Even if you’ve been to a lot of WordCamps, there are two special ones that are nothing like the others - WordCamp Europe and WordCamp US. This year, WordCamp US will be held in an iconic place - Nashville, TN, on December 1-3. The city alone deserves its own get-around guide but I will try to focus more on the WordPress part of it and use words like “barbeque” and “blues” as little as possible. Here is my list of things to help you get the most out of this massive event.
Learn What’s Coming in WordPress
Of course the most anticipated talk every year is the State of the Word held by Matt Mullenweg. Don’t even think about missing it! It is the best way to learn first hand what is the next big thing that the core team will be focusing on. This year’s hype is definitely Gutenberg and everything related to the next-generation content editor that WordPress is developing. This project has received a lot of love from the community and has great progress but it still needs a lot more work so I guess that will continue to be one of the major things in the future. Another safe bet is that the UX part of the WordPress Admin will get even more attention than last year.
Meet Amazing People
WordCamp US gathers some of the most amazing people in our community - plugin and theme developers, service providers, designers and developers, writers and marketers. I would recommend that you reach out to the people you would like to meet before the event and arrange to grab coffee or chat. It’s usually too big and crazy to play it by ear and the chances to bump into the person you’d like to talk to are slim. Even if you do, it’s tough to catch up with everybody and they might not have the time right then and there. The list of attendees is a great way to find out who’s coming on the spot! Once you’ve planned out those couple of meetings that absolutely need to happen, do leave some time for carelessly idling around - you never know what amazing new contacts you’ll develop.
Contribute to WordPress
WordCamp US is probably the best place to start giving back to the WordPress project. You can learn more about the contributing process from the “Beginner’s Guide to Contributions” session by Josepha Haden and even more so by our very own Francesca Marano who will talk about doing standalone Contributor days. And you can then put it all into practice together with the members of the WordPress core team and pretty much every team lead on Contributor’s day itself. It’s not only for developers, so don’t worry if you’re not a coder. It’s a way more relaxed event that runs at its own pace and I’ve had one of the most useful conversations at WordCamps exactly at Contributor days. So don’t underestimate it and make sure you fit it somewhere in your schedule.
Have Some Nashville Fun
Ready to rock the WordCamp after party? You can easily become the star of the night if you win the hand-crafted acoustic guitar SiteGround will be giving away as a prize for a very special game on our booth! Besides that, Karaoke becomes steadily a WordCamp tradition so I bet you will be able to see at least one iconic WordPress person showing off their vocal skills. Last but not least, even though I said I won’t mention it a lot in this blog post, Nashville is supposed to rival Texas when it comes to barbeque… Now, who am I to judge without conducting a detailed, in-depth research on the topic? I encourage you to join in the research, so we can share our findings after the event. See you all there!