What to Expect from a WordCamp

If you’re thinking of attending a WordCamp, you may be wondering what to expect. Though each WordCamp will be different (based on the organizers, speakers and attendees of each event), there are some general guidelines that all WordCamps follow, as well as some things you can expect at your WordCamp no matter where it is.

It’s about everything WordPress.

What makes something a WordCamp, as opposed to a BarCamp or an [insert-name-here]Camp? The content of sessions is firmly focused on using and developing for WordPress. Issues around blogging, business, and social media that are related to WordPress use may be included, but the bulk of the program (at least 80%) is specifically about WordPress. The use of the WordCamp name indicates that it is a standalone event dedicated to WordPress, and to prevent confusion, WordPress “tracks” within larger events such as BarCamp or other conferences are no longer called WordCamps.

The best bargain you’ll get all year.

WordCamps are not meant to be big, fancy, expensive conferences. WordCamps are meant to be low-key local gatherings that are affordable — cheap, even — to allow people from all walks of life to attend, meet, share, and learn. Sponsorships and donations make this possible, keeping ticket prices low, usually below $40 for a 2-day event. It’s not uncommon to meet WordCamp speakers who are featured at expensive web industry conferences like South by Southwest. WordCamp is one of the best bargains around.

Open to all, content galore, shared with community.

WordCamps do not discriminate, and WordPress users, developers, designers, and other enthusiasts should all feel welcome at a WordCamp, regardless of their experience level. Sessions generally span a variety of formats, including lectures/presentations, live demos, Q&A, workshops, ignite-style lightning presentations, panels, interviews, and any other format you can imagine. Presentations are shared with the broader WordPress community by posting session slides/videos to the WordCamp channel on WordPress.tv.

Making connections, promoting collaboration.

Getting to meet and learn from other WordPress users face-to-face is one of the main reasons people attend WordCamps. Many WordCamps set up an informal “genius bar” staffed with experienced WordPress volunteers who try to help fellow attendees with their WordPress questions. In addition to learning from each other, attendees often find new collaborators, employees/employers and potential co-conspirators in the WordCamp crowd. These new relationships can lead to exciting WordPress projects throughout the year. Many WordCamps also set up a “job board” for attendees to post job openings, business cards, etc. Ideally, every WordCamp is the annual “big event” of a local WordPress meetup group. If no such group exists, a WordCamp can be a great way to kick it off.

Locally organized and focused.

Each individual event is organized by local WordPress users, developers and fans. We provide guidance, but the elbow grease is theirs. Showcasing local talent is one of the best things about WordCamp, and the program includes local speakers/presenters whenever possible. It’s fun to hear from WordPress lead developers and other prominent WordPress personalities, but WordCamps are not meant to be a lecture circuit with the same speakers at every event, so the best WordCamps tend to have both local and visiting speakers.

Volunteers everywhere.

It is generally acknowledged that participating in WordCamps is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to give something back to the WordPress community. Each WordCamp is operated by tireless volunteers, from the organizers who plan it all to the volunteers who work the event and the speakers who donate their time to teach you new things. It takes a lot of people to make a WordCamp happen, so remember to thank the volunteers who made it possible.

Accurately represents the WordPress project.

WordCamp organizers, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers are seen by attendees as representing WordPress and the WordPress community, and for many it’s their first impression. Because of this, every WordCamp follows some basic guidelines to vet these personnel and ensure that their communications in these roles provide accurate information and respect the positions and policies of the WordPress open source project.

It’s not about the money.

Most WordCamps use up all their sponsor and ticket money in planning the event, but when there is a surplus, it is used to benefit the community, not treated as profit to be pocketed by the organizers. Surplus money is used for things like: funding an ongoing WordPress meetup group’s get-togethers, seed money for next year’s WordCamp expenses, sponsoring a local developer to work on a contribution to WordPress.org, or donating it to the WordPress Foundation. WordPress-based conferences organized as money-making opportunities are not approved to use the WordCamp name.

Perks.

