This past weekend, I participated in my 4th WordCamp Montreal (the 5th Montreal WordCamp ever), and the first one that I helped organize. I had a really great time, and by the end of the weekend, I felt as though it was the best WordCamp I’d been to. And in truth, it really does get better every year. Here’s why this year’s was the best yet:
- More submissions than ever before. We had over 70 speaker submissions this year, so we were able to pick the best possible talks, from out-of-towners and even more importantly, from the local Montreal WordPress community.
- Because of the large number of submissions, we were able to expand to include a 3rd track of talks, so attendees always had plenty of interesting talks to choose from.
- We sold 400 tickets this year, more than last year, and actually sold out! This meant that our WordCamp was just filled to the brim with WordPress enthusiasts, including some people who were just beginning to learn about it and who were eager to expand their knowledge.
- Our veteran organizers (@cafenoirdesign, @twigpress and @jeremyclarke) brought their valuable experience and made sure that every little detail was taken care of, and taught me and my fellow rookie organizer, @kwightca, everything there is to know. We owe a lot to their leadership!
- Our fabulous volunteer coordinator, @molecularcode, did such a fantastic job wrangling all the volunteers for her second year in the job.
- We had more volunteers sign up than ever before, so we had tons of friendly people manning the registration desk, helping the speakers with their every need, and guiding people around.
- The Happiness Bar (where people can ask for WordPress-related help from experienced people, and for free!) was more than fully-staffed the whole weekend, and saw lots of traffic!
- There were lots of my colleagues from Automattic in town for a team meet-up, and they all either volunteered for the Happiness Bar or were speakers, sharing their expertise with anyone who needed it.
- The co-founder of WordPress and founder of Automattic, Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) gave a great Town Hall in which he answered audience members’ questions, and told some pretty funny stories (Penguin wars!).
- We had 2 panel discussions, on multilingual options for WordPress sites, and on how to make money with WordPress. These panels were a great success, and I hope that we’ll have some great submissions for further panels for next year.
All in all, it really was a great WordCamp Montreal this year. If you weren’t able to make it, then you can view many of our speakers’ slides on our site, and eventually we hope to have most of the speakers’ talks available on wordpress.tv. If you want to keep in touch with the Montreal WordPress community, sign up for our mailing list. We have monthly developer meetups or social events, and we also want to have start having meetups that are more focused on content creators. We’ll keep you informed of all our activities through the mailing list and through or Facebook group. Hope to see you there!