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First WordCamp Europe 2024: Impressions and Tips for Newbies Like Me
lanamiro
Lana Miro
WordPress Digital Marketer
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First WordCamp Europe 2024: Impressions and Tips for Newbies Like Me

I had been following WordCamp news for a while but never dared actually visit one.

This was my first WordCamp Europe and first Crocoblock sponsorship. It was a mass of emotions, impressions, and memories. 

From all of the community Twitter posts and recaps from the last few years, I was 100% ready to embrace this WordPress event. I am now ready to share my recap, the team’s impressions, and sponsorship sum-ups. 😀

Table of Contents

What Is WordCamp?

WordCamp is an event organized by WordPress that includes expert talks, panels, contribution activities, and, most importantly, networking. 

There are many local WordCamps, but the three major ones are in Europe, Asia, and the USA. We have long planned to sponsor WordCamp Europe, and finally, the time has come.

Personal Findings

WordCamp definitely brought lots of emotions, thoughts, and ideas. I felt in the right place, as there were so many people I already knew, and it was brilliant to meet everyone finally.

Plus, this was my first big trip from Ukraine, so I was a little bit nervous and had lots of preparations before it so I could fully enjoy the journey and event. Here are my findings from WordCamp:

  • I’m braver on social media.
  • I am not good at recognizing people. I appreciate everyone who stopped me to say hi! 
  • I’m good at organizing trips. 😀 I thoughtfully prepared notes of what to do, grabbed comfortable clothes and shoes, and prepared mentally for emotional days. 
  • A vacation after WordCamp was an excellent idea! As I’m a more introverted person and have a calmer lifestyle, taking some time off for a family vacation was a good decision.

Talks with the community and partners inspired me a lot. 

For example, at the end of the third day, when there was little activity in the Sponsors area, we talked with one developer who noticed our engagement and energy. 

After a brief about Crocoblock products, he said, “I wasn’t expecting to have such an evolving talk at the end of the event when almost everyone was exhausted. You may truly love your job.

And I was like: he is totally right. Crocoblock and WordPress drive and motivate me so much! I should remember this for sure. 🥰

Team’s Impressions

We had six teammates, and everyone had their mission:

  • Anna – CEO of Crocoblock – having interviews, talking to the community, and meeting our clients;
  • Lana – Partnerships Manager – meetings with all partners, discussing new collaboration ideas, and exploring new brands;
  • Jules – R&D Manager – exploring possibilities for company growth;
  • Olga & Nikki – booth representatives. Olga was in charge of technical and demo showcasing. During that time, Nikki created amazing content, took photos with our users, and helped Olga share our swag smoothly;
  • Michael, the marketing manager, was in charge of meetings with other marketers to discover common goals, pain points, and possibilities.

Anna – CEO 

My main insight from WordCamp Europe this year is that this event is not only about brand and advertising; it’s about contribution. I had an amazing time talking to our clients, partners, and community, mostly about brand development.

The challenge for me was taking interviews for the first time; I truly loved it but still freaked out a lot. 😅

Also, for me, one of the results of WordCamp is greater exposure to the WordPress universe and a rethinking of our participation in future events, including local ones.

Jules – R&D Manager

The pre-event picnic was an excellent idea. If you don’t know anyone in the WordPress community, after this picnic, you’ll find at least two familiar faces the next day at the camp, and it won’t be so scary to be alone.

Michael – Marketing Manager

When I heard about the conference, I imagined it completely differently – suits, formal meetings, etc. As I’ve been to offline B2B exhibitions where having a bigger Rolex refers to a more financially stable company – it’s a tradition in offline business.

But when I started preparing more for the WordCamp, I realized that it’s not about a suit at all. It’s simpler and much more comfortable. 😀

Also, I’ve noticed event participants eagerly share their successes and talk openly about their failures without any bias.

There was delicious food, amazing parties, and exceptional networking opportunities. We connected with over 40 companies, partners, competitors, and more than 1,000 clients. It provided us with valuable insights, and I believe people can expect new products and collaborations from us in the near future!

Olga – Chats Team Lead

This was my first experience of such a large-scale event. My main focus was on presenting the brand, the team, and our support team experience and, of course, on communicating with clients and the community. 

Being at the center of the event, communication with people became key. Friendly people who approached our booth, acquaintances with other brands, clients we finally met – it was an incredible exchange of energy, and I wanted to share it with everyone.

For me, as a support representative, it was especially important to talk to our clients offline. I am grateful to each of them for their support, friendliness, kind words, and “greetings” to the entire support team. 🎉

Nikki – Content Marketer

WordCamp Europe 2024 was my first experience at an event of such scale! 

Have I heard about it before? Of course. 

Did I ever think I would attend such an event? No, I never dreamed of it (and that was a mistake). 

Did this event meet my expectations? More than that.

My understanding of who these events are for and who from the team can be useful as a delegation member was wrong. I was there as a content creator and was involved in establishing connections with partners at a very basic level. 

My passion is marketing in all its forms. I was most useful as a person creating and capturing content (both text and photos) to convey the fantastic vibe that prevailed at the event.

