amount depends on the date when the member joins W3C: with maximums of 40% for the first year, 20% for the second, and 15% for the third).
- Contact the Member Satisfaction Management Lead to see if there is an interest at W3C in establishing an office in your country or region. If the interest is there, he/she will guide you through the rest of the steps to follow.
- If you are not yet a W3C member, you should join W3C ASAP.
- Prepare a Business Plan and Proposal indicating the need for an Office in the region, and why you should become the W3C Office:
- General description of the community in the target region — and their relationship to W3C
- Which communities are the most important (in terms of membership prospects and Web requirements) in the region, and your contacts with those communities
- What is your relationship to the most important industry in the region. Note that our primary interest is the contacts you have with genuinely local companies; although contacts with the local branches of large international companies is important, those contacts may not help in recruiting (they are, hopefully, already W3C members.)
- What are the prospects for new W3C Membership in the region; if possible, give a list of potential members, your relationships to them, the real prospects of them joining, under which fee category. (The Fee Calculator may help you in determining the categories and fees in your region.) Making a set of preliminary contacts with those companies and institutions to see what the realprospects are would be very helpful. Where do you think your region will be in, say, 2 years? Please, try to be as specific as possible; just listing generalities does not really help a fair evaluation. Try to give us a list of companies, their influence and role in the region, their size, whether they would be possible affiliate or full W3C members, etc. We would also like to know how active those members would be in terms of Working Group participation, submissions, etc. Obviously, such a list is indicative only, and no commitment is required.
- What region-specific feedback could an Office provide to W3C? Think also of issues in Internationalization, Web Accessibility, specific technologies.
- Describe the operational plans in general. This should include how the office would
- build up a local network with technical communities, with the local press (both specialized and general), disability communities (for Web Accessibility issues), etc.
- disseminate information on W3C to the local technical communities, to local press. The possibilities offered by your local press group are important; if you can, provide examples, samples of the things you can do in this area; can you disseminate, eg, W3C Press releases easily?
- translate important W3C documents (which ones, how to proceed, etc)
- organize local events
- national events, conferences, etc, on which you could participate by ensuring speaker(s), with a booth, etc, representing W3C
Obviously, some of those actions are fairly general and identical everywhere; what we would really like to see if there are region or country specific actions that you would also plan to take.
- What resources would be provided (financial, organizational, staff, equipments, travel expenses,…). Mainly in the first few years, an Office usually needs the financial support of the hosting institution because the budgets are rarely in the black; we need a firm commitment from this institution for this.
- W3C has an important Patent Policy requirement. Please look at this policy document and make it clear that you do not only accept to abide to the policy if you participate in a Working Group but, as an Office, you can also represent that Policy in your region.
Please submit your proposal in XHTML or a series of XHTML files. You can either store these files on your site (if you want to store the file(s) on your site with a password protection to ensure confidentiality, that is fine) or send the file(s) to the Coordinator of Offices. Add links to, eg, the companies and institutions you list as potential members, as well as to other documents and sites that you might consider important for the bid.
- Visit of the Member Satisfaction Management Lead (and, usually, another representative of the W3C Staff) on site Review by the W3C Management (with possible further questions from the W3C Management to be settled either by email or a possible phone
- Decision by the W3C Management Team
- Administrative steps (review of the contracts by lawyers, setting up local staff, etc)
- Official announcement of the new Office and the organization of an opening event, including keynotes by W3C Staff members
Becoming a W3C Office may be an important step for your institution. Although the Member Satisfaction Management Lead of W3C will do his/her best to help you in making this decision, it may be useful to contact existing W3C Office staff members who will be happy to give you additional advise and tell you about their experiences. You can find their contact information on the separate offices’ staff page. There are also links from the Offices’ home page giving a short description on each office and their hosting institution.