Though it’s not mandatory, many WordCamps use some of their budget to create commemorative t-shirts or other swag (this is significantly cooler when there are good designers on the organizing team, ha) and/or to provide food and beverages to attendees at the event. These things should definitely be considered potential perks rather than guaranteed entitlements, as each organizing team decides for itself how to spend the money they’ve raised from sponsorships and ticket sales, and these are often the biggest expenses. Information about what’s included with each ticket purchase will be listed on each individual WordCamp’s website.

Fun. Fun! More fun!!

We almost forgot to mention the most obvious part of WordCamps: they’re fun! Getting to geek out for a day or two with other people just as obsessed with WordPress as you are is just plain awesome. You’ll meet people who are crazy smart, insanely inspired and inspiring, and maybe even a handful of talented singers. Most WordCamps follow the conference with an afterparty at a nearby location where you can have a few drinks with your new friends and hatch your (WordPress-based, of course) plot to take over the world.

What is WordCamp?

WordCamp is an all day learning conference where local experts come together to give you hands on experiences with WordPress. It’s a way for us to share the passion we have for WordPress and our community. Bring your laptop, your charger, a notebook, and all the questions you’ve been having and gear up for a day of heavy knowledge.

WordCampKC is part of a worldwide network of experts and enthusiasts who come together to teach their communities about the nuances of WordPress. A mix of local and national sponsors provide us monetary support which helps to keep down the cost of our events. Don’t forget to check out their websites from the Sponsors page!

Feeling new and nervous? There’s a WordCamp 101 Pre-Game on Friday just for you. Check our Schedule for more info!

And remember, tickets are half-price through June 30!

WordPress Kansas City 2015 Call for Speakers

WordCamp Kansas City 2015 will be held June 12th – June 14th

The 2015 format:

  • Friday (noon – 5pm)- WordPress 101, Welcome to WordCamp
  • Saturday (9am – 4pm) – Backend Development, Frontend Development, Design, WordPress for Entrepreneurs
  • Sunday (times TBD) – WordPress 101, WordPress for Content Creators, Contributing to WordPress

If you would like to speak at WordCamp Kansas City 2015, please fill out the request for speakers → here

Session Slide Links

Watch here for links to session slides. We will continuously update them as we get them, adding new ones at the bottom. They are also on the Speakers page if you want a face with the name.

Title: Making Money with WordPress
Speaker: Nile Flores
Slide: http://www.slideshare.net/blondishnet/making-money-with-word-press

Title: Using Sass in your WordPress Projects
Speaker: Jeremy Green ‏
Slide: http://www.slideshare.net/greenhornet79/sass-withwordpresskc

Title: Building Your Business Around WordPress
Speaker: Kristin Falkner ‏
Slide: http://www.kristinfalkner.com/wordcampkc-kfalkner.pdf

Title: Customizing the WordPress Dashboard for Better Workflow
Speaker: Brianna Privett ‏
Slide: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1M5dzIpSOiP9cIl2zLbzFtUpEDUhVgFUIo9BptoGaLsk/edit#slide=id.p

Title: How to Rock a WordCamp Even if You’re a Total n00b (Friday)
Speaker: Marc Benzakein
Slide: https://speakerdeck.com/javaboy42/how-to-rock-a-wordcamp-even-if-you-are-a-n00b

Title: How I Tell a Customer They are Wrong and Make Them Love Me (Saturday)
Speaker: Marc Benzakein
Slide: https://speakerdeck.com/javaboy42/how-i-tell-my-customer-their-wrong-and-make-them-love-us

Title: Version Control Using Git
Speaker: Frankie Jarrett
Slide: http://frankiejarrett.com/wordcamp-kc-version-control-using-git/

Title: WordPress Basics
Speaker: Jim Grant
Slide: http://www.slideshare.net/jimgrant2/word-press-basics-for-meetup

Title: Getting “Hooked” on WordPress Hooks
Speaker: Michael Stowe
Slide: http://www.slideshare.net/mikestowe/get-hooked-on-wordpress-hooks

Title: Modern Development Environments for WordPress
Speaker: James W. Lane
Slide: http://jwl-wc.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/WordCamp-KC-2014.pdf

Title: WordPress Security is Like a HHAM Sandwich
Speaker: Jason Yingling
Slide: http://www.slideshare.net/Red8Interactive/hham-for-wp-security