Regarding partnerships, it was a separate kind of enjoyment. Since I helped Lana manage partnerships and establish new connections to promote the Crocoblock brand, attending WordCamp was like a lightning strike and a complete reevaluation for me. 

Seeing partners and clients who have used our product for years or meeting brand–new people who want to know who we are and what we do makes you realize these people are real and share the same passion for WordPress – it’s an incredible feeling. ❤️

It’s especially striking when they recognize you and apologize for taking so long to respond to your collaboration email – it gives you goosebumps. After returning from the event, I spent three days (literally) sorting through emails with collaboration requests, comments on how cool we are, questions about our impressions of WordCamp, and how we got home. 

This communication with people and this exchange of energy gave me an incredible boost of desire to communicate even more and develop partnerships. It’s like you only now realize that on the other side of the monitor, there are people just like you.

I was amazed at how many people know about our company. My primary task was to be at our booth: meeting and talking to people, taking photos with clients and partners, sharing merch, and telling people about our brand. Many people came to us, showing that Crocoblock is known, loved, and valued. 💖 

Sometimes, it was impossible to keep up with everyone who wanted to talk; perhaps our and Olga’s enthusiastic eyes attracted people to the booth like fireflies.

In short, WordCamp is about an incredible energy boost, 🚀 a community of people who love what they do, brand establishment, and company growth. I am grateful to everyone for the opportunity to attend this event! It is inspiring.

To highlight the main point of this event – the atmosphere of WordCamp is filled with genuine sincerity. (Some may argue with me here, but it was like this for me).😊

Quick Recap

We arrived a day before WordCamp started, and it was a great idea! After two days of traveling from Ukraine, we had some time to rest, explore Torino city, and spend time with the team.

On the next day, WordCamp began with Contributor Day, which we didn’t participate in (but plan to do so in the future). However, we checked on our booth, organized our swag, and had final discussions with the team.

We also attended Patricia’s pre-event picnic, and it was a blast. There were informal meetings, warm talks, and an excellent atmosphere. I highly recommend it to everyone the next time!

The official start of day 2 was exciting. We arrived at 9 o’clock, and people started coming immediately. This made our team very happy! Our clients, community members, partners, and bloggers came to say hi, which was the most valuable part of the whole event for us.

We noticed that between our meetings with partners, there was always someone approaching and standing near our booth. It was fantastic to see Olga and Nikki engaging with the community.

The third day was quieter, so we had some time to meet with our partners to discuss future collaborations and integrations and just have a lovely chat to get to know each other better.

Crocoblock Sponsorship Conclusion

The Crocoblock team had the Author’s booth in the Sponsors’ area. Our design team prepared astonishing designs, which helped us to be visible and recognizable to our existing clients.

Each time we presented our team, everyone was surprised to learn that there are about 78 of us now! Plus, half of the team is our precious support agents. 🤗

What we learned from our sponsorship:

  1. If you sponsor, you should be visible. 
  2. We had enough swag, as divided over three days, because partners and clients also approached us during Contributor Day. It wouldn’t have been nice to tell them to come back tomorrow.
  3. WordCamp is about intense days, so you need to be energetic and welcoming. Prepare beforehand by taking some rest so you can be more productive during the event.
  4. If possible, visit WordCamp with a larger team. 

WordCamp is not about direct sales; it’s about:

  1. Supporting WordPress community;
  2. Networking – to know your audience better;
  3. Collaborations – exploring more possibilities for better partnerships;
  4. Brand awareness and recognition;
  5. Ideation – communication and introspection lead to new projects and improvements;
  6. Team building – the opportunity to have some quality time with the team.

We truly believe that each WordPress brand should sponsor WordCamp at least once.

Tips for Newbies

Haven’t you been to WordCamp yet? Do it! 

✅ Prepare the list of people and brands to meet. I’m so glad I had the notes on who to meet for sure because three days went so fast, and there was a ton of everything, so I could have missed something. 

✅ Don’t try to visit each party or event. As I’m not a party person, honestly, I revisited my to-do list after the first day. Because I was tired and wanted to stay fresh the next day. 😀

✅ Don’t grab everything from the WordCamp, and I mean swag. There will be so many of these, so please think about taking only what you need or enjoy. Plus, think about your luggage, if you don’t come with an empty one. 😀  

✅ If you are afraid to talk, like me, start with the Sponsors area, and most of them will be delighted to speak with you. Plus, you learn about new and not-so-new tools and meet the team behind them. 

✅ Have fun and talk to people from the community. 

✅ Don’t assume from others’ recaps; create your own WordCamp experience.

That’s it. I hope you enjoy reading my quick recap and that you will visit the next WordCamp if you haven’t yet. And if you’ve been to WordCamp Europe in Torino, please share your thoughts in the comments below! 😉

One Comment

  1. Mike Johnston

    Hi Lana,

    I enjoyed reading your recap and seeing the comments from your team. I was on the WCEU organising team, so was happy to read that you had a positive experience. Thanks for sharing your story.

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