WordCamp US is right around the corner. The event takes place August 24-26 in National Harbor, MD.
The conference will host visitors from around the globe. And it will mark my first time attending a “flagship” event.
My previous WordCamp experiences have been positive. But they’ve also been on a much smaller scale. The regional events I’ve attended were limited to small venues. Thus, WordCamp US will seem massive in comparison.
I also haven’t been to a WordCamp since 2019. To say I’ve missed these events is an understatement. And getting back out there provides plenty of reasons to be excited.
I don’t plan to keep a strict agenda. I’d rather see where the wind takes me. But there are some things I’m hoping to experience. Here are a few items on my WordCamp US bucket list.
Taking a Break from the Ordinary
I love what I do and feel blessed for the opportunity. But I’ve also worked from home for 24+ years. And I rarely leave the office during the work week.
The pandemic further added to that isolation. Client meetings became remote (that’s a good thing). But it also meant being stuck in the house.
I’ve always looked at WordCamps as a special treat. They’re a reason to get out and do something different. Most importantly, they force me to socialize.
I suspect a lot of remote workers feel similarly. There’s only so much we can do in the online world. Seeing people face to face is healthy and a basic human need.
Plus, National Harbor looks like a fun place. I may even conjure up the nerve to ride that giant Ferris wheel. And the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center’s 80s-themed bar/arcade has my name written all over it.
Learning about the Site Editor and More
Learning opportunities abound at WordCamps. And I enjoy seeing how things work in an in-person environment. That experience has been missing since the pandemic.
The WordPress Site Editor interests me. I’ve experimented with the feature. But I haven’t used it in a project.
A seasoned expert can help users unlock the Site Editor’s potential. There are likely some tips and tricks that I have yet to discover.
Block themes are another area where I could use a boost. I’m still a believer in classic themes that use a block-friendly approach. Still, it’s about finding the right tool for the job. And there are times when a block theme may fit the bill.
Oh, and the use of JSON for defining theme styles. This concept is still a bit clumsy to me.
I’ve learned so much at previous WordCamps. The best presenters help me see things from a different perspective. It has benefitted my career and made me eager to do more.
I’m hoping to absorb this new knowledge and run with it.
Meeting Up with the WordPress Community
I’ve made several online friendships with WordPress community members. But I’ve only met a few of you in person. Heck, I haven’t even met my fellow teammates from The WP Minute yet.
WordCamp US offers a chance to see almost everyone in a single place. It might be a bit overwhelming for the guy who’s always home. But worthwhile nonetheless.
The sense of community is what I’ve missed most. I enjoy being in a diverse crowd that has something in common.
And the connections made at these events go beyond business. It’s nice to know the person behind the Twitter/X handle. There’s a chance to discover more common threads on a personal level.
There’s also a networking aspect to the event. That might be the primary goal for some attendees. It’s not my top priority. But knowing people with a particular expertise is valuable.
Regardless of the purpose, the opportunity to meet people is welcome. These relationships can have a positive impact on your life and career. That’s something to look forward to.
Other Hopes and Dreams
There should be plenty more to experience at WordCamp US. Here are a few other things I’m hoping to do while there:
- Partake in some WordCamp swag. I hear that flagship events are next-level for this. Maybe I’ll bring an extra suitcase…
- Say hello to the two most powerful Matts (Mullenweg and Medeiros) in WordPress. Side note: Only one has a presentation this year.
- Learn how others have used WordPress to solve niche problems. There are always unique use cases out there. And they speak to the flexibility of the software.
- Speaking of which, there’s a talk on WordPress multisite. Yes, this excites me!
- Participating in my first WordPress Contributor Day. I don’t think they’ll want me writing code, though.
- Watching WordPress Executive Director Josepha Haden Chomphosy’s talk on the future of our favorite CMS.
- Spend some time chilling out on the banks of the Potomac River. There is more to life than technology, after all.
Hope to See You at WCUS!
Feel free to say “hi” if you’re attending WordCamp US. I’ll be the guy wearing a lot of Baltimore Orioles gear.
We’re excited to connect with you virtually or in person!