Wordcamp Conference Review
WordCamp PHX 2013
When you picture a room filled with over 600 web designers, developers and bloggers, what is the first word that comes to mind? To many, that word would be geek. A better word would be energy. Take those 600 people and give them unlimited wi-fi, numerous charging stations along with a smorgasbord of experienced speakers to choose from. Add food, drinks, a little entertainment and lots of swag and you have a group of happy campers….“Word Campers.”
This was my first Wordcamp conference so I entered with a mixture of apprehension, excitement and, of course, expectation. Before I get into the details, I want to say that Wordcamp didn’t disappoint! It provided an ideal opportunity and atmosphere for learning and networking.
What is WordCamp?
In a nutshell, WordCamp is everything WordPress. It is a conference that is focused on using and developing WordPress. It covers blogging, business and social media. It talks about design and development. WordCamps are held all over the world. For more indepth information and to find a schedule of Wordcamps, please check out their site: What to Expect at WordCamp Central.
How does WordCamp run?
Each WordCamp has its own individual style. The WordCamp I attended was WordCamp PHX. It kicked off at 8:00am on a Friday and ended Sunday evening.Both Friday and Saturday pffered multiple choices of classes at 4 different levels. There were plenty of options. Sunday was run a little differently. Since most of the people were heading home. it was much more informal with 1/2 hour "power" talks and the ability to join "break away" groups.Throughout the conference, there was an opportunity to visit with the sponsors and other companies related to websites. On Saturday, there was an entire area called Rockstars dedicated only to troubleshooting your site.Meals snacks and social activities provided a great way to regroup, relax and mingle.
Who can go to WordCamp?
There are no requirements or restrictions on who can attend a WordCamp conference. Anyone who is interested in learning more about anything WordPress is welcome to attend. Since it is a nonprofit organization, they rely on sponsors and donations to run it, keeping the cost to attendees at a minimum. The price of a ticket varies between WordCamps. WordCamp Phx was $20 per day or you could purchase all 3 days for $50. The full pass also included a t-shirt, 2 after parties and 2 lunches. And that's not even the Swag!
Programs or sites to keep you connected
My take away from WordCamp
This was the first conference in a very long time that I have attended that turned out to be incredibly useful. I did go into it with some expectation and I can honestly say that WordCamp Phx exceeded those expectations. I was hoping to learn more practical matters about blogging. I did. I was hoping to learn logistical moves. I did. I was hoping to meet more people like me. I did. I was hoping to meet people different from me and I did! The amount of knowledge and talent amongst the organizers, presenters, supporters and attendees was remarkable. The encouragement, support and dedication between them was heartwarming. The amount of available resources there was staggering. If you write,design or develop a website or if you are planning a website for your business, I recommend attending a WordCamp or two. You won't be sorry.
For when you get tired of WordPress
What did you learn at WordCamp and who did you meet?Click thumbnail to view full-size
Have you attended any type of conference for "bloggers"?
The best part of attending WordCamp.
Attending this conference gave me a much needed injection of energy. It filled my head with so many new ideas. It introduced me to many new applications and ideas in addition to the people I had the opportunity to meet. I have received perks in the form of e-books, along with marketing strategies. I met people who are my neighbors standing alongside people from halfway across the world. I will keep in touch with some of them and look forward to collaborating with a few, as well. I came home with a new sense of purpose.