When I attended my first WordCamp in 2011, I instantly fell in love with these events. Over the past year and a half, I’ve been fortunate to attend 29 different WordCamps around the world, and have learned so much from each and every one. In this time, I’ve realized what the absolute best part about any WordCamp is, and it’s my pleasure to share that with you.
Although there is a “best thing” about WordCamps (in my opinion), there are so many great things that should also be included here.
An Inexpensive Opportunity to Learn
WordCamps are volunteer led and locally organized events. Each one is created by the community, for the community. The WordPress community is like no other I’ve been involved with. It’s open and collaborative with the goal to openly share knowledge in order to elevate attendee skills and understanding of the web publishing space.
WordCamps are in part funded by sponsors. There are global sponsors (SiteLock included), and many sponsors who are local to the event location. It’s an opportunity for companies and individuals to get their brand in front of attendees, but more than that, it’s a great way to give back to the WordPress project in a meaningful way.
Because sponsors donate their time and money, that means WordCamps can keep ticket costs low, usually in the $35 to $40 range. The affordable price tag makes these events accessible to more people than a traditional trade show or event where admission can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
Shared Knowledge, Experience and Partnerships
If you went to a trade show that included mostly local businesses, many with competing products and services, would you expect that they would share their best advice for acquiring and managing their customers? Probably not. But this is exactly what happens at a WordCamp.
I’ve seen premium plugin business owners discussing their revenue details. I’ve seen hosting companies commiserating on technical challenges and how they have approached a solution. I’ve seen two real estate website development agencies sharing how they acquire customers.
Similar to the mission of WordPress, Democratizing Publishing, the official WordCamp mission statement might as well be Elevating Each Other. Of course, it’s not all altruistic either. There are business partnership opportunities to be explored and agreed upon during WordCamps too, and this happens regularly. Whether it’s between two developers who team up to start an agency, or between larger companies finding a mutually beneficial subject to offer together.
The Session Topics
And now we’re getting closer to the meaning behind the title of this post. Every WordCamp session I’ve attended has been something useful, relevant and actionable. No matter whether you’re a blogger, designer, developer, business owner or a combination of these, there is always useful insight being shared by speakers that attendees can take away and implement for their own WordPress journeys.
Not only are the scheduled sessions always packed with useful information, but so are the conversations you have with others in the Hallway Track. If you’re not familiar, the Hallway Track is a term used to describe the conversations and knowledge sharing that occur during and after WordCamp sessions. All of this leads me to the best part of a WordCamp…
The individual people that plan, organize, sponsor, and attend are the best part of any WordCamp. For the most part, there is a similarity between people who are involved in WordPress, and especially so with people who get involved with WordCamps. The common denominator is that they are all genuinely nice people.
I have no scientific data to prove this niceness, of course, it’s my own generalization. Even more than this, people at WordCamps are eager to learn and are even more eager to connect deeply with others who share the same passion for building the web that creates real and lasting relationships.
Follow the District for more information about and recaps of WordCamp events from around the world.