Everything You Need to Know About Wordcamps
If WordPress is your thing, you’re probably familiar with WordCamps. Organized by WordPress experts or enthusiasts who never miss a chance to share their knowledge, these events are a place to be for anyone involved in the WordPress community. Whether you want to boost your knowledge, learn how to update your WordPress website, find partners for new WordPress project or simply hang out with like-minded people, start looking for WordCamps near you! Get inspired and discover why leading WordPress experts never miss out to book their seats at Wordcamps around the world.
David Vogelpohl – Vice President of Web Strategy at WP Engine
The first time I volunteered at WordCamp would have been around 2013 when I volunteered in the “Happiness Bar” at WordCamp Austin as part of my role helping WP Engine support the WordPress community. For those that don’t know, the Happiness Bar is a fixture at pretty much all WordCamps and is basically an area set up for anyone to stop by and ask questions about making their WordPress site better.
This being both the first time I volunteered at a WordCamp and the first time I attended a WordCamp, I didn’t know what to expect. The first thing that surprised me was that there was even a thing as the Happiness Bar. Having been to conferences all throughout my career, I had never seen an integrated experience designed to help attendees get better with the underlying technology. There was no pitch, no upsell. Everyone was there just to help other people get better.
The second surprise I experienced was that people were eager to help each other in that pursuit. As I sat in the Happiness Bar and person after person came up asking for advice, I ran into a few folks I didn’t know how to help. Yikes! My fellow Happiness Bar volunteers and even random people standing nearby were quick to jump in and provide advice a. That’s when I realized that it wasn’t just me standing at that table, but the entire community was standing there with me.
This lesson stuck with me as I continued contributing to WordCamps around the world. Now when I walk through the door of a WordCamp I don’t think about what I’ll get from the event, I think about what I can give. This is the mindset that makes WordCamps such a special and valuable part of the WordPress community.
Nidhi Joshi – Business Consultant at iFour Technolab Pvt Ltd
WordCamp is all about WordPress. These conferences are the perfect way to be low-key local gatherings where everyone can learn more about the platform, make connections, and find new opportunities.
According to the search engine report, the first WordCamp was held by Matt Mullenweg in San Francisco in 2006 and each subsequent year has brought growth in the number of cities in which it is organized.
Who are WordCamps for?
WordCamps should be attended by everyone. Anyone with an interest in WordPress is welcome to attend a WordCamp and should be able to find something at the event to excite their interests.
This category includes bloggers, designers, developers, authors, marketers, SEOs, Businesses, Non-profits, photographers, realtors, consultants, entrepreneurs, etc.
Benefits of attending WordCamp events:
In 2016, there were 115 WordCamp events in 41 countries attended by 36,000 WordPress users, according to my online survey.
There are plenty of reasons anyone must visit at least one WordCamp event:
- The event is very cost-effective to attend
- Get a chance to listen and learn from expert speakers
- Attend practical workshops and learn new skills
- Increase work opportunities
- Networking opportunities
- Meet like-minded individuals
- Anyone can easily solve their website problems *(WordPress Powers Nearly 27% of all Websites)*
- Develop WordPress business skills
- I have followed a list of things that anyone can also do before going to the camp
- Set your goals
- Review the website
- Be an early bird
- Be Proactive
- Keep your questions ready
David Zimmerman – Internet Marketing Consultant at Reliable Acorn LLC
I’ve attended more than a dozen WordCamps over the last year (and am helping to organize a local WordCamp in my area for this year). I keep going because I get a lot from them! Not only do I learn a lot about my industry, each time I go, but I make great professional contacts in the process. These contacts not only help me be a better service provider, but they provide me with the empathy and emotional support other professionals can’t. Fellow WordCampers just “get it.”
How do I get this much out of them? I bring a friend (or rather, Steve Schwartz brought me). I tend to be introverted. It’s much easier to reach-out and make new contacts when I have a friendly home-base to start from. If I get tired of extroverting, I retreat and recharge by hiding with Steve. Once I’m refreshed, I go out again and meet new people. This has the added advantage of getting to share contacts. I meet Steve’s contacts and he meets mine. Want to have a great WordCamp experience? Bring a friend like Steve! (If you’ve ever met Steve, you know what I mean!)
Donata Kalnenaite – President of Termageddon
Whether you go to a small WordCamp or a larger one, I can promise you that WordCamp is unlike most events that you’ve been to. I’ve attended multiple WordCamps and have even spoken at a few and I am always happy to go to a WordCamp because the people are very friendly, amazing business partnerships are formed and the talks are always full of very helpful information. If you are going to WordCamp to form business partnerships, I’d suggest wearing comfortable shoes, making a schedule for yourself and putting together a list of the people that you want to meet before the event actually starts.
