I’ve attended four WordCamps in 12 months. They’re absolutely fantastic, and I would participate in many more of them if I could.
What am I talking about? WordCamps are the localized conferences for the community of WordPress devotees that include web developers, website hosting providers, marketers, bloggers, designers, entrepreneurs and many more. There are about 150 such gatherings around the world. WordCamps are generally very well-attended, anywhere they may happen.
A brief explainer
WordPress is a content management system and a web content creation platform. It’s widely known as an excellent resource for running a blog, but has greatly evolved over the years and is now a powerful foundation for high performance websites and web applications.
What makes WordCamps really tick
On any given weekend, there’s a WordCamp happening somewhere around the world. The appeal of WordCamps, and the WordPress platform for that matter, stretches across borders, continents, cultures, and languages.
To me, WordCamps embody the essences of what WordPress is all about: community, sharing, friendliness, resourcefulness, support, and contributing. WordPress is built on open-source software, maintained and nurtured by an open community of software engineers, software developers, technical writers, designers, and more. WordPress also benefits from substantial contributions by Automattic, parent company of WordPress.com (the cloud host version of the WordPress platform – also known as WordPress.org).
Fundamentally, WordPress is accessible to all, and arguably, thrives and continually improves upon itself as a result of the open access to anyone ready to benefit from and contribute to it.
If you’re looking to reach out to other WordPress users for help, questions, insights, or anything else, there’s a bunch of helpful online resources. You can also join a local WordPress Meetup, which typically is supported by WordPress itself.
And of course, you can attend a WordCamp.
What WordCamps can offer you
As a WordCamp attendee, you’ll get an incredible chance to learn something new, gain insight into aspects of the WordPress ecosystem you may not ordinarily be involved with, and be updated on the latest developments and initiatives.
WordCamps are also a great opportunity to network. Just about everyone is friendly, approachable, and happy to strike up a conversation. Most WordCamps include ample time for networking, including lunch breaks and after-parties.
You’ll very often pick up lots of interesting tips, advice, and resources from fellow attendees and presenters. I’ve adopted several new tools and methodologies as a result of these gatherings.
Many, if not most participants are freelancers and small business owners. The networking that happens at WordCamps often results in referrals, new customers, and unforeseen business opportunities.
Acknowledging those who make it all happen
I would absolutely be remiss if I didn’t recognize the fact that WordCamps happen as a result of the contributions of organizers, volunteers, and the companies that sponsor these events.
It’s always common courtesy, but also very much appreciated when WordCamp attendees take the time to visit the sponsors at their booths, say hello, and learn about their product offerings relevant to creating and managing WordPress websites.
After I attend a WordCamp, I always walk away with the satisfaction of learning a few new things, making new personal contacts, and perhaps most of all, reinforcing to myself the reasons for being a part of the wonderful WordPress community.
To all those who make WordCamps around the world a reality, this all I can really say: