How To Be A Good WordCamp Attendee

How To Be A Good WordCamp Attendee

Most WordCamps have a Code of Conduct in place. This is a great document that makes sure everyone attending is safe, comfortable, and feels welcomed. I’d like to iterate on this, and give you some pointers on how you can be the best attendee any WordCamp can hope to have.

Respect The Speakers

Speaking in front of a crowd is nerve wrecking. I don’t know anyone who does not feel a slight hint of panic before getting up on the stage. These speakers have worked very hard on preparing their talk, practicing it, and delivering it in the best way possible. Here’s what you can do to make them feel awesome:

  1. Applaud them. Getting a loud applause after delivering a talk is the best feeling in the world.
  2. Be silent. This is not just important for the speaker, but also for your fellow attendees. We come there to listen to the speaker, not to your whispered comments. Keep the talk outside of the speaker rooms.
  3. Think of questions. Nothing worse than hearing crickets after asking: “Does anyone have any questions?”
    If you go into a talk determined to ask a question afterwards, you will be more attentive to what’s being said.

Respect The Organizers And Volunteers

These fine people give up their time and energy making sure you have a great WordCamp. Preparing the event takes months, and it’s all done out of the love for the community.

Nothing ever goes 100% as planned. Mistakes happen. Most organizers will welcome any tips you have to make their event better in the future, but leave the petty comments at home. Or, if you feel like you can do better, join the organizing team and do the work yourself.

Respect Your Fellow Attendees

I’ve written about extending a warm welcome to new members of the community before. Besides respecting the Code of Conduct, watch out for times where you can help another attendee. Contributing to WordPress also means contributing to a safe and enjoyable environment for others attending a WordCamp.

Keep things clean. There are trash cans everywhere. Make sure others do not need to pick up what you leave behind. It’s common sense!

What’s Your Opinion?

Have you ever noticed something that you think other attendees could improve upon? I’d love to add it to my list!

How To Contribute To WordPress When You Are New

How To Contribute To WordPress When You Are New

Photo credit: Punkmedia.nl

Entering a room filled with WordPress contributors, and often times well known professionals, can be daunting. Especially when you’re new to the community. I know it felt like that for me when I walked into Contributor Day at WordCamp Europe Sevilla; I didn’t know what I could do to contribute, I had no clue what team could use me most.

Now that I am more acquainted with my role as contributor, I hear new community members say the same thing I did: “I don’t know where to start.”

The Secret To Becoming a Contributing Rockstar

Let me tell you something that will blow your mind:

Contributing to WordPress means showing up for the party.

A Contributor Day is not aimed at getting existing members to contribute more. Existing contributors show up during these Days to help new members get settled into a contributing role. We’re there, not to make you feel like you don’t know anything, but to pass on knowledge.

Continuously showing up for these events means that, step by step, you will get integrated more into the community. People will start recognizing your face. You will get the opportunity to work along side folks who can show you the ropes, and you get to pick up tasks that will inevitably lead to you becoming the person others will want to talk to.

Picking Your Team

If you’re still unsure on what team you should pick, think about this: what do you like most when playing around with WordPress?

Do you like finding solutions for others? Come join the Support team.

Do you like making the site look good? Design can use your knowledge.

Know more than one language? Help others around the world by helping out in Polyglots.

It’s up to you! Above all, remember: whichever team you pick, existing contributors will welcome your efforts. You only need to show up.

Share The Love

If you are an existing contributor, think about what it was like for you when you first started out. How can you make the joining experience better for those who follow you? How can you help them help you? Extend a hand, and help make the WordPress community a better place than it already is.

Extending A Hand During WordCamp

During any WordCamp, I enjoy meeting the people I already know; often times I only get to see them two or three times a year, so we need to make the most of it.

Yesterday, during the thank you dinner for WordCamp Netherlands, I was talking to friends when I noticed one of the attendees looking a little lost. Because I hadn’t seen them before, I decided to say hello. As it turned out, not only was this their first time volunteering, it was also their first experience with the WordPress community.

I’m happy I said hello. Happy to include a new person into our midst, and let them know everyone is welcome. That’s what our community needs to continuously think about, I believe.

I’m going to work a little harder at extending hands to people I do not know during WordCamps. Are you?