If you're new to WordCamp, you may picture an outdoor event involving camping, roasting marshmallows, and word games. While fun activities are going on, it’s a very different event.
So, what is WordCamp? WordCamp is the ultimate event for all things WordPress. Usually between one and three days, WordCamps host a variety of speakers on different topics. There are also panel discussions and workshops for attendees to participate in.
Think of WordCamp as Comic-Con for WordPress. It’s a series of in-person, regional meetups for the WordPress community where attendees can learn and enhance their understanding of the platform, network with other companies, and pick up cool swag.
What happens at WordCamps?
If you’ve never attended a WordCamp before, you may be wondering what exactly goes on at these events. Here are a few things you can expect to see.
Presentations from leading experts in the WordPress community
WordCamp presentations are 60-minute lectures about a particular WordPress topic, such as:
- Incorporating AI into your website.
- Effective email marketing.
- Working with your design team.
Since there are many to choose from, you’ll want to pick sessions with topics that interest you or address WordPress needs you’ve been thinking about. Or you can take the opposite route and select presentations on unfamiliar topics you want to learn about.
One knowledgeable speaker is great. A handful of experts are better! These moderated panels feature your favorite WordPress community members engaging in discourse. You can also ask questions, hear others’ ideas, and gain insights you won’t find anywhere else.
If lectures aren’t your learning style, try workshops at your next WordCamp. These hour-long events teach you WordPress skills and let you try your hand at it.
WP Connect debuted at WordCamp Europe 2023. Formerly WP Cafe, it’s an informal gathering where you can discuss WordPress with other attendees while drinking coffee or tea. Now more accessible to people of all experience levels, WP Connect sessions have less technical themes.
Want to get really involved? Contributor Day is for you. Pick an area you’d like to focus on, such as:
Work with your peers and discuss how changes can and will be implemented. This work helps WordPress to grow and become better for every user.
Frequently, you’ll find side events taking place during WordCamps. At WordCamp Europe in 2023, there were parties and a picnic set up by attending companies.
There was also a Wellness Track, which offered organized hikes, yoga classes, and tai chi sessions.
For the tiniest WordPressers, there was also a WordPress workshop for kids.
Some WordCamps also have job boards for people seeking employment in the WordPress industry.
Make sure to check the WordCamp website and social media to find out about more side events.
Here is an example schedule from WordCamp EU 2023.
Thinking about checking out an upcoming WordCamp? Here’s everything you need to know about WordCamps.
Who is WordCamp for?
WordCamps are for everyone!
Anyone interested in WordPress is welcome at WordCamp. Whether you’re a blogger, starting a business, running a WooCommerce store, or a seasoned developer — WordCamp has valuable insights and networking opportunities for you.
WordCamps aren’t strictly business. One of the biggest parts of attending a WordCamp is the social component. It’s a great opportunity to make contacts and generate leads.
If you’re looking to connect with others and find people working on WordPress topics you’re interested in, getting to know people at WordCamp is a great place to start.
When attendees talk, the community listens, helping to keep WordCamps accessible to all regardless of experience level, ability, or individual focus. These events are welcoming and inclusive — and improving all the time. Organizers and dedicated volunteers work hard to ensure that there’s something for everyone at WordCamp.
Are you eager to delve deeper into the world of WordPress? Want to join the WordPress community? Look no further than WordCamps.
Why attend WordCamp?
WordPress is open source and community supported; WordCamps echo that same sentiment. The expertise you gain from attending sessions can be priceless. Here are a few great reasons to attend an upcoming WordCamp.
It’s impossible to keep up with every single piece of tech news. Attending a WordCamp means you’ll get industry insights directly from the experts. You’ll learn about the latest trends, the best new plugins and themes, discover new development techniques, and so much more. There are sessions for every topic too.
WordCamps offer the unique chance to connect with tons of WordPress experts. Meet developers, designers, and content creators — all under the same roof.
In addition to sessions, panels, and workshops, industry brands have a presence at WordCamps too. You’ll have representatives from hosting companies, plugin developers, web security companies, and more.
Whether you're looking for job opportunities, partnerships, or want to expand your network, WordCamps provide opportunities for fostering meaningful connections.
