WordCamp Boston: 5 Reasons You Should Attend in 2011

January 28, 2010: Last weekend KoMarketing Associates was a small business sponsor for WordCamp Boston, a one-day conference where “almost 500 WordPress Beginners, Enthusiasts, Developers, Designers, Users and Volunteers came together…for a day of learning and community.”

First Floor Conference Room at WordCamp Boston (NERD Center)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgrocki/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This was my first WordCamp (which are informal, community-organized events that allow WordPress users and developers to meet and collaborate) and it was a great experience. WordCamps are held across the globe, and many of the people I talked to had been to several in the past.

My understanding was that the conference sold out weeks before the date of the event and after attending I understand why. Here are five reasons I’d recommend attending WordCamp Boston in 2011, or an upcoming WordCamp near your community.

  • The Range of Sessions
    WordCamp Boston sessions were structured in a way that users from all experience levels and objectives could find value. There were beginner sessions for new users, sessions on marketing and business strategy, and more advanced developer sessions for those heavily entrenched in development.

    The keynote discussion with Doc Searls and David Weinberger (Cluetrain Manifesto) brought out thought-provoking considerations. Wrapping up the day with the Ignite sessions was an excellent idea, with a lot of good information in quick bursts of time. In my experience, it is rare that one finds that much depth in a conference program.

  • The Atmosphere
    The laid back atmosphere was fantastic and I was enhanced by being held at the Microsoft NERD Center. From the traditional conference room environment to being able to sit on the steps of the 10th floor staircase to listen to a speaker, the event spanned four floors with a different experience on each floor.

    Conference layout can certainly play a role in being able to comfortably approach a new person or exchange ideas and the session outline and physical layout of the NERD Center made it that much easier.

    View from the 10th floor staircase of the NERD Center
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgrocki/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  • The Networking Opportunity
    I spent my morning helping people in the Genius Bar (where WordPress users could go to get help from others) and the afternoon collaborating at the “unconference” (a set of sessions proposed and voted on for presentation that day) and in the developer track.

    During that time I had the opportunity to meet a range of talented people, including developers, team members from Automattic, theme designers, and small business owners. One thing I left the conference realizing is that in many respects, I’ve only touched the surface as to what WordPress can really do.

    Apple Invasion @MSNewEngland Genius Bar #wcbos
    Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dedmond29/4297259249/

  • The Price
    There’s really not much to say here other than at a $30 admission price the conference was a steal; I would have paid at least three times that (and we did by sponsoring) and will definitely consider some level of sponsorship in 2011 as well. Even someone just remotely interested in WordPress as a platform would fine value at such a low financial investment.

  • The Ability to Give Back
    My last reason is certainly more personal but in my opinion, being able to give back to the WordPress community – either through the small donation of money or in the opportunity to share experiences with others was important.

    I’ve used WordPress on dozens, if not close to a hundred different sites and the only real cost to me has been my time in learning. This was a great opportunity to give a little back by helping out and still be able to get more back in information and networking opportunities.

    WordCamp Boston
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevegarfield/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

So those are my five reasons one should consider attending WordCamp Boston when it makes its way back next year or seriously looking into attending another WordCamp coming up. Special thanks to Amanda Blum, Kurt Eng, and Michael Erlewine for letting KoMarketing Associates be a part of the event. Looking forward to next year’s conference :-)

Additional WordCamp Boston Reviews & Recaps

Grammar and spelling proofed using the “After the Deadline” plugin (h/t Raphael Mudge)

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