WordCamps are not like normal conferences – they are an informal event sitting somewhere between a conference and a Bar Camp.

It was my pleasure to be part of the organising team again this year, along with fellow Midlanders Rachel McColin, Kirsty Burgoine, Nathan Roberts, Pauline Roche and Ted Ryan. We also had some help at the start from Philip John – who sadly had to bow out due to personal commitments (I hope all is well sir!)

We held the event right in the heart of the city in a professional conference venue – The Studio – which proved to be an excellent choice! The venue really was great and we were very well looked after with endless tea, coffee – and my favourite hot chocolate, which was of a particularly good standard I have to say!

The conference

The conference – spread over two days comprised of multiple presentation tracks. I know that Rachel worked tirelessly over the schedule to ensure that we had a really solid mix of technical and more ‘user-centric’ presentations throughout the day. One thing we hadn’t tried before was running a number of workshops (I ran my Theme Builders Workshop on the second day) – which seemed to work really well.

Although I had some duties during the two days, I did manage to catch some solid presentations from various speakers. There wasn’t time to catch everything – and with multiple tracks you inevitably end up missing something. For me personally, of particular note were the following presentations:

The thing I love about WordCamps is the spirit of sharing and collaboration – something that I feel is lacking within some conferences. WordCamp Birmingham was certainly no different – you could almost feel the good karma around the venue! I always end up with a raft of notes and things to research at the end of a conference – and this one was certainly no different!

And finally…

The conference was a resounding success – with over 150 attendees in the end it really was a good mix of users of WordPress of different levels. A conference such as this is nothing without the time and commitment given by organisers, speakers, volunteers, sponsors… and of-course the delegates – so a really huge thank-you to everyone involved. It’s really not a WordCamp without you!

The conference website will be maintained for the future – and has now been updated with conference slides from the event. Also of note is the excellent photography shot by Drew Kirkland, who is one of the regulars at our Birmingham WordPress meetup (which I also help organise!).