The title says it all: last week I attended my third WordCamp in Berlin and I wanted to share my thoughts on another (great!) WordPress event. Why am I doing this? Mostly because I want to encourage everyone to attend at least one, but also to highlight some parts which I particularly enjoyed.
First things first: Berlin! It was my first time and I found the city atmosphere really nice and vibrant. People are warm and welcoming, it has pretty decent public transportation services and a lot of Parks where people can relax and enjoy the city. So, basically, +1 for Berlin 😁
WordCamp took place on the Estrel Hotel which is really good for this type of event. Food was good and everything was always clean and well organized. I’m kind of shocked that according to Wikipedia The Estrel Berlin is Europe’s largest convention, entertainment, and hotel complex, and with its 1,125 rooms the largest hotel in Germany.
Besides all the workshops, this year we had 3 tracks with varied talks about pretty much anything that spins around WordPress. In general I found the talks slightly less interesting than in previous years, but, still, all of them brought some value – teach something new, show different ways of doing something, spike my interest on a new topic, etc. If I had to highlight 3 talks here’s my selection:
1: Understanding what makes a website landing page convert – Rob Hope
I’m a big fan of Rob’s work for more than 8 years now. His talk wrapped up all the knowledge and experience he has after reviewing thousands of landing pages. The value and tips we got from this talk are huge! And the coolest thing about the talk is that he presented his ideas by telling us the (funny!) story of Yannick – the german hipster who went out of Coffee Filters!
2: Why I walked more than 700km to Berlin, and survived – Marcel Bootsman
This was the most inspiring talk of all. Marcel is a true WordPress superhero! I followed his 700km journey on Twitter and it was great to hear about how hard and rewarding it was. He even got a custom Wapuu – click here to read more about Wapuus.
3: Growing beyond Gutenberg. From block-based editing to site administration – hosted by Hannah Smith
This was a really nice and enriching “discussion” about the release, development and current state of the new WordPress editor – Gutenberg. The 5 panelists (Elio Rivero, Mark Uraine, Kåre Steffensen, Felix Arntz and Tom Nowell) explained their points of view on the subject. The most interesting thing was that all of them interact with WordPress in a different way which made things more interesting.
If you want to see any WordCamp Europe talk please head to the dedicated YouTube channel.
There was also a sponsors area that worked really well for asking questions, but also for networking with other colleagues. I also brought home a decent amount of t-shirts, stickers, socks and other freebies 😅
So, why should you attend next WordCamp?
If your business gravitates around WordPress it is a huge growth opportunity for you and your company. Wrapping everything up, here’s what I would highlight:
1: It is freaking refreshing
If you are like me and sit most of the days in front of the computer, it feels really well to go out for a change. And hanging out with people that speaks the same “language” is excellent. The feeling is almost like when you clear your computer hard disk and everything is fast and smooth again.
2: It highlights new stuff
And with “stuff”, I really mean “stuff”! The talks are so diverse that it is impossible to wrap them in one or two categories. Most of the them are about things that I’ve heard about, but on some I only scratched the surface. It is also a great opportunity to listen to new points of view and even about new… “Stuff”!
I’ve heard someone say that the best thing about WordCamp is not the talks, but what happens between them. I would not say that it is the best thing, but it is H-U-G-E! Also, it is mind-blowing the number (and quality!) of new connections that I make every year. Some of these aren’t connections anymore, they’ve evolved into friendships which is wonderful 👌
4: Events outside the venue
There’s always lots of thing to do after 6pm. Sponsors and other WordPress partners organize smaller events which is great, because we can continue networking after the talks are over. This year my favorite event was organized by Freemius, but there was a lot going on pretty much anywhere in Berlin.
Porto – the cherry on the cake
Every year there’s also a big announcement on the “Final Remarks” session: the city that will host the next event. And guess what? Next year it will be in Porto! 70km’s from where I live 😅
But, to be honest, all the excitement about it is not just because it is close to me. It is because it is in Portugal and I’m really proud of where I live. It is going to be great to share our culture with the WordPress community.
Porto is a beautiful city! And the venue is going to be on a wonderful place – really different from the last 3 years. I’m sure it is going to be EPIC and I invite everyone to attend WCEU 2020 in Porto. If you don’t know the city yet, you’ll find some images just below. See ya next year!