I did not expect to attend the WordCamp in Montreal this year, but I won a ticket given away by one of the sponsors, so I went! I did not attend all the presentations, but I realized something during this weekend: it’s okay not to do everything!
I will tell you a little more about it in the article. It is true that I won my ticket, so I had not paid to be at the event, so I was perhaps a little more “detached” and less stressed to arrive at 9 am…
Despite everything, I spent a very good time at the WordCamp!
This article contains affiliate links. This doesn’t cost you anything, but I can earn a small commission if you buy something or sign up on a website. This helps me to maintain the blog. My full disclosure is here.
What is a WordCamp ?
WordCamp is an annual event that takes place around the world in several major cities. This is one or two days of conferences that all have as central theme WordPress, the most used website creation tool. These are events organized by the WP community.
Saturday – August 12, 2017
On Saturday morning, the day began at 9 am. I did not attend the first 2 rounds of presentations; I preferred to stay at the Happiness Bar and chat with people. I was able to help someone with her website; she had problems with the plugin Yoast SEO.
I also took the time to say hi to every sponsor who had a booth. I talked to Siteground, Bluehost, Hover, etc… I was disappointed talking to Bluehost, they were cold and didn’t have anything to tell me. It was awkward. Haha! But Siteground was amazing, we played a puzzle game, and talked about their hosting services. I asked questions about their affiliate program, and the guy at the booth even wrote an email to me to follow up! Amazing 🙂
I attended two lightning talks, the first on 5 ways to use video in a marketing strategy, and the second was about SEO writing. I knew a lot of what was said in these two presentations, but I learned a tip that will be useful to me: use a picture with a play button in our newsletter, with a link to the YouTube video. This will make it look like it’s a video without actually being one!
For the afternoon, I went home. I had, unfortunately, work to catch up on my blog!
Sunday – August 13, 2017
I arrived at the WordCamp around 11:30, just in time for the pizza! Indeed, I still worked on my blog in the morning. I’m sad to have missed some presentations like Maxime Jobin’s “How to sell your WordPress skills more expensive than your competitors,” but I think I will watch it online when it is published!
At least, I met some people while eating lunch. One was a guy I met was from Australia, the other for Belgium, and 2 women form Montreal. One of them just retired from her career in HR and decided to start learning how to make websites to stay busy. She actually was inspiring (and if you are reading this blog post, hi!)
For the afternoon, I attended several conferences:
Rapid Mobile Prototyping in React Native with WordPress
I am very pleased to have attended this presentation. As I started learning React since the beginning of August (so it’s been 2 weeks as I write this), I was very impressed by how natural and easy it is to create an application for Android and iOS with a single programming language. Also, it is possible to do it using WordPress! Fantastic 😉
Ptah Dunbar was the keynote speaker, and he was very well prepared! This is the first time, if not one of the only times I saw someone with code in his presentation to succeed on the first try! No surprizes either!
Just hit publish, what do I do now?
I had attended the conference that Jennifer Doré Dallas made last year at the event, I liked it! The talk she did today was in the same vein: what to do to get our article see by as many people as possible. I already knew everything that was discussed in the talk (to schedule the promotions of our posts, use Pinterest to reach more people …).
Listening to Jennifer talk, I recognized myself in everything she said! I can relate a lot to her mindset of how she manages her blog. She hates ads so don’t use them too much; she doesn’t trust affiliate links to make money, and works 5 hours a month to schedule all her Pinterest pins so that she no longer has to think about it for the whole month, and so on.
Happiness Bar again, instead of a conference
What do you want me to say? I love meeting new people!
Pirates of CMS
This one was my favorite presentation of the weekend. I listened carefully! I already knew a lot of things, but at least I made sure that everything I have in place regarding security for my blog is relevant! There are still some elements that I will double-check to see if I do them correctly… 😉
Jean-François Arsenault gave this presentation, and approached the subject very sarcastically, which made the talk much more dynamic: “We should never update our plugins! “,” We always have to enable plugins for performance testing when our site is online! , “I know you want your customers to see you more often so you can charge them money, so a real trick is not to install Akismet! ”
It was quite funny as a presentation and different.
The Powerpoint in French is available here.
I was shocked to meet people from all over the world. Belgium, France, Australia (!), and England. All these people came for the WordCamp! I was impressed. It makes me want to attend WordCamp in other countries, too!
Me and conferences…
It’s my blog, right? So I will make a little confession here. First, I’d like to ask: do you like conferences that last 1 or 2 days that consists of multiple 45-minutes talk every hour?
I find them particularly difficult, especially when you work 60 hours or more per week and don’t even relax on the weekend. Do you feel something similar? How do you manage it?
I love meeting new people. However, I sometimes feel like I could be more productive elsewhere. Maybe it’s just my fault because I don’t choose the right talks? 😉
Altogether, I spent a good weekend at WordCamp Montreal 2017. I will probably return next year, even if I have to buy my ticket!