Brooks Manley – Digital Marketer at Engenius
WordCamps have been hugely beneficial to my career. Of course the sessions are always full of knowledge and actionable insight. But my biggest piece of advice on getting the most out of WordCamps is to make connections. And I don’t mean to give your business card to everyone you talk to, but forming 3-4 real relationships that are mutually beneficial.
First, check out the list of speakers and attendees before heading to the conference. Make a mental note of anyone you’d benefit from connecting with. Then, in the most organic way possible, strike up conversations with these people over the weekend.
Most importantly, make the conversations about them and be generous with your time. Offer to help them with something you specialize in if they need it. Make organic connections, and offer these new connections something of value. Not for the sake of them becoming clients or partners in the future, but just to build your WordPress network.
A handful of real, genuine connections will have a bigger impact on your career than notes from a few great talks.
Aaron Hockley – the founder of Tech Photo Guy
My favorite WordCamp tip is to participate in what’s often informally known as the “hallway track” – if the planned programming doesn’t resonate with you, hang out in the hallway or another common area and chat it the other folks that are doing the same. You have WordPress in common, but you probably have other things in common as well. You could meet someone who has overcome the safe frustration you’re having, or you might make a connection with someone whose blog or business can complement your work. I’ve made informal connections at WordCamps that have led to joint business ventures, online content partnerships, and good friendships.
Josh Loewen – Co-Founder of The Status Bureau
I spoke at WordCamp Vancouver 2019 on Yoast and SEO. At this event the crowd was *super* friendly and the organizers were enthusiastic about bringing the community together.
The attendees were comprised mostly of small business owners and developers. It’s the hands-on crowd. If you take a look at a lot of the sessions you’ll notice a focus on how-to’s rather than big picture management.
What this means is that you’re heading into a room full of awesome and friendly nerds! I really recommend it if you’re in the day-to-day of managing or building a WordPress site.
The speakers were very friendly and easy to get along with as well. If you see any of them hanging out, I’d bank on them being really accessible and easy to chat with. Let them know how much you liked their session, ask them questions and have fun!
Stacy M. Clements – web and technology consultant
As someone who started working with WordPress after 20-some years in another career, I was a bit nervous about attending my first WordCamp. I thought I’d be the old person misfit in a room full of young hotshot developers. But I was pleasantly surprised – there were people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels – all there to learn and enjoy.
After attending a couple of WordCamps, I took the plunge and applied to speak. Having now spoken at several WordCamps, I can say that being a speaker is even MORE fun. While I did have fun attending, as an introvert, I sometimes found it a little difficult to start conversations. But as a speaker, I had people start conversations with me! Even better, in a few cases, I was able to sit down and help someone with the knowledge I have – there’s nothing better than sharing information and having someone say, “Wow, that really helped me out!”
I’m not fortunate enough to have a local WordCamp, but in addition to speaking, I’ve started to volunteer at the WordCamps I attend. Having some background in setting up and running large events, I know how much work something like a WordCamp takes to organize and to pull off. Every little bit helps, and it also gives you a chance to meet and talk to different people who are enthusiastic about what they do.
The more involved I’ve gotten with WordCamps, the more connected I feel to the WordPress community. I encourage anyone who enjoys WordPress to get involved. No matter your age, background, or skill level – there’s a place for you!
Abhijith V M – the creator of Geek’s Framework
For me, WordCamp is this amazing gathering of likeminded people that helps you learn more about not only WordPress but also the top trends in the tech industry.
It was in 2015 when WordCamp first came to Kochi, Kerala. I’ve been attending it ever since. Back then I was a very basic user of WordPress and knew very little about the platform.
One thing I like about WordCamp is that they bring in expert speakers from around the world to speak about not only core WordPress topics, but also other closely related fields as well.
The 2019 WordCamp was so interesting. If I didn’t attend, I would have never learned about headless CMS at all. I’m able to learn something new every single time.
Tim Uittenbroek – the Founder of VPNMash.com
I attended WordCamp in our local community back in 2018. In that WordCamp, speakers told us factors behind WordPress success and the names of big companies, including TechCrunch, Sony Music, and BBC America, that are using it. These stats aroused my curiosity towards the WordPress platform, and I started learning it. During that workshop, we came across some basics of WordPress as well. It seemed to me that WordPress is easy to learn the platform. I started my own website and also took an advanced level course afterward. Gradually, I came across advanced concepts, including WordPress theme customization.
After learning much about WordPress, I still attend WordCamp every 3 months to keep my knowledge up to date as advancements keep on coming. It feels so good to inspire and guide new learners as well. Now, my goal is to attend an international level Wordcamp.
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