During the weekend of September 13th-14th, more than 1,100 individuals attended the 2013 WordCamp Tokyo – a number that has many experts gawking at how large the event actually was. Some have stated that Tokyo’s participation equaled two “large” WordCamps that are typically held in the United States.
Late last week, David Bisset posted an event recap on the WordCamp Central website – writing, “When you think ‘largest attended WordCamps’ – what cities do you think of? San Francisco? Phoenix? Miami? How about Japan? This past weekend WordCamp Tokyo rocked the house with over 1,100 attendees! That’s no typo. That’s about two large WordCamps (at least from the United States) put together! Not only that but this year marked the 6th annual WordCamp in the Metropolitan Tokyo area (including one in Yokohama, 2010) – which would also makes it one of the longer running WordCamps.”
WordPress is a platform that is quickly catching on in areas outside of Europe and the United States, while those two regions already have a large amount of platform saturation when it comes to managing websites. The result has been a gradual sharing of information process that has allowed WordPress users in other regions of the world to quickly become aware of the advantages WordPress has to offer while at the same time learning more about ways the platform can be modified to fit specific needs.
The informal WordCamp gathering have been a huge success and brought programmers, developers and website owners together to comfortably discuss new ideas and brainstorm for the future. According to the official WordCamp Central website, “Getting to meet and learn from other WordPress users face-to-face is one of the main reasons people attend WordCamps. Many WordCamps set up an informal ‘genius bar’ staffed with experienced WordPress volunteers who try to help fellow attendees with their WordPress questions. In addition to learning from each other, attendees often find new collaborators, employees/employers and potential co-conspirators in the WordCamp crowd. These new relationships can lead to exciting WordPress projects throughout the year. Many WordCamps also set up a ‘job board’ for attendees to post job openings, business cards, etc. Ideally, every WordCamp is the annual ‘big event’ of a local WordPress meetup group. If no such group exists, a WordCamp can be a great way to kick it off.”
Local Event Organization
Although the WordCamp calendar is set by administrators of the WordCamp Central website, “each individual event is organized by local WordPress users, developers and fans. We provide guidance, but the elbow grease is theirs. Showcasing local talent is one of the best things about WordCamp, and the program includes local speakers/presenters whenever possible. It’s fun to hear from WordPress lead developers and other prominent WordPress personalities, but WordCamps are not meant to be a lecture circuit with the same speakers at every event, so the best WordCamps tend to have both local and visiting speakers.”
The result is that there are a number of volunteers and sponsors who do their part to put on events at each location, with further coordination of hardware shipping possible for some areas in the U.S. Events are traditionally open-ended in that participants can choose to attend the sections or workshops that they feel are most relevant while having the option to sit in on all meetings via their daily pass.
Tickets to future WordCamps can be secured for a low price. During October, there will be a total of seven WordCamps on tap. Sites include The Netherlands, Toronto, Louisville, Boston, Spain, Nepal and Bulgaria. To find out more about how to attend a WordCamp in your area, visit the Upcoming Events page.