At last year’s State of the Word speech, Matt Mullenweg announced there had been 115 WordCamps in 41 countries and 3,193 held across 58 in 2016. Those are staggering numbers and point to the reason people love WordPress so much, the community. While the CMS powers almost 29 percent of the web, the thing that makes it special is the relationships forged around the world.
In December, thousands will descend upon Nashville to attend WordCamp US. This year, organizers created the Community Bazaar to celebrate WordPress communities from all over the world. The setup will be similar to the sponsorship halls, each community that applies will get a booth and attendees can walk through getting to know each group.
According to the announcement, “We’re going to physically showcase your WordPress community, and you could have the opportunity to represent your WordPress city or region to the world! But until WCUS commences, we’d like to post all about your WP community online, so tell us all about it!”
Groups can apply online to reserve a spot at the Bazaar.
A sense of community
WordCamps and meetups are what turn a hobby into a career. Bazaar organizer, Raquel Landefeld attended her first WordCamp in 2012 and has been organizing and attending ever since.
“In January of 2010, I unexpectedly found myself co-founding a custom web design & development agency start-up. We mainly used WordPress to build with,” Landefeld said. “My partner had discovered WordCamp Phoenix in 2009 along with all the WordCamps in the Southwest region of the US. But it wasn’t until 2012 that I finally got my feet wet at the WordCamp San Diego after-party. There I got a glimpse of a true community (unlike I had seen before) and I was hooked.”
Landefeld found herself deeply involved in the community on a global scale and began looking for ways to bring even more people together. Enter organizer Randy Hicks and the Community Bazaar. Hicks thought of the initial idea and brought it to Landefeld. The project seemed like a perfect fit not only for WordCamp US but Landefeld as well.
“Being the intentional community builder that I am, I could not resist taking this project on. I become giddy with passion about community especially when it comes to learning more about other WordPress communities,” she said.
The Community Bazaar is designed to shine a light on groups that may not be at the forefront of the larger community. It’s an opportunity to learn about how people in other parts of the world and country use and talk about WordPress. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn from each other.
“We will get the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t work for other WordPress Meetups and WordCamps in North America,” Landefeld said. “Hopefully, this will inspire and provide valuable input that you can take back to your local WordPress communities and implement. Even more, we’re optimistic that this will help kickstart and stimulate WordPress communities that are having a hard time getting started.”
Attendees will be able to walk through and not only meet people may not have met before, but see how groups are approaching meetups. Not all communities will be location specific. WCUS organizer, Dustin Meza, sites Women Who WP as a group that is known in the community but could reach even more people at the Bazaar.
“We’re very excited about showcasing different communities across WordPress, this is the first time WC US has tried something like this, and I think there’s an awesome opportunity to spread the knowledge of what these communities are doing for WordPress, and what they could do for attendees,” Meza said.
WordCamps were created to WordPress users and developers together to learn from each other. The Community Bazaar is designed to open those door even further.
“This is truly a special community that I love being apart of,” Landefeld said.
If you’re interested in participating, submit your group online.