Last week, I was enjoying the beautiful city of Paris, whilst attending WordCamp Europe 2017. This was my 3rd WordCamp Europe and my 8th WordCamp in total. I find attending WordCamps to be a great way of keeping up to date with the industry, as well as networking with other WordPress professionals. I met up with people who I talk to regularly, but do not get to meet that often. I was also lucky enough to meet many new people, and make many new contacts within the WordPress community.
This year at WordCamp Europe 2017, I decided to take a more relaxed approach to the talks I attended, opting to spend more time networking and meeting new people. I did, however, attend some really interesting talks, detailed below:
- Security is a Process by Mark Jaquith.
- 5 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Business by Joshua Strebel.
- The Community that the Incubator Program built by Thabo Tswana.
- Making the most out of WordCamps by Marco Calicchia.
- Lessons Learnt Marketing WooCommerce Since July 2014 by Marina Pape
- How I started working on customer support for a popular WordPress plugin as a total newbie by Alice Orru.
- Zero Carbon WordPress by Tom Greenwood.
- Interview and Q&A with Matt Mullenweg.
- Data Visualization with the REST API by K. Adam White.
One of the most interesting pieces of information from the talks, for me, was when Mark Mullenweg announced a new feature to WordPress called Gutenberg. Gutenberg is essentially a new way of structuring and creating your content in WordPress, giving you more of a page builder like feel. Gutenberg is currently being tested, and will at some point, be making its way into the core of WordPress.
WordCamp Europe 2017 Venue
WordCamp Europe 2017 was located at Le Docks de Paris. Although not central Paris, which meant the venue was about 45 minutes from where I was staying, I do think the venue was ideal for the size of the event. This WordCamp attracted 1900 physical people, and the organizers needed to find a venue that can accommodate for this. This was a big venue, with plenty of room both indoors and outdoors (which was great, as the weather was really hot).
Like other WordCamps, WordCamp Europe 2017 was sponsored by many different companies, from hosting companies such as SiteGround and WPEngine, through to software developers such as WooCommerce and JetPack. I use a lot of the products that sponsor WordCamp in my day to day work, so it was great to meet up with some representatives of these companies. One of the cool things about an attendee of WordCamp is the swag given out by all the sponsors. After making my way through each sponsor stand, I had accumulated 6 t-shirts, a fidget spinner, a mobile phone stand, about 4 bags and countless pens and pads. It was a pretty decent haul 🙂
When attending WordCamp, you get fed lunch, as it is an all day event. This year, I met up with some WordPress friends I’ve met previously and enjoyed lunch in the shade.
Socializing and meeting people.
On my first night in Paris, after I got checked in at my hotel, I decided to meet up with some WordPress friends, Jo Waltham from CalliaWeb, Rhys Wynne and Andi Wilkinson from MadeByFactory. This was fun, it was a relaxing night and a nice start to my visit. On the way back to my hotel, I stopped off by the River Seine for a while to appreciate the view.
On my second night in Paris, I met up with some friends I made last year at WordCamp Europe 2016, including Kevin Muldoon from RiseForums, Colm and Simon from Create & Code and Charlie from AThemes. I was also lucky enough to meet other WordPress folk I had never met before, chat shop and generally have a good time.
On my third night in Paris, as like the previous night, I decided to meet up with some fellow WordPressers and content writers. I had a fun night, filled with a few drinks and good banter. I met lots of new and interesting people, fun times!
The After Party
The WordCamp Europe 2017 after party was held at Le Pavillon d’Armenonville, which is a really nice venue. During the after party, I met some people who I had never met before, including Henry Wright, Mark Smallman from MacGraphic and Jak from Jakson. Apart from the extremely long wait for food, which nobody enjoyed, the after party was a great night. A number of us ended up stopping until gone 4 in the morning, just socialising and having fun.
The last time I stayed in Paris, I believe I was around 8 or 9 years old. Needless to say, I felt like I needed to re-visit some of the beautiful sights Paris has to offer. As much as I attend WordCamps for the professional networking and learning, I also want to take in as much of the culture as possible and have some fun. First, I head off in the direction of the Eiffel Tower. I remembered visiting the Eiffel Tower when I was younger, and I’m so glad I went back.
I didn’t go up the tower, as I only had 1 day of sight seeing. So instead, I wandered around the gardens, taking in the scenery and snapping a few pics on the way.
After seeing the Eiffel Tower, I decided to head on over to Montmartre, to see the famous Sacré-Cœur. This was a trip I’m glad I took, the place is beautiful!
After seeing Sacré-Cœur, I decided I needed to get a coffee. Whilst finding a suitable place to stop, I bumped in Jak, who I had met the night before at the WordCamp after Party. Jak and I enjoyed a few beers, chatting WordPress and watching the world go by at Montmartre. It was a nice relaxing last day in Paris.
I had a really good time at WordCamp Europe 2017, as I am sure you can tell. I found the whole trip to be educational, valuable and fun. The talks were great, the French food was great, the weather was great, and I always enjoy meeting up with my WordPress friends. WordCamp Europe is being held in Belgrade in Serbia next year. I’m looking forward to this, as it is a part of the world I have never been too.
Did you go toWordCamp Europe 2017 also? Feel free to drop a link to your write up in the comments below as I would love to hear your story 🙂