Title: WordPress When You Mean Business
Speaker: Rebecca Haden
Slide: http://www.hadeninteractive.com/wordpress-when-you-mean-business

Title: Telling Your Story with WordPress About Pages and Author Bios
Speaker: Shane Purnell
Slide: http://www.slideshare.net/PlatformGiant/telling-your-story-with-wordpress-about-pages-and-author-bios

Title: Basic Plugin Recommendations to get your WordPress Website Started
Speaker: Nile Flores
Slide: http://www.slideshare.net/blondishnet/basic-plugin-recommendations-to-get-your-wordpress-website-started

Title: Best Practices for the Post-Photoshop World
Speaker: Jeremy Fuksa
Slide: http://www.slideshare.net/3rdmartini/alternative-design-workflows-in-a-postpsd-era-37139781

New!
Title: Developing Your Own Plugins
Speaker: Pippin Williamson
Slide: http://www.slideshare.net/pippinw/wpkc-2014

Title: Better Theme Organization
Speaker: Brent Schultz
Slide: http://prezi.com/yl4x6et37erm/better-theme-organization-brent-schultz-at-2014-kc-wordcamp

WordCampKC Wallpapers

I created a wallpaper for my laptop and thought that others would like them too. I tried to make several but soon realized that there are so many standard sizes. If these don’t work, try a smaller one centered and use #9fddf9 or RGB 159 221 249 as the background color. Or if there is a particular one that you would like, just tweet it to me @meetkarissa and I’ll see what I can make.

Click image for full size to right click and save.

Wallpaper 1920×1080

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Wallpaper 1280×800

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Wallpaper 1136×640 (iPhone)

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Wallpaper 1024×1024 (iPad)

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Wallpaper 2048×2048 (new iPad)

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Perks of Attending a WordCamp

Every year all around the world, WordCamps are attended by people who want to learn more about WordPress. At the end of 2013, almost 20,000 people had attended a WordCamp since they began in 2006.

So you may be asking yourself “What would I get out of it?”.

Perks of Attending WordCampKC

  1. It is one heck of a deal.
    WordCampKC is $40 for a day of learning, food, fun, and a lot of really really good networking. If you want to pay a lot of money for that then we can point you to some in KC, but we love being the best bang for your buck!
  2. WordCampKC is filled with local support and speakers…
    We will have some items for you from our local sponsors so that you get a chance to experience the city that is on everyone’s “next big thing” list. If you’re local, then make sure to connect with all of our amazing, KC-based speakers!
  3. …but we also attract some big national talent.
    We will also have some speakers from Nebraska, New York, and Oregon. Come out and show them what all this Midwest, Google Fiber lovin’ hospitality is about!
  4. We are open to all levels of experience.
    Everyone started somewhere. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never installed a WordPress site or if you’re supporting a portfolio of 50 clients, you are welcome here. We have attendees who started at zero, but are now making a living doing what they love with WordPress. Come learn about WordPress, learn about people, or just connect to your technology tribe.
  5. We have raffles.

Raffles!?

Yes, we have items to raffle. For your $40 ticket, you will be entered into a drawing for an iPad Mini (plus case), a Lynda.com prize pack, and multiple KC Local Prize packs. Your name is removed once you win something and you do have to be present to win, but that should be easy since you’ll be doing all that learning and fun-having already!

What are you waiting for?! Go buy your ticket and get your learn on!

Making the Most out of WordCamps

This guest post is by Austin Gunter

If you’ve spent enough time working with WordPress, you’ve come across the ubiquitous “WordCamps” and probably asked the question, “What the heck is a WordCamp?” Hopefully at this point you’re considering attending a local one, and you want to know, “How can I make the most out of my weekend?”

This is a good post to read before you go. It will help you make a conference plan to maximize your weekend. There’s a lot you can get out of a WordCamp, so let’s help you decide what that is!

Continue reading on http://www.wpbeginner.com/events/making-most-wordcamps.

What is a Contributor Day?

Contributor DayMany of you have seen our newest scheduled addition to WordCamp this year and have been asking a lot of really good questions. So, we thought it would be best to answer them all at once.

What is a Contributor Day?
It’s a day to come and learn about the process of contributing to WordPress.

