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Networking and Community Building Opportunities at WordCamp Europe 2023

WordCamp Europe 2023 is so close, we can practically taste the moussaka! Yes, this year’s WCEU is in Athens, Greece on the 8–10th of June. The whole event is gearing up to be one of the best ever, with a high level of attendance post-COVID-19. As such, you’ll find a lot of ways to mingle, connect, and network with every other WordPress attendee.

For this post, we’ll look at 🔎 one of the biggest aspects of a WordCamp: your networking opportunities, and ways you can build the community further. First, let’s talk about why WordCamp Europe is one of the best ways to meet other WordPress professionals and users.

wordcamp europe 2023.

📚 Table of contents:

Why WordCamp Europe is a great way to connect with the WordPress community

WordPress contributors often work away from each other. Not because of any hatred, but because remote work rules within the space. In fact, many work from home, which can make for an insular existence. While a WordCamp would offer superb value even if everyone worked from the office, you can multiply this by ten given that WordPress colleagues rarely see each other.

A group of WordPress contributors hugging at WordCamp Europe 2022.

Credit: Flickr.

As such, WordCamps in general offer a number of opportunities to meet other WordPress contributors:

  • At a core level, the WordPress industry becomes more ‘real’ as you see and interact with others who work in it.
  • You can comment about a particular product or service directly to the team who makes it.
  • Your opinion matters, and there are lots of chances to express it during a WordCamp weekend.
  • Even away from work, you can make new friends, which could later turn into project collaboration.

Later, we’ll give you some examples of how you can collaborate with, teach, and learn the opinions of others at WordCamp Europe 2023. Before that, let’s talk about how you can make the most of your trip to a WordCamp regardless of where it is.

How to make the most out of WordCamp Europe 2023

While you could pack a suitcase, book a flight, and rock up to WordCamp, this won’t be the best use of your time. Instead, you should look to plan your weekend, and treat it as ‘busman’s holiday.’ To start, think of what should go in your case:

  • You’ll want to bring promotional materials, such as business cards, to hand to practically everyone who asks.
  • Like everyone else, take a couple of branded t-shirts, so you can promote yourself no matter what you’re doing. However, don’t pack too much – the swag will be plentiful.

We also recommend you plan out what you’d like to do while at WordCamp Europe. There’s plenty going on (as we’ll discuss) and you won’t be able to do it all. However, you’ll want to make a decision on whether you stake out the conference halls all weekend or mingle with other WordCamp attendees.

An informal session during a WP Cafe event at WordCamp Europe 2022.

Credit: Flickr.

Of course, you can mix and match both of these, but your goal for WordCamp Europe will decide where you best spend your time. If you need new connections, WP Connect will be your first port of call. You may even consider the Wellness Track to be a great way to engage with others (we think so!)

The side events and meetups will always prove to be worthwhile, too. Many WordCamp attendees strengthen their relationships with others through these social and networking events.

WordCamp attendees clapping at a speaker during a session.

Credit: Flickr.

In short, while you can’t say “Yes” to everything happening at WordCamp, you should look to sample relevant events. Next, we’ll look at some of the opportunities to collaborate and connect with others at WordCamp Europe 2023.

Some of the collaborative opportunities at WordCamp Europe 2023

As you might expect, WordCamp Europe 2023 will be a hive of activity, and a hub of collaborative events. Almost every event will have collaboration at its core to some extent, although some focus on this more than others. For example, Contributor Day is a ‘pre-event’ to WordCamp that helps you join in with furthering WordPress. We’ll look at this in greater detail later.

There are two specific spaces that can help you connect and collaborate with others during WordCamp Europe 2023. WP Connect is an informal space where WordCamp attendees can mingle and chat among guided conversations about WordPress.

The topics will vary, but the environment is inclusive and tailor made for connecting with others. You might even choose to showcase or exchange your skills with others, or pick the brains of a WordPress expert.

A sign for the WordPress Polyglots team.

Credit: Flickr.

Also, the Community booth is a great way to learn more about what WordPress contributors do and some of the current projects you can help with. These include the WordPress Playground and the Museum of Block Art (MOBA). There will also be a focus on the Polyglots team, which involves translating WordPress into other languages.

However, if you want to collaborate as well as watch all the speakers over the weekend, there’s a dedicated day for you! Let’s discuss Contributor Day next.

Contributor Day

Every WordCamp Europe offers a chance to help further WordPress’ goals in person, before the event proper begins. Contributor Day is a fabulous way to give back to WordPress, and these all-day events offer inclusivity for all WordPress users.

The Contributor Day from WordCamp Europe 2018.

Credit: Flickr.

As WordPress is an open-source project, it relies on thousands of volunteers to make sure it’s secure, safe, and superb to use. The Contributor Day lets everyone focus on making WordPress better. For technical users (in most cases developers), you’ll be able to hunt and test for bugs, issue patches to fix them, develop new themes and plugins, or even work on the WordPress mobile apps.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to be a developer to take part. In fact, there are many more non-technical contributions you can make towards the world’s most popular Content Management System (CMS).

  • Documentation is important for users, and you could help to write or improve this for WordPress products and services.
  • WordPress has a wide and diverse user base. Translating its content into other languages can help the platform reach new users.
  • You might wish to help those users who make posts in the official support forums to solve their problems.
  • The Openverse is a related WordPress project that curates media with a Creative Commons license. As such, you could help either through capturing media or helping to maintain it.

On the whole, Contributor Day lets you expand your network, meet other WordPress contributors, and put your skills to great use. In fact, you could even pick up some new skills! Remember, though, you’ll need to register for the event for either in-person or remote attendance.

What else you have to look forward to at WCEU 2023

Away from the main tracks and sessions, you have plenty of opportunity to find other WordPress contributors in an informal setting. Arguably the most informal event, the Wellness Track is a new way to connect with other WordCamp attendees in a relaxed setting. The team will look to deliver introductory sessions of yoga and Tai Chi across six sessions. There will even be a hike to Mount Lycabettus in the center of Athens.

A panorama of Mount Lycabettus with Athens in the foreground.

Credit: Radek Kucharski.

If you choose to attend Contributor Day, the Workshop for Kids is a concurrent session that introduces WordPress basics to children – community members of the future. With a valid email address, they will be able to build a new WordPress website, add a theme, create some content, and take it ‘home’ with them.

Many attendees love to take part in some of the side events that happen across the two days of WordCamp. These give you a chance to network and make new friends in a non-working environment. There’s a full list of events for WordCamp Europe 2023, but you have picnics, rooftop parties, and more. There’s also the after party to help you cement and solidify those new WordCamp friendships for the future.

The after party at WordCamp Europe 2018.

Credit: Flickr.

Side events are almost a secret way to foster relationships and meet new WordPress people at WordCamp Europe, so we recommend you insert plenty of these into your schedule!

See you at WordCamp Europe 2023! 👋

Between the 8–10th of June, thousands of WordPress professionals and users will descend on Athens, Greece, for WordCamp Europe 2023. As such, it’s a great opportunity for networking, making new connections, and generally being among other WordPress contributors. There’s plenty to do apart from the sessions across three main tracks and two workshops.

For instance, you have the WP Connect space to engage with open discussions on relevant topics. Contributor Day is always a guarantee to meet both new and experienced WordPress contributors. What’s more, the WCEU Community Booth will give you the lowdown on what the WordPress community is up to, and how you can join in.

What are you looking forward to at WordCamp Europe 2023, be it a speaker, session, or side event? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Tom Rankin

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