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What in the World is WordCamp?

Written by Ben Leach on

As our intrepid team departed for WordCamp Brighton (17-18 August), we took a look at what the word on the street is about WordCamp.

The HeX team gets about a bit in terms of WordCamp. Only this year, James has spoken at Belfast, Boston (USA) and now Brighton – although we’re not tied to just the ‘B’ places, we’re off to NYC in September and might rock up at Manchester WordCamp in October.

So, what is a WordCamp?

Well, in a nutshell, it’s a conference that focusses on all things WordPress, and since the first one in 2006, there have been hundreds held all over the world, from San Antonio to Sydney, Peru to Paris, Nepal to Nairobi. A whole host of topics are covered – everything from content creation, blogging and accessibility to WordPress web development, code, plugins and inspiration from WordPress success stories.

WordCamps do vary based on who is organising them and the speakers who have been booked, but there are some features that make them distinctive:

It’s all about WordPress

As the name might suggest, everyone who attends has a vested interest in WordPress, meaning that though varied topics might be covered, the main content of the day will be dedicated to the WordPress platform.

It’s cheap to attend

It’s not a fancy, expensive conference, it’s deliberately priced to be affordable so that anyone with an interest in WordPress can attend. And there’s often a chance to see high-quality speakers for a bargain price at what are essentially low-key local gatherings.

Everyone is welcome at WordCamp

From the techies (developers and designers) to those who are just getting to grips with the platform. It doesn’t matter about your experience or skill levels. Sessions are run in a range of formats and offer plenty of choice for a diverse audience, whether you like code, design, blogging or just want some ideas.

WordCamps are not-for-profit

All the money raised from ticket sales and sponsorship is put back into running the event, and it’s run by volunteers.

There are often lovely freebies

As James will attest in this tweet – as when there is money left over, organisers will spend it on cool swag, t-shirts and food and drink for delegates and sponsors provide plenty of goodies too.

From the WordCamp website itself, the buzzwords are ‘collaboration’ and ‘connection’

Because the whole point, for most attendees is meeting other users, sharing and learning. And the raft of experienced volunteers are on hand to help delegates with questions, technical and otherwise.

So, now you know what WordCamp is, keep your eyes peeled for write-ups from our trips to Belfast, Boston and Brighton soon. Plus, to find out more and search for your nearest event, visit the WordCamp website.