As you most likely already know, 34SP.com is a premier hosting provider for all things WordPress. If you are a WordPress aficionado, then WordCamps are a great way to interact with others in the local WordPress community, learn new skills, get tips on how to use WordPress more efficiently, and to get to know your local WordPress vendors as well.
One such WordCamp event is soon to be held in the UK, and in fact is the largest UK WordCamp event of 2015. WordCamp London will be held over 3 days beginning on 20 March 2015. The conference venue is the London Metropolitan University.
34SP.com is a Regent Street sponsor of WordCamp London this year to showcase our WordPress web hosting. We interviewed one of the event organisers, Siobhan McKeown, about how this year’s WordCamp London will be different.
Here is what we found out.
What will be making this year’s WordCamp London experience exceptional?
”All of the hard work put in by the organizers, the volunteers, and the speakers. WordCamps are non-profit volunteer-driven events and everyone puts in a huge amount of their own time to make the event happen. It takes a lot of energy and enthusiasm to make a WordCamp happen and the team is putting a lot of work in to make it exceptional.”
Has anything changed in terms of format or events from the previous WordCamp London?
”Everything about this WordCamp London is bigger than the last event. We got a lot of feedback asking for more technical talks, more tracks, and more conference days. So this year we’re having two days of conference, with three tracks. We’re having a non-profit track on Saturday, which we’re holding with our venue, London Met University. We also have two days of developer talks, ranging from absolute beginner talks to highly technical ones. We have talks about business, design, and content, we have lightning talks and panels. We’ve also got double the capacity, so room for more than 600 people. It’s going to be a pretty big event, covering absolutely everything you need to know about WordPress.”
There were many potential amazing WordPress speakers to choose from – how did you arrive at this yea’s roster of speakers?
”Selecting speakers was really hard. We had 158 applications, many of which were of an extremely high quality, and many from established names in the WordPress community. We had to get that number down to about 42 speakers in full-length slots, 15 lightning talk slots, and then a few panels. One of the things in the forefront of our minds was that we wanted to have around 80% local UK speakers, with about 20% for people from around the world. WordCamps are supposed to be locally-focused events, and it was important to us to stick to that core ethos. Luckily we got loads of really great proposals from people in the UK. It’s great to see how many excellent speakers we have right here. To select speakers we initially did a pass of blind voting. Everyone on the team had access to just the title and the pitch – and we voted on these, giving them a yes, no, or maybe. We tallied up all of the points, and then myself and two other members of the team went through the applications, taking into consideration the votes, and the rest of the speaker information, like where they are from and their experience. We came up with a final list, proposed it to the rest of the team, who approved it, and then we started letting people know.”
Describe what someone who’s never been to a WordCamp before can expect to experience at this year’s event.
”You can expect to meet some great people, learn some things about WordPress that you didn’t know before, learn about the WordPress project, brush up on your skills, have fun, get some cool swag, meet people from the WordPress free software project, meet potential employers, meet potential employees, and get to go to an awesome party.”
Anything else you want to add?
”The first day of the conference – Friday 20th March – will be a contributor day, which is also being held at London Metropolitan University. Contributor Days are events at which you can learn all about getting involved in the WordPress project. WordPress is made by volunteers all over the world, and we love to show people how to get involved. You don’t need to be able to write code to get involved with WordPress – you can write documentation, do user testing, help with design, answer support questions, help make WordPress accessible, translate WordPress, help with BuddyPress, bbPress, and GlotPress, and review themes. If you’d like to learn about getting involved, bring your laptop along and come to the contributor day.”
To learn more about WordCamp London or to purchase tickets to the event please visit: london.wordcamp.org/2015/.
You can find Siobhan McKeown on Twitter – @SiobhanPMcKeown or via her website at: siobhanmckeown.com.