Imagine getting free help from the creator of Facebook himself. Imagine having a direct line of contact with the CEO and owner of Google. Chances are that’s not ever going to happen. But you are totally in luck because I have some news to share with you. You get to do all of the above mentioned items, at WordCamp’s. You can meet the CEO of WebDevStudios at several WordCamp’s across the country. You can meet the developer of your favorite plugin, at a WordCamp too. How cool is that?
If you don’t know what WordCamp is, then you are totally missing out. If you are a person who has a website and that website runs on WordPress, you have probably heard of WordCamp. The cool thing about WordCamp is that almost every major metropolitan city has their own weekend dedicated to teaching others how to use WordPress. These are two-day events, jam-packed with speakers and hands-on workshops where you can learn how to do things with WordPress. How cool is that?
One of my favorite things about WordCamp is that they happen all over the world, not just in the United States. One of the largest WordCamp events, I would say personally, is WordCamp Europe. You have people from all over Europe traveling to this WordCamp just to teach and learn all things WordPress. For me, it just doesn’t get any cooler than that. Normally wordcamp tickets cost anywhere from $20 to $40. And while that might seem like a lot of money, it’s truly a small price to pay to learn from the best in the WordPress community / industry. For me, it doesn’t get any better.
My WordCamp Experience
I have attended several WordCamp events and I have spoken at 6 WordCamp events in my life. They are so much fun and I always learn at least 3 new things I never knew about WordPress. I’ve gotten to meet some of my favorite WordPress people and I’ve gotten to work / speak along side some of the best in the business. Last month, I attended / spoke at WordCamp San Diego. What a blast first of all. You can’t ask for a better location. I got to meet all of my fellow admins that administrate the Advanced WordPress Group on Facebook. I got to shoot the shit with some of the smartest people I’ve even been privileged to meet. In a few days, I’m speaking at WordCamp Minneapolis. I can’t wait.
Now while I’m talking about these wonderful events called WordCamp, I want to let you in on a little secret. Every WordCamp has their own second secret WordCamp that you can attend for free. Wanna know how? You’re gonna need to sit down for this.
Local WordPress meet up groups are made up of people in your local area. They are meeting once a month to learn and discuss all things WordPress. These Local Meet Up Groups are exactly the same as WordCamp except they are totally free. Let me say that again. They are totally free. They are your best resource when looking to get 1 on 1 training with some kind of WordPress expert in your local area.
I myself, am a member of the Las Vegas WordPress meet up group. I attend every month and I give presentations at these meet ups as well. Some of the other members in the group give presentations every month and they are also people who have spoken at a WordCamp. Some of them have even spoken at several WordCamp events. Hopefully by now you see where I’m going with this. Every month you can attend a local WordPress meetup group and witness several WordCamp worthy presentation for free. That’s right. You do not have to pay (check your local meet up just to be safe) to attend. You can just show up and Press On.
What’s even cooler about these local WordPress meet up groups is that if you happen to live in a city where some of the big names live, you get to see some of the most amazing WordCamp speakers to date. They will practice their WordCamp presentations for the group. I like to present my WordCamp presentations at the Las Vegas WordPress meet up group. It really gives me a chance to work out all of the kinks in my presentation before I travel to a city and talk on a specific WordPress topic. Just the other night, I presented my WordCamp Minneapolis presentation to the Las Vegas WordPress meet up group. That right there is proof that I know what I’m talking about.
There are many ways that you can get free WordPress advice. But the best place to get advice is from the horses mouth itself. So attend your next local meet up kids and watch this clip from Tommy Boy. It basically sums up my last remark about getting advice from the horse.