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WordPress powers more than 32 percent of the internet. The community that uses WordPress — both the open source software and the user-friendly WordPress.com platform — is huge and diverse. It includes developers, bloggers, publishers, and business owners who rely on WordPress to run and manage projects of every size.
The most popular events where this community “leaves the internet” and congregates in person are called WordCamps. A WordCamp is a local conference that brings global WordPress users together to share site-building insights and success stories.
Every WordCamp is dedicated to WordPress, but given that WordPress is used for countless purposes, it’s common to find sessions focused on marketing, sales, project management, social media, and many other topics within the technical sphere.
These conferences have evolved over the years, and with the wide selection of topics they cover, they’ve become valuable for all people across the web ecosystem — including bloggers, marketers, designers, and small business owners.
Conferences are opportunities to listen to and learn from awesome and experienced speakers, and a WordCamp is no exception. WordPress.com developers attend WordCamps to share their “secrets,” as well as CEOs and professionals within design, writing, marketing, and other industries.
But the value of WordCamps really goes beyond this. They are great places to create connections with like-minded people, as the attendees tend to be passionate networkers. WordCamps are not only places to learn, but are also opportunities to foster meaningful business relationships.
You can meet freelancers open to discussing ways to improve your website, business owners ready to share their experiences, and even new audience members who might benefit from your own services. WordCamps typically feature a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere, which is helpful when forming positive new connections.
Plugin providers, development agencies, and other companies sponsor WordCamps, but these companies do more than pay a fee to attend. WordCamps only accept sponsors with genuine interests in WordPress and its values, and there are strict rules in place regarding the types of advertising that is allowed. This is why you’ll find companies with skilled teams that are eager to answer questions about their areas of expertise.
Additionally, WordCamps are not for-profit events. Any leftover funding is put towards future events or donated to the WordPress Foundation.
It’s not uncommon to find after parties on WordCamp event schedules, as well as parties organized by teams and sponsors.
Still unsure if it’s a conference worth attending? On WordPress.tv, you can find videos of past talks, highlights, and behind-the-scenes looks from WordCamps around the world.
If you want to attend an upcoming WordCamp, visit the official WordCamp schedule and search for the closest event. You’ll return home with positive energy, knowledge, and new ideas for your WordPress.com website.