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WordCamp and WordPress Meetups – The Events Heard Round the World

WordCamp LogoThis weekend is the granddaddy of WordCamps, WordCamp San Francisco 2009 on May 30, 2009. Registration is closed at over 700 attendees for this one day event packed with a ton of the top blogging, social media, search engine, business, and WordPress experts. I’ll be there, so be sure and find me for a hug.

That’s part of the joy and difference between a WordPress event and other social tech events. WordPressers serve up hugs, not just hand shakes. What I hear over and over again at these events is how we all know each other, so meeting face to face is just another step in the relationship process that began a few months to a few years ago. We’re already friends!

This year so far it has been my honor to be included and speaking at a variety of WordCamp events including WordCamp Las Vegas, WordCamp Whistler, WordCamp Toronto, and WordCamp Columbus, and you will probably find me rattling around WordCamp Dallas, WordCamp Portland, WordCamp Seattle, Netherlands – WordCamp NL, WordCamp Israel, and WordCamp/Podcamp Hawaii.

img_49341 - WordCamp Las Vegas - photography by Lorelle VanFossenAccording to the WordPress Meetup Groups on Meetup.com, there are 32 Meetup Groups focused specifically on WordPress, representing 3,394 Members in 5 different countries among 32 Meetup groups in 28 different cities. There are almost 2,000 people interested in a WordPress event and meetup without a group near them.

Here is a list of the most popular WordPress-specific Meetup Groups on Meetup.com from around the world. The number next to some of the group names represents the current number of registered members.

While there are WordPress meetup groups around the world, there are a lot of people are shouting out for one in their area. Copenhagen (61 interested), Philadelphia (45), Houston, London, and Denver are among the many. Some of these have had or are about to have a WordCamp event, so why aren’t there regular WordPress meetups?

WordCamp Meetups Map at Meetups.comWordPress Meetup Groups on Meetup.com offers a map of all the places where there are WordPress events and activities and where ones are wanted. You can browse a list of cities hosting WordPress events or go directly to your region to find out where one is or who might be interested in putting one together.

What is the Difference Between a WordPress Meetup and WordCamp?

A WordPress Meetup is a frequent meeting of WordPress fans. If you would like to start a WordPress Meetup group, find a meeting place and announce it among your friends, and add a listing to the Yahoo Upcoming events for WordPress and WordPress Meetups Upcoming Events and tag them “WordPress Events” and “WordPress”, as many track WordPress event announcements there.

A WordPress Meetup allows locals to get together and learn from each other on how to use WordPress. There are formal WordPress meetups and informal ones, covering nothing but WordPress or including WordPress as part of other topics on web publishing and social media. WordPress meetups are usually held monthly or quarterly.

img_49361 - WordPress Las Vegas - photography by Lorelle VanFossenA WordCamp is a day or two long event with sponsors and dozens if not hundreds of WordPress fans gathering annually. WordCamp Toronto was the first, I believe, to have a three day WordCamp event, but there are no rules. It differs from a WordPress Meetup because it is offered rarely instead of regularly.

WordCamps were originally formatted on the Barcamp structure, loosely put together, grassroots gatherings of WordPress fans in a day long unconference style. While this works for some communities familiar with the unconference style, some stick with a more traditional conference format.

While a WordPress Meetup can cover any topics of interest to their members, a WordCamp event is focused on WordPress for the majority of the programs and workshops.

Many distinguish the two events based upon the length and speakers. WordPress Meetups tend to last a few hours where WordCamps are day long events. The speakers at WordCamps can come from your region or around the world.

How Do I Start a WordCamp or WordPress Meetup?

Cali and Neal talk about Video blogging with WordPress at WordCamp DallasIf you would like to sponsor or host a WordCamp, check out the new official site for tracking WordCamps is WordCamp Central, which includes instructions and guidelines for running a WordCamp. There are also articles with tips and techniques for WordPress Meetups and WordCamps on The WordCamp Report, as well as on blogs by those who have run these events.

In general, you need to have a team of at least 5 active volunteers, a location and date, speakers, sponsors, and food or easy access to food. The rest of it is up to you.

Get a free blog on or host your own for the WordCamp, until WordCamp Central finishes setting up their WordPressMU blog network. Get a Twitter account and add a listing to the Yahoo Upcoming events for WordPress and WordPress Meetups Upcoming Events and tag them “WordPress Events” and “WordCamp. These are tracked by many WordPress fans around the world, many whom are willing to fly in to the various WordPress and WordCamp events.

How Do I Get WordPress Rock Stars to My WordPress Event?

John Pozadzides and Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp DallasWhile , myself, and other representatives of WordPress and try to get to as many WordCamp and WordPress events as we can, look to your own neighborhood and community for your own WordPress experts and rock stars.

Many think it helps to have a “big name” to help attract attendees. In some large cities it does, but promote the event as a chance to learn about how to use WordPress in your business or personal life, and you’d be stunned at the number of people who will show up, just because they love WordPress.