Who can participate?
Anyone who has contributed or wants to contribute to Core or WordPress

Do I need to have experience?
Nope! We will take first-timers and folks who are just a little interested in giving back to their community.

Do I need to know how to code?
Not for this one. Contributing to WordPress can take many forms; code development, training material creation, managing communities, and much more.

Why is there limited space?
While none of the work is hard, this is designed to be a workshop. Small groups working with a single leader to collaborate on some learning.

Do I have to participate if I attend?
It’s not required, but heavily encouraged. This is a day for makers and builders – why don’t you give it a try!

What to bring with you

 

  • A way to take notes: pens/paper, laptop/tablet
  •  Lots of questions
  • Water and snacks
  • Business cards
  • Check back as we add more

 

A way to take notes—a laptop is not required

You will want to take notes. So bring your favorite way to capture what is happening. Notebooks & extra pens. If you use a laptop to capture notes, bring that. However, a laptop is not required at WordCamp.

The sessions are not instructor-led tutorials where you follow them through a lesson using a laptop. They are mostly in presentation format. Each speaker is can post their slides on the WordCamp Kansas City website so that they are available for you. SlideShare is a popular format, although some people may post PDFs.

Internet access will be available via WiFi. However, sometimes WiFi access in crowded locations, where many people are trying to access the resource at the same time, can be problematic.

Lots of questions

Spend some time looking at the session schedule and plan your day. Prepare questions for the speakers. If they cannot address the question during the talk because of time constraints, they will be available during the day.

Water and snacks

It will be busy day. You will want to take in as much as you can, quickly move between sessions, meet friends in the hall, and make new connections. Make sure you are hydrated and well-fueled. While WordCamp Kansas City 2014 will have snacks and plenty of drinks, including coffee, and lunch, if you prefer you may want to bring a water bottle and some healthy and portable in-between-meal snacks like granola bars or trail mix.

Business cards

You will meet new people at WordCamp Kansas City 2014. Bring business cards so that they can follow up with you after the event.

Testimonial: WordCamp, A Great Resource!

WordCamp is a great resource for WordPress developers and users alike to network and learn from each other. I’ve been to several WordCamps as both a speaker and attendee and I’ve always taken away something new from each. So many conferences have a hefty price tag attached to them so, in my opinion, WordCamps are a steal and a definite no-brainer to attend if you use WordPress or are even considering using WordPress.

-Kristin Falkner, Speaker, Organizer

Testimonial: WordCamp Excitement

I am excited about WordCamp because of how much I love this community. Not just the Kansas City community and not just the WordPress community, either. I have learned and grown so much in my knowledge of the platform and met so many really great people along the way. This has become my way of saying thank you to all those amazing people. Not to mention the success stories we see. We inevitably get to see people who have been learning with our group from the beginning. Each year we see people who have started their own businesses, finally learned about frontend development, or have made their first commit to Core. Maybe I’m just a sentimental old thing, but I am just a sucker for helping people achieve their goals!

–Josepha Hayden, Chief Organizer

Testimonial: WPKC Meetup Reviews

  • Impressive. Besides being talented and skilled, members were cordial. Thanks for creating a welcoming environment.

    Marty McCarty on May 22, 2014.

  • I’m impressed. Totally worth the time!!! I loved the special assistance!!!

    Jan Lazo-Davis on May 15, 2014.

  • Wonderful!

    Linda Buchner on Apr 30, 2014.

  • Thanks again guys for all of your help!

    matthermanson on Apr 29, 2014.

  • Educational as always!

    Jim Grant on Apr 25, 2014.

  • I’ll be going to these meetups plus Wordcamp KC this summer. Wouldn’t miss it.

    Brian Bookwalter on Apr 9, 2014.

  • A great place to learn and share everything WordPress.

    Jack Pearce on Mar 27, 2014.

  • Seems like they/we are in growth mode

    Jay Hanley on Mar 14, 2014.

  • Great. Mary White was a tremendous help to me. I have been stuck for a while and now I can move forward.

    Kathleen Stafford on Mar 6, 2014.

  • Awesome!!

    Catherine Kolkoski on Mar 5, 2014.

  • Great!

    Edgar Hazelwood on Dec 19, 2013.

