What exactly is WordCamp and why should it be on your ‘must-do’ list?

It’s no wonder that WordPress, thanks to its versatility, powers millions of websites all over the web. From small businesses to blogs of all shapes and sizes, there’s a reason why developers of all backgrounds and skill levels swear by it. But learning how to navigate and master a platform like WordPress can sometimes feel like an isolating experience, at least when you’re behind a monitor.

Luckily, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Not when you pack off and go to Camp. WordCamp, that is. An opportunity for WordPress aficionados of all stripes to collaborate, commiserate, learn and teach face to face; it may just be time you thought about hitting up your first (or planning your next!).

Why WordCamp?

Previously, WordPress users were forced to hunt on help forums every time they wanted to talk to anyone else in the same boat. While WordPress is an incredibly common website creation platform, there are very few opportunities out there for WordPress developers to truly have an opportunity to learn from each other in an open, unconfined environment.

The nice thing about WordCamp is that every event is casual and user-organized. The laid back atmosphere is both beginner and master friendly, something that can’t necessarily be said for every online forum. Dedicated users get together, organize an event, and offer an open invitation to all pressers of words!

And as you can imagine, this means that WordCamp isn’t restricted to one venue. There are users based all around the world and, of course, there are also events hosted from coast to coast. From Sydney, Australia to Kathmandu, Nepal, where ever there are users, you can bet someone’s thought about hosting a Camp.

This also means that every Camp is slightly different, varying on who’s speaking, who’s organizing the event, and who’s attending. Some WordCamps have featured thousands of other users, while others are a little more intimate. You can expect to be able to sit in on everything from presentations to Q&As, to in-depth workshops, to panels, and more. Presenters may be just starting out or may be lead developers. In fact, it’s easy to apply to become a speaker yourself, if you’re up to the challenge. Most events offer anyone who wishes to speak the opportunity to apply and present. Unique perspectives are valued and the idea behind WordCamp is to give those offering new perspectives and ideas a key platform to share with a wider audience of fellow users.

Is it For You?

WordCamps are designed to be accommodating for all skill levels, backgrounds, goals, and backgrounds. Whether you’re focused more on the design and marketing aspect of a blog or business, or more adept at the technical aspects of designing a WordPress site, most Camp events are a way to bridge the gap and allow all WordPress experiences to be affirmed and offered the opportunity to grow.

Not only is it a unique opportunity to learn new skills from panelist and presenters, but it’s one of the best networking opportunities a WordPress designer, blogger, or developer could hope for. Many attendees come home with new friends, clients, and even careers.

Attending one of these events is easy. Chances are likely that you have one in a city near you. In the tradition of open sourcing, since these events are volunteer based, prices are kept low and totally affordable. Ticket can be as low as $40 for a whole weekend, depending on the size of the event. For quality content and networking, we don’t know of any other conference or event that offers such fabulous value for money.

WordCamp helps make forming a strong WordPress community possible. Really, it’s one of the best networking opportunities users have at their disposal. You can start by visiting the WordCampCentral website to find out more about what WordCamp is all about and how you can get involved.

Gin McInneny is Digital Producer at WP Elevation. She has experience in website development, digital marketing, videography, and education. Gin brings these skills plus her unique enthusiasm to the wonderful world of WP Elevation.