WordCamp Benefits – Inexpensive Tickets High Value Add

I have discovered many benefits of attending WordCamp benefits over the last few years. I’ve attended work camps in Birmingham, Raleigh-Durham, Boston, Las Vegas, and now in Atlanta. I find work camps to be one of the most valuable tech conferences, and one of the cheapest terms of real dollars. Even if you have to travel halfway across the country, or all the way across the country for that matter, you almost always get your value out of going to a WordCamp. Some were completely free, and some cost anywhere from $20-$40 to attend.

WordCamp Benefits Tied to Target Audience

WordCamps are tech conferences built around the WordPress platform. They are set up for people that want to learn more about WordPress. They can be extremely helpful for people that are brand-new to WordPress, they’re great for people that like to learn how to design websites or develop and program in WordPress, they’re great for small businesses that are looking to find more ways of doing things online, and a good for artists and writers and painters and musicians that want to get more exposure connect with their audiences are fans. Basically a WordCamp you learn how to use WordPress better, you can learn some of the latest tips and tricks and then there’s the plug-ins.

WordCamps are designed to have something for everyone. This is definitely not easy, as WordPress is generally run by a group of dedicated volunteers, staffed by volunteers, and the presentations are almost always by volunteers. This kind of makes sense since WordPress itself is an open-source system built and grown by volunteers all around the world. It’s part of the ethos to keep things very inexpensive or free where possible.

WordCamp Benefits – Travel Biggest Expense and for many they are close!

Therefore the only cost built into WordCamp, is typically the cost to get there, and the time away from doing whatever it is you would typically do. I live on the East Coast and I’ve flown to WordCamp in Las Vegas and I’ve flown to WordCamp in Boston. Those were probably the most expensive WordCamps that I’ve experienced, although my ticket to the first one was free in my ticket to the second one was only $40. I have been to conferences were the ticket cost more than $1500.

What I seek at WordCamps – Things that always pay me dividends.

There are a few key things I always look for in WordPress WordCamps. I look for the latest tips and tricks and know how about WordPress security. I glom on any topic that talks about plug-ins and which plug-ins are useful and for what purposes. Typically when a plug-in is mentioned at WordCamp, it is a plug-in that is been tested a bit by people that know something about WordPress. There are lots of plug-ins out there that do lots of things, but it’s not always easy to vet what a plug-in is or to figure out if it’s a good plug-in. So if someone mentions a good plug-in at WordCamp, odds are they have tested it a bit and it’s more likely to work well been one you might just happen to find on Google. You should still test the plug-in yourself, and that’s good advice for any WordPress plug-in.

Seeking WordPress Tools at WordCamp – Making it easier to write

I always look for tools that make it easier to write. WordPress just isn’t WordPress if you don’t go out and write something. Sure you could have a video blog and film everything, and you could establish a buddy press site, or a multi-user site, and hope to have the cloud create your content for you. That is all well and good, but really if you can have a site you probably do need to write something. And I happen to be old-fashioned enough to think that you probably should write quite a bit. That’s why I always look for great tools that make writing on WordPress even easier. I’m writing this particular article using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 premium. It’s a program I’ve been using for years although I started with version 3 back in the90s, which was flat out terrible. The program didn’t actually become useful for me until version 9. WordPress is gone through some iterations like that as well although it is been useful for people pretty much since day one. The difference is that as it increases and version numbers it becomes more useful for an even wider audience.

Giving Back by Speaking at WordCamp

The first time I spoke to WordCamp, I did something almost unthinkable. I presented on how to use a Microsoft product with WordPress! I showed up to show people how they could use Windows live writer, which can connect with WordPress and they could write an article on their desktop and publish it up into WordPress at the push of a button. Over the years I still use that particular software program, and for my clients that have a difficult time working on web applications or on websites, I sometimes referred the software program to them as well as it can it has a look and feel like a Microsoft Outlook type of e-mail thing. Frankly, it also handles images a whole lot better than WordPress does.

Where to Find a WordCamp Event Near or Far

Keep in mind that I do not mind travelling a long ways to see a great WordCamp.  Boston, Phoenix, New York,  and San Francisco offer some of the best in the US, but many of the other WordCamps are awesome as well.  The key benefit is the knowledge and lets face it, WordPress users like to share their knowledge and best practices and some even blog about it!

Checkout Upcoming WordCamps in your area and around the World

The difference in some of the larger cities comes from the larger sponsors and the high tech facilities at places such as Microsoft’s NERD center in Boston (been there, saw the sumo wrestler ecommerce / shopping cart plugins show down and it was great).  🙂

*Disclosure, no plugins were harmed in the filming of this video

 

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