WordCamp US 2019 took place on November 1-3, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. With over a thousand attendees, WordCamp US is the largest conference in the world dedicated completely to WordPress. How could getting involved in a WordCamp event benefit you as a WordPress website owner?
What is WordCamp?
Quite simply, a WordCamp is a conference dedicated entirely to WordPress. Breakout sessions discuss a variety of topics from technical discussions aimed toward expert programmers to general tips aimed toward a less-experienced WordPress website owner. Especially at smaller WordCamp events, many sessions target beginner and expert users alike. WordCamp US features a keynote address from Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg, known as State of the Word.
The first WordCamp was held in San Francisco, California in 2006. This event eventually evolved into a large annual event, and later split into multiple large events around the world. The largest annual WordPress conferences are WordCamp US and WordCamp Europe. Obviously, WordCamp US is held each year in the United States and WordCamp Europe is held annually in Europe. These conferences rotate locations, with WordCamp US maintaining a two-year cycle. WordCamp Asia will also debut in February 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. WordCamp Europe will meet in Porto, Portugal in 2020, and WordCamp US will return to St. Louis.
In addition to these larger events, many regional WordCamp events are held around the world in various locations. In total, over a thousand WordCamp events have been held in 75 cities. WordCamp events have met in 65 countries and in every continent except Antarctica. So wherever you are, there’s probably a WordCamp nearby!
How can WordCamp help you?
Many WordCamp sessions are targeted toward WordPress website designers and developers, but quite a number of sessions are targeted toward website owners and users as well. Many regional WordCamp events even have “tracks” for beginners and designer/developers, so it’s easy to choose sessions that meet your needs. WordCamp also presents an opportunity to connect with other WordPress users and learn from their experiences. With other WordPressers from all over the world in the same room, there’s a lot to learn from attenders as well as presenters.
WordCamps also give you the opportunity to contribute to WordPress. Because WordPress is open source software, it is almost completely volunteer-driven. Most WordCamp events include a Contributor Day, in which anyone who wishes is invited to contribute code, translations, or other contributions to the WordPress project.
Numerous WordCamp events are already scheduled for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020, and more are sure to come. Check the calendar for and event near you. The WordPress Dashboard also features a section for WordPress Events and News, showing upcoming events in your area.