I have spoken to many people who are new to WordPress. When I mention that I have spoken at WordCamps, they ask me, “What’s That?!”. So, I am going to explain what they are and what the great benefits of attending a WordCamp are.
What are WordCamps?
WordCamps, for those who are new to the WordPress space, are local conferences that span from one to three days that focus on all things related to WordPress. They are not just for developers and techies. There is something to be learned from every user type and level from beginner to advanced. The great thing is the community that supports and organizes WordCamps. They are friendly and willing to help; no one really considers themselves to be better than anyone else.
If you’re new to the WordPress space or have just started using WordPress because your designer chose it for your site or you were referred to it, there are numerous camps to check out. In fact, if there is a local camp to be held in your area, it would come up in your WordPress Dashboard under WordPress events. All you need to do is click on the event and it will forward you to the respective website. This is the same place where WordPress Meetups are mentioned as well. If you’ve been to a meetup, WordCamps are similar to meetups, except just larger in scale.
Why are they so unique compared to other conferences?
WordCamps are unique conferences in that they are not like trade shows or other industry related conferences. WordCamps typically are compared to family reunions by frequenters because the people they meet are friendly and they get to become good friends. In fact, some feel that going to WordCamps is like coming home for the holidays.
The great thing about WordCamps is the freedom to do what you wish. You’re welcome to attend the talks one after another, bounce from one talk to another or just meet and mingle with other attendees, speakers, and sponsors. It’s all what you wish to get out if it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a one day conference or the national conference.
The speakers who deliver talks can be compared to listening to your friend talking about that thing at work or what they did last week that changed their life. The talks are not stuffy and boring like you get at other conferences. Most speakers are open to questions and answers both during the talk and afterwards in the corridors.
How can WordCamps can help you build your brand?
Meet new people and make friends
Probably the one thing that can be gained is meeting new people from the local community. They may be sponsors, speakers, or other attendees. The attendees could be simple users looking for nuggets of information and advice on how to do things better. They could be professionals from the area looking to connect with other professionals or willing to share their time with beginners.
Give a talk
If you’re comfortable with speaking and have expertise in a specific area, you’re invited to give a talk during the “Call for Speakers” window. The camp organizers review all submissions for content and then pick those topics which would benefit the target audience of the area. It is allowed to submit multiple talks. All talks are video recorded and then submitted to WordPress.TV for viewing by others in the community who may have missed it or looking for information on their own time.
Get advice from experts
WordCamps are a great place to meet experts in various area from design, development, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), marketing, and many others. They come to WordCamps to meet with other professionals and also share their knowledge with anyone looking for help and advice. The community shares one thing in common; we all can learn from each other’s experiences and what was done to overcome the challenges.
How can I find WordCamps near me?
There are basically two ways that you can learn what WordCamps are in your area.
- Check your WordPress dashboard. Any WordCamps that will be in your area will appear under WordPress News. They may be in a city new you or in a neighboring town.
- Visit central.wordpress.org. From here, you can see every WordCamp that is scheduled worldwide and the dates. It’s always a better shot to visit the main site because many incorporate WordCamp into a long weekend away.
So, get out there and find a WordCamp near you and experience the community which makes WordPress free to use to publish your ideas.