I recently attended my first WordCamp, and it was fantastic. The event was held in Birmingham, England. I have been wanting to attend a WordCamp for a while now, and for various reasons, I have never been able to attend. With the creation of LlamaPress, I though this would be a good time to get into the whole WordCamp scene.
What is WordCamp?
WordCamp is a weekend long conference related to WordPress. The event consists of various workshops, interesting talks, and the opportunity to meet other WordPress folk, face to face. The conferences are pretty laid back, and great fun.
WordCamp itself, started on Saturday morning, however me and a bunch of other UK-based Genesis people decided to meet up on the Friday night to get to know each other a bit better. Due to having worked with, and networked with a lot of the UK Genesis people that I knew were attending, I was particularly excited for my first WordCamp in Birmingham. It was great to meet everyone in person.
Not only was it great to meet some of the people who I network with in person, but I also found it extremely valuable, and interesting, talking to some really talented Genesis folk. It’s one thing talking to someone in a chat window, but chatting about code, business and various other things face to face has been awesome.
Attending my first WordCamp
WordCamp Birmingham ran for Saturday and Sunday, and the whole weekend was packed with interesting talks from all sorts of WordPress geeks. I found it fascinating hearing about how people in different professions are using WordPress, and how it has been benefiting their business.
On Saturday, I met up with the rest of the UK Genesis people at the venue at around 9am. I then spent of bit of time, just wondering round, introducing myself to people and meeting some pretty cool WordPressers. After that, we had a registration/introduction and then the morning sessions started. The morning talks that I attended consisted of:
- “Turbo-speed your WordPress website” by Mike Pead
- “Theme Building Tricks of the Trade” by Jonny Allbut
- “Training clients on how to use WordPress” by Brian Duffy
We then broke up for lunch at around 12.30, before heading back to listen to the afternoon talks, which consisted of:
- “Catering for WordPress” by Kirsty Burgoine
- “Mind your Language! A guide to implementing ‘proper’ language encoding on multilingual WordPress websites” by Belinda Mustoe and Doug Lawrence
- “Automate & intergrate WP with other applications” by Jason King
We then went onto something called Lighting talks. This was where anybody could go up, and talk about a recent project they are proud of, or something that people might find interesting. After the Lightning talks, me and the rest of the Genesis UK people, decided to go out for a nice meal and to let our hair down a little.
On the second morning of my first WordCamp, I met up with the rest of the Genesis UK people again. After the morning coffees, and a bit of codeing talk, we decided to get cracking. The morning consisted of another set of really interesting talks, which were:
- “Be a Brand not a Commodity” by Petra Foster
- “WordPress for small and not for profit enterprises” by Ted Ryan and Pauline Roche
- “Customers and the web” by Paul Cherry
- “Why its time to stop using Photoshop for web design” by Ben Furfie
After the morning talks were finished, we decided to grab a bite to eat in the local pub.
After getting back from lunch, I spent a bit of time socialising, chatting to other WordPress people and stocking up on caffeine. I decided to miss the first talk of the afternoon, I thought it would be better to spend my time networking. I decided to get in on 2 more talks that afternoon, and I’m glad I did. The talks I attended Sunday afternoon were:
- “Content is King” by Rachel McCollin
- “Easy Lazy SEO” by Jessica Rose
After the final talk, everybody got together for a wrap up in the main room. Everybody applauded the organisers, and then set off for a fun night of socialising. My first WordCamp had been a success, and I had thoroughly enjoyed all the talks.
Saturday night social
Over the course of the 2 days, I had made some amazing friends at my first WordCamp, and we were all ready to have a bit of a party. The organisers of WordCamp had booked out an entire pub, image a pub full of WordPress geeks, it was pretty surreal, but a great night. Everybody talked, joked, laughed, swapped stories, and generally had a good time.
So it goes without saying, my first WordCamp at Birmingham was a fantastic experience and I met some really cool people. I’m already planning my next WordCamp to London, and I know that a lot of the people I met in Birmingham will be there too. I can highly recommend getting to a WordCamp, if you work with WordPress on a professional, or on a hobbyist level.
If your planning on going to WordCamp London, let me know and I’l be sure to see you there 🙂