  • I always learn so much and great to see everyone.

    mary white on Dec 19, 2013.

  • I’m still curious what the format will be. Looking forward to continue to check it out.

    Tami on Oct 24, 2013.

  • It doesn’t matter if the session’s topic is about dissecting the WordPress core or how to correctly microwave pizza rolls, it’s great to be surrounded by like-minded, business oriented, WordPress enthusiasts.

    Ben Niehues IV on Mar 30, 2013.

  • I learned a lot from conversations after the presentation with brilliant developers as well as gaining knowledge from their insightful comments during.

    Chuck Johnson on Feb 28, 2013.

  • I look forward to future meetups to meet more WordPressKC members.

    Marvin Moss on Dec 8, 2012.

  • Love it! Great people.

    Trampas Whiteman on Aug 31, 2012.

  • Seems like a good group, just wanted a few more tangible take-aways from this meeting.

    Mandy Stark on Aug 31, 2012.

  • I hope to attend more WordPressKC events.

    Jason Mize on Aug 31, 2012.

  • Good group, good diversity of talent and interests.

  • Friendly and willing to share. Profit from the contact and contacts others have found.

    Phil Walsh on Apr 27, 2012.

  • This is an exciting group to be a part of, you can learn a lot if you’re willing to ask what’s on your mind. WordPress is thriving and growing in the KC area and this group is in the middle of the action!

    Frankie Jarrett on Mar 29, 2012.

  • I felt very comfortable and it was my first session. I like the informality and the helpfulness. People were very knowledgeable and honest if they didn’t have an answer.

    David Milliken on Nov 23, 2011.

  • Very informed individuals. Everyone seemed interested to help and worked off each others comments.

    Mark Hellevang on Sep 30, 2011.

  • I’ve only been to a couple of meetings so far, but this is a great group!

    Jessica McGregor on Sep 30, 2011.

  • This was my first meeting, but from what I could see, there were a lot of people who actively pitch in to offer tips and advice and that was great to see. I will be back. 🙂

    MarkVB on Sep 30, 2011.

  • Just getting to know folks. Everyone seems very friendly and open.

    Dan Rood on Aug 4, 2011.

  • Knowledgeable, fun group! Always welcoming, & really love their wordpress!

    Ben Jacobi on Jul 29, 2011.

  • You are all great. I look forward to future meetings.

    Daniel Holmes on Jul 29, 2011.

  • Good group, friendly, helpful

    David W Brown on Jul 29, 2011.

  • First meeting. Good diverse group. Didn’t have time to stay, but I look forward to meeting others at my next visit.

    Ed Loesch on Jul 29, 2011.

  • Really enjoyed meeting such a bunch of nice people, and finding others who actually know what WordPress is! Can’t wait till the next meeting. And Wordcamp!

    Jill on Apr 30, 2011.

  • I love the supportive nature of the group and the wide array of skills and knowledge in different areas!

    stacey on Apr 9, 2011.

  • I really enjoy it. I like the laid back, welcome-all attitude and how there are so many experts in the group that provide invaluable knowledge and advice. I will be back!

    Bethanie White on Apr 8, 2011.

  • It was wonderful. I got my geek on for the whole time. I am pumped to be a part of it.

    Ken Jansen on Dec 10, 2010.

  • This was my first Meetup with this group, so I didn’t know what to expect. Josepha explained that it was a little out of the ordinary to discuss more SEO and less WP than usual. I look forward to attending future events to learn more about WP. I’m really excited to have my Website (www.UltimateVarietyRadio.com) used as one of the upcoming projects to be critiqued! I can’t wait!

    Maggie Giamalvo on Dec 10, 2010.

  • Great group! Nice mix of developer/user/designer types!

    David Atkins on Jul 29, 2010.

  • This is an incredible group of professionals: web designers, developers, programmers, coders, marketing/ social media experts & novices, like me! If you have a WP or are in the process of starting one, this is the perfect opportunity for you; valuable info for every skill level!

    Leslie on Jul 29, 2010.

  • I think this group fills an important niche, and the knowledge and expertise of the various members who I’ve seen attend will most likely bring everyone to a higher level within their own area/needs of WordPress.

    John on Jul 1, 2010.