As WordCamp Asia wraps up halfway across the world from me, I’ve finally found time to write a short post on my experience at WordCamp Birmingham (Alabama) at the beginning of the month. For those in the dark, a “WordCamp” is weekend meet-up centered around WordPress and its many different aspects including: designers, developers, project managers, advocates, bloggers, and community members that just love the product.
My wife and I made the 3.5 hour drive to Birmingham Friday evening on the heels of a recent mindset shift around my agency, Webskey. Late in 2022, we made the decision for me to begin investing more into my agency through building out new service offerings, taking business courses, and dedicating more time outside of my day job in hopes of eventually turning my now, 7 year old company, into my full-time work. With that being said, we made it to Birmingham and before I knew it…this introvert was thrusted into the depth of networking after a long hiatus.
Without further a do, here are the top five things I learned at WordCamp Birmingham!
1. Goodbye Imposter Syndrome
A beautiful thing about WordCamps is that they attract everyone of varying skill levels and walks of like throughout their journey. As a freelancer, it’s easy to let imposter syndrome sink-in before you realize it’s hit you. I’ve been a victim of this for the last 4 – 5 years with it often coming in waves. Attending a number of talks at WC showed me that I’m further along in business and more capable than I originally thought to make this happen.
This realization is in large part thanks to all of the amazing people I spoke with over the weekend.
2. WordPress Has the Best Community
I can’t continue writing this blog without speaking about the community and everyone I met over the weekend. All of you are amazing and provided me with such a positive sense of encouragement as I continue pushing towards my goals. I’m already counting down the days until I can be at the next WordCamp!
3. It’s All About Relationships
Attending a WordCamp isn’t a trade show. WordCamp is built and ran based on one thing: connecting with others. Sales pitches and the likes take a backseat to authentic networking and community growth through the weekend. As a freelancer, I’m beginning to view the WordCamp community as an extension of my team that I get to see once (hopefully more) a year by the watercooler!
4. Don’t Go to Sale
Don’t attend a WordCamp with the goal of selling. I made this mistake and quickly realized my mindset wasn’t in the right place. After an incredible lunch on Day 1, the true essence of what WordCamp brings was evident and changed my mindset for the rest of the weekend. A great byproduct of this is the change in my overall nervousness and ability to converse with strangers. I’m happy to report that this was the most business cards I have ever handed out at an event!
5. Have Fun
Have an amazing time. I am 100% confident that your WordCamp organizers have an amazing weekend planned for you full of great talks, workshops, networking, and fun. Soak up every minute of the weekend as it will fly by and you will be back in your car making the 3.5 hour trip home.
Thanks for reading!