WordCamps are all about community. These events are for, and organized by, WordPress users who are passionate about their work, want to contribute to its growth, and want to help others learn.
WordCamps are brought to life by volunteers, embodying the open-source spirit it originated from. By attending a WordCamp, you become part of the community.
WordCamps proudly represent users from a variety of backgrounds, experience levels, and abilities. Organizers work hard to make WordCamps accessible, safe spaces for every attendee.
Content, the venue, and accommodations consider the needs of WordPress community members.
What’s more is that organizers listen when attendees talk. Have a suggestion? They’ll hear you out and work to implement change.
What topics are covered at WordCamps?
WordCamps truly cover anything and everything related to WordPress. If you want to browse some of the content yourself, you can check out WordPress.tv where most WordCamps upload their videos. But to give you an idea of what to expect, here are some examples of sessions you could see at your local WordCamp.
- Optimize Your WordPress by Justin Ahinon and Adam Silverstein
- Build Your First Block Theme by Daisy Olsen
Blogging, writing, and content marketing
- Creating a Paid Newsletter Subscription in WordPress by Laura Nelson
- Copy Tips for Brilliant Alt Text and Accessible Writing by Alice Orrù
- How Headless WordPress Benefits Enterprises by Ivan Popov
- Secrets to Profitably Pricing Recurring Revenue by Nev Harris
- Deploying WordPress with Confidence Using CI/CD by Maciek Palmowski
- Git and GitHub for Theme Development by Stefano Minoia
- What Is The Next Thing About Colour Contrast? by Vicent Sanchis
- You Get a Layout! Everyone Gets a Layout! by Juan Pablo Gomez
WordCamps are locally organized
Every WordCamp is a little different and can have a different focus. That’s because they’re locally organized by volunteers. Each local community will have different priorities, speakers, and attendees with varied expertise. So, your local WordCamp will focus on what’s relevant to the people in that general region.
Meet your local community
WordCamps also feature speakers from your local community. Most likely, you won’t be learning from a plugin developer from New York City or San Francisco if you’re in Omaha. You’ll be learning from someone who lives down the street. That way, it’s much easier to reach out to them, partner with them, or even hire them.
Interacting with your peers and learning about their work helps you stay up to date with what’s going on in the community.
Becoming part of your local WordPress community can facilitate working partnerships, start new initiatives, and build companies. Staying up to date with the latest trends, changes, and projects ensures you don’t fall behind.
How much does it cost to attend WordCamp?
If you’ve been to other tech conferences, you know they can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Tech conferences are great but can be expensive.
Something that sets WordCamps apart from other events is that they are organized by volunteers and there’s no corporation trying to profit. That means they’re incredibly affordable for attendees. WordCamps are limited to $25 per day, so if you have a three-day WordCamp, the maximum is $75.
If you’re traveling, budget for meals, travel, and accommodations.
WordCamps in a pandemic
Online conferences feel different. You don’t have hallway chats like you would at an in-person event. There are no after-parties. It can lack the social element that WordCamps are known for.
After the COVID-19 pandemic started, WordCamps temporarily moved virtual. After two years, WordCamp EU 2022 was the first flagship event held in person after restrictions were lifted.
What is attractive about virtual events, though, is the flexibility. You jump in for just a session or two if you like. You don’t have to drive or reserve a hotel room. That may be right up your alley if you’re short on time or unable to travel.
If you’re missing out on in-person events, check out Meetups. Several are still meeting online.
Find your local WordCamp
Are you ready to try a WordCamp? You can find a schedule of WordCamps on the WordCamp Central website. WordCamps exist all across the globe and take place throughout the year, so there is likely one or two near you. Don’t miss out on your chance to dive deeper into WordPress with a trip to WordCamp.
Keep your eyes peeled for Nexcess at these events. You may see us attending WordCamps and leading sessions — that’s because we’re WordPress experts and industry leaders in WordPress hosting. Our fully managed hosting is fast, secure, scalable, and offers more PHP workers than any other host. Check out our plans to get started today.
This blog was originally published in June 2020. It has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.