WordCamp Europe is more than a conference, it’s an experience
We have just returned from WordCamp Europe 2019, the biggest WordPress event in the world. Despite a packed few days, we still came back feeling way more energised than exhausted, and already eagerly anticipating 2020 in Porto because… well, what a WordCamp.
What makes WordCamp Europe so special?
It’s hard to place a finger on exactly what brings the extra magic at WCEU. Of course, up there at the top of our list is the people, and the organisers certainly help with that by orchestrating ways for attendees to connect, such as WP Cafe.
WP Cafe was a new addition to WCEU this year, but it built on from an existing concept. More than an evolution, WP Cafe was a reimagining of Tribe Meetups, and it was hugely successful.
There were a variety of community-led warm-up events, like #WCKaraoke, as well as unofficial get togethers that attendees organised (or sometimes stumbled into)! As a team we enjoyed #WPVegan, with a generous dinner thanks to Dwayne at Pantheon.
Almost the entire event took place in the same venue, connected with a hotel that many attendees were also staying in. This meant the much-loved “Hallway Track” could take place any time, not just in the event breaks.
Thank you to the WCEU Sponsors
It’s no surprise that the Sponsor hall had a fantastic buzz during the event. The atmosphere was the least we could thank them for, though. The sponsors help support the event, and it simply wouldn’t run without them.
Thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, WordCamp Europe tickets are very reasonably priced at €50 for multiple days of talks, workshops, additional content and parties, all of which is catered. Recently, WCEU has introduced the Small Business Sponsors, and the set-up worked really well this year.
Outside of the event, the sponsors often arrange evening activities to keep us having fun, and we love going along. This year, we had blast attending drinks with WPMU DEV on Wednesday night, and the party for makers arranged by WP Engine and Freemius followed by the GoDaddy party on Friday night.
WordCamp Europe for everyone
One of the best things about WCEU is that it is inclusive. From a multi-faith room to a quiet room to a range of support for parents, including a workshop teaching kids about WordPress, free childcare during the event and a nursing room too.
On top of this, the organisers worked out a range of other ways to be more accessible, from the venue being fully wheelchair accessible to live captioning, hearing loops and even live streaming for those who could not attend in person.
Women in WordPress
We loved the schedule at WCEU this year, and it was great to see such a large WordCamp working to improve diversity on stage. Our CEO, Rich Hill, has published a blog post about women in WordPress, detailing some of the best talks from the weekend by Jenny Beaumont, Francesca Marano and Josepha Haden.
His post concludes with a supportive shout out to Mind Doodle’s marketing manager, Tess Coughlan-Allen who was announced as one of the Global Leads for WCEU 2020.
We are so pleased that Tess has taken on such a fantastic opportunity. Our team are really proud of all the hard work Tess does, both for Mind Doodle and for WCEU.
Wellness at WCEU
Another new feature was additional content in the form of wellness sessions, including mindfulness, yoga and meditation. Each of the sessions was a (free) “sell-out” and we are really pleased that the wellbeing of attendees is high priority for WCEU.
We were also pleased to see that one of the instructors was Helen Odia from Bristol, UK, which is the same city as Mind Doodle HQ!
Debrief with a difference
After some sightseeing with our WCEU attendees and our friends in the WordPress community, to round off our trip we enjoyed a debrief with a difference.
Instead of the usual setup of recounting our trip over coffee, we decided to make the most of our last few hours in Berlin for an active team debrief, where we cycled around Tempelhofer, a disused airfield.
Next year in Porto
The eighth edition of WCEU will be held on 4-6 June 2020 in Porto, and we are already looking forward to it! On top of seven years of legacy, the event goes from strength to strength and always delivers a fantastic experience.