When I first decided I wanted to look into conferences to expand my knowledge back in 2016, I searched for “WordPress conference” in Google. I found WordCamp Central and read all about the events and the cost limit of $20 per day. This was enticing to me because I didn’t yet have a professional development stipend through work.
Now after having attended other conferences and having been an organizer of WordCamp Kent for a few years, I see just how great that value is.
I’ve written in the past about networking tips, but I’m not sure I’ve mentioned specific outcomes of those relationships I’ve built. Through networking, I’ve found people that will schedule calls with me to teach me about something they’re especially skilled in. I’ve also found people that I can share job postings with or refer freelance business to.
I’ve also met some really awesome people that have inspired me!
Aside from networking, at WordCamps and Meetups, I’ve been able to learn a lot. Everything I know about SEO, accessibility, and structured data has come from a WordCamp session or a Meetup. There are numerous other topics as well.
Volunteering has been shown to provide both mental and physical health benefits. When I attended my first WordCamp, I didn’t realize how big the need for volunteers was. Ever since I’ve volunteered at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, I’ve been very involved with my community. It feels great to be able to help others!
Public Speaking Opportunities
Once I volunteered at my first WordCamp, I was encouraged to apply to speak at other upcoming WordCamps. Though I’ve only spoken at a handful of WordCamps and Meetups, these skills have helped me with my ability to present information.
I’m fortunate to be in a position of leadership in my current role. What’s even more fortunate is that I’ve met the right people for the right positions in my team or for contract work.
Ever since I got on the path of helping out with WordCamps and Meetups, I’ve gained a lot of different skills. Organizing events is a huge effort and I’ve been able to help out with a variety of aspects of event planning. I’m much more organized now and have a better sense of how long various aspects of event planning will take.