I’ve worked for PageLines since May this year, and since then I have attended almost every WordCamp (Some were scheduled the same weekend, so I’ve been unable to attend a few. Still working on being in two places at once – I’ll let you know when I figure that out). I’ve been to Milwaukee, New York City, Reno, Boston, San Francisco, Portland and Chicago.
We’ve had many opportunities to sponsor these events as well, so I’ve also been able to have a “booth” which is really just a nice table to put all the swag on. This includes t-shirts, stickers, pins, coffee mugs, mouse pads, bags – all of which I had ordered, printed and shipped.
After getting all of this stuff into the venue, setting up is a fairly easy process of making the “swag” look nice, then getting the demo up on my laptop. Sometimes I bring my secondary monitor so people at the event can interact with the software as I talk about it.
I don’t really get a chance to attend any of the presentations, because I’m a 1 man show, so this leaves me with time to volunteer for the Camp, which is in itself very rewarding. Not everyone at a WordCamp is there to see PageLines, but they are there to learn and share ideas about their experiences with WordPress, and that’s something you I find invaluable about the community.
You can’t find that kind of knowledge sharing at that level anywhere else. At least, I don’t think you can, not to put any of the esteemed Meetups to shame (I attend those too!). I’ve yet to attend a DrupalCamp though (or whatever they’re called). And there’s no way in hell I can afford a Disrupt on my hourly.
Anyway, this weekend I’m attending WordCamp Baltimore representing myself. PageLines decided not to sponsor this event, but I already booked my flight and Airbnb (in this wonderful neighborhood in downtown Baltimore), so I said why the hell not! Robert (who I work with) will be picking me up at the airport, and from there I will be free from PageLines duty. It feels a little like I’ve gone AWOL. I’m going to use my time at this WordCamp to attend some presentations!! Holy crap! And yes, I’ll probably volunteer a bit, because I’m a loony overachiever – but hey, the people here are the ones putting money in my bank account.