That’s right! The eve of WordCamp US is upon us and I’m pretty excited. I recently discovered posts from Tracy Rotton and Liam Dempsey on what they’re looking forward to this year, and I wanted in on a piece of that action.
What’s a WordCamp without meeting up with your local crew? There’s nothing like going all in at a conference with the backing of your peeps. It’s always a pleasure to see some of my favorite people from the ‘burbsWP meetup. I’m sure that many from our happy meetup group are looking forward to seeing member Sal Ferrarello’s session. If you’ve never seen one of Sal’s talks, then you definitely don’t want to pass up this opportunity. I promise, you will learn something new and be thoroughly entertained.
Another talk that will be worth checking out will be given by another local Philly tech friend, Lisa Yoder. I have the pleasure of knowing her through events like Ela Conf and BarCamp Philly. I won’t be able to see her talk because I’ll be on one of my scheduled volunteer shifts. I look forward to checking out her talk when it is available on WordPress.tv
When it comes to attending the “Hallway Track” sessions, at some point I hope to catch up with WordCamp Baltimore friend and co-organizer, Anthony D Paul. I have no real reason for tracking him down other than to bug him.
While wandering about through the hallways, I’m going to keep my eyes open for Adam Warner at the SiteLock sponsor table. I missed his awesome karaoke skills at WordCamp Baltimore, so I am going to give him some pointers on song selection.
Working together with fellow volunteers at conferences is a great way to meet new people. It’s also helpful for those who want to network at events but may be a little introverted because it gives a reason to talk to people. I don’t really consider myself to be a true introvert, but I’ve found that volunteering helps take a little pressure off of some that I may want to introduce myself to.
When I volunteered at WordCamp US last year, I felt that by the time that everything was over, I more than benefited personally and professionally from being a new member of the WordPress community. I’m constantly amazed by the new and different opportunities that are available just being an active member and working together with others on projects, whether or not they’re WordPress-related.
Since WordCamp US is once again right in my neck of the woods, it’s only right that I give back to the community and find a find a new way to help out. In addition to being a volunteer throughout the conference, I’m going participate in Contributor Day for the first time. I’m really curious about what projects I can get involved with to help give back to others through the power of WordPress.
Last month at WordCamp Baltimore, I became friendly with Isabelle Garcia from VINUBIS Video Editor. I promised that I’d let her interview me for her vlog and got caught up in WordCamp Organizer duties, so I want to make good on my promise and follow through with that. This would be my first time ever helping to create video content, so this will be a new and interesting experience.
I’m also looking forward to creating new relationships and reaching out to those who may be attending a WordCamp for the very first time or just as much as curious about meeting people like I am, looking to grow their personal network.
In addition to meeting people new to WordPress, I can’t wait to meet up with some of the people I’ve connected with online in person for the first time. I’m hoping to catch up with Ray Mitchell who is a member of the #CodeNewbie Twitter chat community and learn more about his personal story and use of WordPress.
Meeting Bridget Willard in person is something that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I’ve been following her work online for a while now and I’m a fan of hers from WPBlab. Sitting down with her and chatting about WomenWhoWP and GiveWP is something that’s been a long time in the making.
There’s nothing like connecting with like-minded people, building relationships with them, and creating lasting memories. Are you attending WordCamp US 2016? What are you looking forward to?
Don’t have a ticket? There might be a few left. If not, grab a live stream ticket and take part in the WordCamp festivities from the comfort of your home or office. Don’t forget to follow the official WordCamp US Twitter account and hashtag – #WCUS! It’s a quick and easy way to make connections and build your tribe.
If you are going to be in attendance, feel free to track me down. I’d love to chat with you and learn about your WordPress origin story. Leave a message in the comments below if you’d like for me to connect with you on Twitter throughout the weekend.