Wordcamp – what is Wordcamp, who is it for and why attend?

Wordcamp-London-Mike-Killen

WPElevators at Wordcamp London. Photo: Mike Killen

I attended Wordcamp London  2018 and was asked when I got back “What is Wordcamp – who is it for and why attend?” So here goes:

What is Wordcamp?
A WordCamp is a community-organised conference on WordPress as a publishing platform. Events are organized,by the local WordPress community in an area, in strict accordance with WordCamp.org guidelines and the principles of the WordPress Foundation. The California city of San Francisco held the first WordCamp  in 2006, and since that many other cities and on every continent  have followed suite with their own Wordcamp. Dublin, Belfast, London, Seville, the list goes on to include any major city and attendance can vary from dozens to hundreds, to thousands. London probably had 400. The fee structure allows you buy a ticket for a choice of prices, basic or Patron or Sponsor, so it can be attended for a very low investment or as much as you would like to donate.

 Who is Wordcamp for?
Anyone who is a WordPress user or is thinking about using WordPress. It is ideal for developers or app developers, but is also good for graphic designers and digital marketers or SEO people. However any webmaster could learn a lot at Wordcamp. Usually the sessions are divided in to three distinct tracks, Design, Development and Business, so you can pick the sessions that suit you best. Dip in dip out as you please and there is wifi available and loads of places to get working on your laptop.

Why attend Wordcamp?
Wordcamp-London_Piccia-NeriLearning – Think of it as CPD for web designers/developers. There are loads of speakers or informative sessions, so you can learn new methods or innovations. You might learn about new topics such as GDPR or Gutenberg. Some topics are basic and ideal for new people to the Community. Some get very technical and high brow.
Vendors – Wordcamp allows vendors or sellers of applications that integrate with WordPress. You can meet real people from Siteground or GoDaddy, WooCommerce or ManageWP. You might even meet the CEO or CTO or founders.
Swag – People love collecting WordPress swag, so pick up some stickers, pens, diaries, notenooks, phone covers, t-shirts and so much more. You will meet people who are brandishing stickers and t-shirts from other Wordcamps, just like rock concerts, we have our swag.
Sharing – Meet loads of other WordPress developers and talk shop in the breakout or social sessions. It is a great way of comparing notes about methodologies or stacks used or how to’s etc.
Community – Socialise and have fun with like minded people, who will become partners, collaborators, mentors and friends.There are breaks between sessions to allow you mingle and a good lunch break, plus a social event in the evening. Food is fine and usually caters to Vegan and Gluten Free diets as well as standard fare. There is loads of coffee and water and fruit available all day and cake is usually served in the afternoon.You will rarely find a sense of community like this one, because it is for you. Enjoy!

Wordcamps are also an opportunity for WordPress user Groups to meet each other in person, so you will meet people from WPElevation, WPInnovator, Agency Trail Blazers and SEO LaunchPad. By all means bring your own crowd of connections, this is a super way to enjoy the company of people who understand you. This is now one of my favourite Networking opportunities of the year, so I am looking to book for next year. I get to meet great people like Imogen Allen, Piccia Neri, Lee Jackson, Mike Killen, Rich Flynn, Dave Hibbert, Drijen Shah, Nemanja Aleksic, John Blackbourn, Adam Helman, Yorick Brown and so many more.