Sometimes it can be hard inserting yourself in a new community on both a personal and professional level. You never really know what you’re getting into or what you’ve signed up for. That feeling stands true especially when it comes to networking and meeting new people. Last year, I took it upon myself to explore on my own to see if the WordPress world was right for me.
June 2015: I attended WordCamp Philly. This was my first time ever going to a WordCamp. Going in, I did not know a single person there and wasn’t sure what to expect. Yes, I saw what was on the schedule of speakers but I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I figured with the price of admission being so affordable, I would approach my first WordCamp as research project.
I’ve been to my fair share of conferences and I’ve seen my fair share of things at said conferences. Well, I found this to be one of the most laid back, informative and motivating events ever! I even met and connected with people who spotted me from following the event’s hashtag. It’s amazing what a couple tweets and retweets can do!
I knew by the end of the day that this was the community to be in. No heirs. No snobbery. No pretentiousness. Just people who care about WordPress. After talking to several attendees at the afterparty, I felt at ease and made it a point to start attending the local area meetup.
December 2015: After attending several meetups and realizing that I wanted to do more to get involved, I made the decision to answer the call for volunteers for the first annual WordCamp US.
Once again, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with these WordPress people. The first annual WordCamp US…? Why not? I’ve always had an interest in event planning and management. At least I could say that I was at the first one ever and saw for myself what goes on behind the scenes with the making of a WordCamp.
To say that my experience at the first ever WordCamp US was awesome would truly be an understatement.
Here are a few of my favorite things about my experience at the first WordCamp US:
- Great contacts.
- New friendships.
- Support and advice for my first talk on a WordPress topic.
- Resources and tips to help me on my journey of learning all the WordPress things.
- Cool swag.
[March 2016]: I’m going to WordCamp Lancaster. It should be interesting to see how things operate on a smaller scale. Since people watching is something that I do, the whole experience of attending this will provide even more observations to add into my mental notebook.
So, by the time WordPress Lancaster comes around, it would be nine months of my involvement with the WordPress community. I’m really looking forward to seeing new and old faces at this event.
What will I get into next? Only time will tell.
How was your first WordCamp experience?
Do you have a wishlist of cities that you’d like to visit while attending a Wordcamp?