The widespread return of face to face events has undoubtedly been a highlight of this year so far, and we were particularly pleased to be able to attend WordCamp Europe 2022 in person. Hosted in the stunning city of Porto between 2 – 4 June, the community-organised conference welcomed 2,000 delegates from across the continent and beyond, and as usual it offered a wide range of talks, workshops and networking mixers for WordPress enthusiasts.
Talks and takeaways
Although there were over 40 items on the schedule, limited time and numbers meant that we were only able to enjoy a handful of talks, however one of the standout sessions for us included Level Up Block Building Skills which was presented by Greg Ziolkowski – a core contributor to the WordPress platform and a programmer at Automattic. The insightful presentation shared practical advice and techniques on how to submit new plugins to the WordPress block directory, and included useful takeaways that we’ll try out here at Big Bite.
Along with other sessions on blocks, we also sat in on a couple of inspiring talks that focused on digital accessibility from both an ethical and commercial perspective. Accessibility for dyslexia, which was delivered by web designer Maja Benke, highlighted many of the common barriers that people with the learning difficulty face when accessing online content, and it offered guidance on how those challenges can be resolved. Another session entitled Design for conversions: how to be more profitable by putting people first also made an impassioned argument for greater inclusivity across the web and looked at the main principles of human-centred design. Held by UX expert Piccia Neri – who has an incredible career history – the presentation was informative, interactive and engaging, making it one of the most impactful talks for our team.
Unfortunately, despite optimistically joining reserve lists, we were unable to register for many of the workshops due to extremely high demand and very limited places, however via the expo area we did get to hear about a number of interesting plugins and services such as Weglot, a multilingual tool that we’ll explore further in the future.
While we’re always looking to learn and grow at Big Bite, for us the most enjoyable aspect of WCEU 2022 (and pretty much every WordCamp we’ve ever attended) was meeting like-minded people from across the world, and spending quality time with colleagues outside of the office. As an agency with an international client base, the conference also provided us with an invaluable opportunity to catch up face to face with some of the global organisations that we work with, and further strengthen our relationships.
Outside of networking sessions and after parties, this year WordCamp also featured the WP Café – a drop-in space for open discussions which made it much easier to connect with new people. With jars of suggested conversation topics placed on each table, the cafe served as a great icebreaker for newcomers and old faces alike, and embodied the spirit of an open-source platform. The inclusive nature of the overall event also made a big impact as unlike many conferences within the digital industry, it was clearly designed to be engaging for both technical and non-technical delegates and highlighted that regardless of background, experience or discipline, we’re all an important part of the wider WordPress community.
Roll on WordCamp 2023 – we’ll see you in Athens!