DOTW: WordCamps and Meetups! Good or bad experience? (Participation = 3 Hero Points)

WordCamp Europe is upon us this weekend! Felt only right that the DOTW would be related. Are you going? Let Timothy Bowers know: http://twitter.com/timothykbowers or in this thread.

I hear he might have some WPMU DEV swag for ya :wink: and if swag isn’t the real reason to go to a WordCamp then I don’t know what is…

Okay, onto the DOTW, it is more about WordCamps and Meetups in general:

1. Have you ever been to a WordCamp or WordPress Meetup?
2. If so, how was your experience? Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not
3. Any favourite presentations you can recall? Or even better is there a vid of it on WordPress.tv you can share?
4. If you’ve never been to a WordCamp or Meetup, why not?

Upcoming WordCamps: https://central.wordcamp.org/
Meetups: https://www.meetup.com/topics/wordpress/

Have you been to both a WordCamp and a WP Meetup? Which did you prefer?

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-At least one comment = 3 Hero Points(must participate within 7 days of thread post date)
-DOTW = Discussion of the Week
-Last DOTW: COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENTS! AND WHAT IS NEXT

  • Lorie

    1. Have you ever been to a WordCamp or WordPress Meetup?
    Yes, I attended WordCamp Phoenix 2016.

    2. If so, how was your experience? Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not
    I enjoyed the experience very much. In my everyday life I don't meet very many people who "speak my language." It was nice spending time around people who knew their way around something I was trying to learn. I was even able to get some help solving a problem I was having with a theme I was working on at the time. I really hope to be able to start attending them on a regular basis.

    You also included MeetUps in the topic -- I don't have any in my area but would be attending regularly if I did. There's so much to be learned by hanging out with people who do the same thing... but better.

    3. Any favourite presentations you can recall? Or even better is there a vid of it on WordPress.tv you can share?
    Looking back at my notes, it looks like I got the most out of the security, body classes, and UX presentations. Unfortunately, there aren't any videos from that weekend.

    4. If you’ve never been to a WordCamp or Meetup, why not?

  • James Farmer

    > 1. Have you ever been to a WordCamp or WordPress Meetup?

    I ran the first one in the Southern Hemisphere... it was stressful lol. Also WCEU (in Vienna)

    > 2. If so, how was your experience? Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not

    I like meeting people, beer and getting a better personal handle on things. Also people are much nicer in person :slight_smile: However, I'm a bit of a weird introvert / extrovert combo and so generally find conferences a mixture of massively stimulating and utterly exhausting. You'll probably find me hiding out the back having a ciggie :smiley:

    > 3. Any favourite presentations you can recall? Or even better is there a vid of it on WordPress.tv you can share?

    I'm not especially good at going to presentations... I think a lot of WCs have quite a technical bent (understandably) which is completely over my head. I enjoy the more off topic & weird stuff. Sometimes I get a bit frustrated by the quality of presentations. When I present I prepare and practice for days, literally, and so while you're not gonna get Tony Robins you are going to get something cohesive with a bunch of thought that's gone into it. Sometimes I feel people don't take it seriously enough.

  • PTaubman

    I went to my first one in Philadelphia, PA and then presented at a couple of them after that.

    I enjoy the live events because there is usually a variety of speakers and topics that you can always learn something. Meeting people in person is always (ok, usually) a good thing and making that personal connection.

    The level of expertise goes from super beginner to super expert. From Techie to User.

    I spoke on the business aspects (Using WordPress to build your business) and I had fun.

    Even if I am not speaking at one, I go! You cannot beat the price for what you get!

    Paul.

  • Fabio Fava

    I always keep wondering about going to some of that. My humble and personal view:

    1. Have you ever been to a WordCamp or WordPress Meetup?

    No, I didn't. I don't apreciate very much any kind of crowd. I assume, that's my fault.

    2. If so, how was your experience? Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not.

    Since I've never been there, I couldn't tell a thing about. I imagine it's cool for people to learn WordPress, make contacts and, for some, make business too.

    3. Any favourite presentations you can recall? Or even better is there a vid of it on WordPress.tv you can share?

    I've been watching some, but mostly they're long and a bit boring to me. I like the JJJ's about Multi Network: that's when I got hooked to this concept and started studying and implementing it.

    4. If you’ve never been to a WordCamp or Meetup, why not?

    I paraglide. And skydive. Check for yourself --> http://airflow.tv/

    Cheers!

  • Patricia BT

    Hello Friends!

    First, I'm sooooo sad I cannot be at WCEU this year. I loved so much 2013 Leiden, 2016 Vienna and 2017 Paris. My family has my priority and one of my kid has his guitar recital the same week-end on Sunday.
    It has been possible to come back from Vienna and Paris in the night (missing full or part of the after-parties), but not from Belgrade, so...

    Anyway it was awesome to meet the full WPMUDev team in Vienna in 2016, and go to a pub together, and it was awesome to meet 2000-3000 friends at once, or I can even say "family members" like.
    I'm kind of extrovert, and love to meet people and talk. I barely attend the conferences to be honest, and I mostly connect, and I love that.
    The big advantage of the Vienna setup over Paris is that the huge place in front of the venue allowed us all to stay together, while in Paris, everyone left in small groups after each day.

    Now, onto questions.

    1. Have you ever been to a WordCamp or WordPress Meetup?
    I co-organise the meetups in Geneva (Switzerland) since 5 years, and we do monthy meetups. Please join if you are here. After the meetups, we go out to eat and it's so friendly. I also attend the meetups in Lausanne, and I plan to go to the meetup group in Lyon once, and schedule with friend dinner etc.

