A WordCamp is an informal, affordable event that focuses on how to use WordPress publishing software. It is organized by a local WordPress community for the benefit of those who use WordPress or who want to learn more about it.
Attendees include the range of people from a new or casual user to a core developer. A WordCamp offers something for just about everyone—and, often, a great deal for a great many. It’s an occasion to learn, share and get to know others who, like you, have an interest in WordPress publishing software.
Who you’ll find
You’ll probably find new bloggers. There will be people with sites powered by WordPress who want to learn more. You’ll find you’re in the good company of experts—professional WordPress developers and consultants, knowledgeable presenters, Happiness Bar specialists and employees of Automattic, the company behind WordPress.
There will also be those with interests related to WordPress, such as graphic designers, copywriters and copyeditors, and social media professionals. You may run across those seeking more work—and those looking for some help.
You attend sessions where you listen, usually learn and sometimes contribute. You get answers to your WordPress-related questions. You make new acquaintances if you are so inclined. And you take part in our networking get-together if, as most people do, you enjoy that sort of thing. It’s no secret that WordCamps can bring together people who become friends and business partners.
Not about money
They’re not about money. As WordPress Central points out, “WordPress-based conferences organized as money-making opportunities are not approved to use the WordCamp name.”
Yes, you pay to attend a WordCamp. But most of the event’s costs are covered by sponsors. Without sponsors we couldn’t hold a WordCamp.
And any surplus isn’t treated as profit for the organizers who, like the speakers, are volunteers. Any surplus is used to benefit the WordPress community—to fund meetups or next year’s WordCamp, or it’s contributed to the WordPress Foundation to fund other community events.
Then and now
The first WordCamp took place in San Francisco in 2006. Since then some 346 WordCamps have taken place in 172 cities in 48 countries on six continents. I suppose you could say the idea took.