To ask one of the press-o-rati, contact them through their blogs, email or Twitter accounts. To request someone officially from Automattic or WordPress, use the WordCamp Central contact form and ask. You can be vague and invite whoever is willing to come, or be specific and request someone who is an expert in WordPress Themes, Plugins, BuddyPress, bbPress, PollDaddy, Intense Debate, or any of the other WordPress and Automattic specific features and services.

I highly recommend you make your WordCamp and WordPress event about your community. WordCamp/Podcamp Hawaii brought in local social media experts, musicians, and tourist industry representatives familiar with WordPress to speak to attendees, giving them the local perspective that their community needs. WordCamp Toronto brought in members of the local art community to display interactive art work and held community competitions for the event logo, blog designs, and Plugins, involving as many people and groups as possible to make the event a social one. WordCamp San Francisco 2008 had a fund-raising event “Scavenger Hunt” for a local educational charity on the day after the WordCamp sessions.

There are a lot of ways you can involve your community and help others blog and share their voice with the world and benefit your community in general. Make your WordPress event inclusive not exclusive

To publicize your WordPress event or WordCamp, contact WordCamp Central, The WordCamp Report, Yahoo Upcoming events for WordPress, WordPress Meetups Upcoming Events, and Upcoming events tagged with “WordCamp” or “WordPress,” and contact me by email for inclusion on the and my site and other WordPress fan sites.

Upcoming WordPress and WordCamp Events

Upcoming WordCamp and WordPress Events include:

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

Upcoming WordCamps not scheduled or confirmed:


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

16 Comments

  1. Posted May 27, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Miss this event on my country. Is it possible to be held on asian country( ex.indonesia )?

  2. Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    Just wanted to say, that there are actually meetups going on in Copenhagen – they’re just not organised through Meetup.com, but through the danish blog/forum, which can be found here: http://wordpress.dk/?s=meetup
    All the best from CPH

  3. Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Hey Lorelle, great reminder on how to organize an event such as a meetup or a WordCamp. I’m fairly new to this process myself and I noticed you included a link to the Akron Ohio meetup which I help organize along with Brian Layman. Is it just me, or does it seem like the majority of WordPress peeps hang out and organize events on Meetup.com more so than Upcoming? We chose not to go with Meetup.com because it cost $12.00 at the minimum to organize an event while Upcoming is free.

    We have been trying to get the word out about the event and it’s been a bit of a struggle and I’m wondering if using Upcoming instead of Meetup could be one of the causes.

    P.S. The caption in the third image says Mark Mullenweg which I think should be Matt Mullenweg :)

    • Posted May 29, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      It isn’t a matter of WordPress anyone – it’s personal. People choose whichever one they are familiar with, and possibly can afford. Some were signed up before it started costing, and others just started them. As to which is better, it’s a personal choice but I’ve found that Meetup has more features and better results for tagging and narrowing down the search than Upcoming, but I’m not in charge of making those decisions. It isn’t a rule and I’ve never heard anyone express a preference. However, you are right that most appear on one than the other.

      And thanks always for the support and help.

  4. Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lorelle,

    Wordcamp NZ is confirmed for Wellington – August 8th and 9th.

  5. Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m just seeing this now, so it’s short notice for me, but I’m going to try to go! It’s just an hour north of me!

  6. Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Just wanted to mention that the link for Portland’s WordCamp in September needs a little tweak in the post. It’s http://www.wordcampportland.org instead of .com

  7. Posted May 28, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Marlene,

    You may want to check first before driving up there “Registration is closed at over 700 attendees”

  8. Posted May 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Lorelle, you’ve got spam.

    And WordCamp is a great event, but don’t fret if you miss one, there always seems to be another nearby coming up. :)

  9. Posted May 29, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Hey Lorelle, there’s also a WordCamp for Birmingham (AL) in September! ;)

    September 26 & 27 (http://birmingham.wordcamp.org/) – more info to come, I’m sure. :D

    Thanks!

  10. Posted May 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    For those somewhere in the Philippines area, you might want to keep up to date with the upcoming WordCamp Philippines 2009.

    Good luck to all the organizers and WP lovers!

  11. Posted June 8, 2009 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Hey Lorelle, thanks for the mention again….

    Will you be at WordCamp Montreal? I will be presenting FlashPress again, and I am hoping to take it on the road at WordCamp’s if there is interest ;)

    -Brendan

    • Posted June 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      FlashPress is so cool. I’ll be writing it up soon. I just finally got home. Good luck in Montreal. I would SO love to be there. I had an incredible time in Toronto. Thank you so much! For everything!

  12. varund
    Posted December 3, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    FlashPress is so cool. I’ll be writing it up soon. I just finally got home. Good luck in Montreal. I would SO love to be there. I had an incredible time in Toronto. Thank you so much! For everything!

  13. Posted April 6, 2010 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen this year will be WordCamp in italy … I hardly wait

  14. Posted August 31, 2010 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Nice Post


6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  6. […] WordCamp and WordPress Meetups: The Events Heard Round the World […]

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