    We organised the WordCamp Geneva in 2016
    There has been 4 WordCamps in Switzerland, and the fifth one will be held in Lausanne on September 29, and I'm also part of the organising team.

    So, for the wordCamps I have been to:
    - WordCamp Europe: 2013 Leiden, 2016 Vienna and 2017 Paris
    - All the swiss WordCamps (Zurich in 2014 and 2015, Geneva 2016, Bern 2017 + upcoming Lausanne 2018/) as volunteer or co-organiser.
    - France: Paris in 2014, 2015 and 2018. Marseille in 2017. Lyon in 2015 and 2018 (the 2018 was not a WordCamp per se, it was WPTech, but same community)
    - Italy: Milano in 2016 and 2017. Torino in 2017 and 2018. Most of them either as a volunteer, or microsponsor, or speaker.

    2. If so, how was your experience? Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not
    Obviously, I'm an addict :wink: and a meetup and WordCamp freak.
    Of course I recommend to others. It's very good to meet peers, to connect and share, and in my case to find business partners, synergies, or clients. Meeting sponsors is also great. I discovered some great products/resources.
    And I know some people who even fell in love at WordCamps :heart:
    I personnaly made so many friends, and know a lot of people, and sometimes when someone asks me "I would need that for my site", I often know "Yeah, I know what plugin developers are doing that", or theme, or host, or whatever.. I would never know so much, and so many people, without going to WP events. I have friends now in many countries of the world, and love for example the WP community of India, or I met the creator of the Zimbabwe community, connected with many people from Germany, Spain, etc.. and I do not even mention France and Italy, as I already told you above: I feel at home there, like in Switzerland.
    You can do the same!

    BTW: do I know personaly one of the person who read this? did we meet? where and when? (beside WPMUDev team)

    3. Any favourite presentations you can recall? Or even better is there a vid of it on WordPress.tv you can share?
    Well, I liked very much Carole Olinger talk in Torino, I can somehow relate to her story.
    I will not dare to put the link to my own talk *hum* in Marseille 2017, because it's not that good, and because video is missing for the first 10 minutes (only audio). And my talk at WordCamp Switerland in Zurich in 2014 even didn't make it to WordPress TV.

    4. If you’ve never been to a WordCamp or Meetup, why not?
    Not applicable to me, but good question and nice to read other's replies.

  • Jaxom

    1.) Regretfully NO :slight_frown:

    2.) NA :slight_frown:

    3.) NA :slight_frown:

    4.) Due to my disability I can't go anywhere I can't take my wheelchair and the last one in London was to long a trip to make by train. When you can only walk about 20 to 50 meters with a cane and lousy train service on bad suspension isn't good for a spinal injury and the weather (in England) has to be nice or my wheelchair might electrocute me your options are limited.
    Mind you the reason I created a WP Support company was I can work from home :slight_smile:

    However on the Bright side I just won my 3 year fight with the Disability Dept and will take possession of my New Ford Galaxy with Hoist to load my wheelchair in about 6 to 8 weeks and then I can go anywhere and have my independence back.

    I also just discovered a group near me (once I have my car) that needs a new organiser and I am up for that if it's still vacant in 6 to 8 weeks (Don't want to make a commitment to 50+ people till I have my Independence back)

    “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” - Douglas Adams

    Jaxom

    PS. Can't wait till I can go to my first one cause it's all about the Swag :slight_smile:

  • Matthew

    1. Have you ever been to a WordCamp or WordPress Meetup?
    Absolutely, WP is very active here in North Texas, weekly meetups and everything, sometimes more that once a week.

    2. If so, how was your experience? Would you recommend it to others? Why or why not
    I do recommend it to anyone who will listen! I remember my first WordCamp, it was also my first WP meetup event attended. This was before I received dual Cochlear Implants and I was still full Deaf. Marc McGrath who was hosting that year got wind that I was Deaf, and made arrangements for an entire team of ASL Interpreters to be there with me all weekend. There were 8 of them total, WP handled it all and I remember when one of the interpreters was amazed that there were so many to handle only a single Deaf person, she asked: "who exactly are you to have 8 of us?" I looked her right in the eye and said, "just a WordPress user."
    It's the little things sometimes that make all the difference and things like this that make it a community.

    3. Any favourite presentations you can recall? Or even better is there a vid of it on WordPress.tv you can share?
    So many, oh my, I have learned so much, received networking opportunities that made things possible that would never have been before.

  • Michelle

    I went to one in Ann Arbor, MI. Unfortunately, I think I went on the wrong day. (I wasn't able to do both days) My biggest issue wasn't the WordCamp itself, but the venue. Closest parking was 12 blocks away because it's a college town ( U of M) and between traffic and the walk...by the time I actually got there, I missed the one presentation I was looking forward to LOL. I also didn't get my T-Shirt :slight_frown:

    Going to try again next time they are in my area

  • Manuel

    1.& 2. Have you ever been to a WordCamp or WordPress Meetup?

    I haven't had a chance to attend one of the camps yet, but sounds like a good experience going by what everyone has got to say. So far only good recommendations and happy memories from these members who attended.

    A Pity that it wasn't this July as I am going to France and travel Europe from there. Maybe next time.
    I am hopping to learn more about events and discussions that took place at these meets, learn about the quality of the beers and hope it was chilled not warm. Nothing like a coldie!
    Cheers
    Manuel

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