Wordcamp Europe: The people behind the world’s largest WordPress conference
WordPress isn’t just a content management system – it also has a thriving community. That community helps drive WordPress forward, and also provides a space for users to develop their skills.
In June GoDaddy sponsored WordCamp Europe, the biggest community event held on the continent. This year’s event was held in Belgrade, and it was an action-packed couple of days filled with workshops, networking opportunities and inspiring speakers passing on their knowledge.
We caught up with Milos Mihajevic, part of the GoDaddy Customer Care team in Belgrade and one of the organizers of this year’s WordCamp, to find out more about how he and the team put together the event.
How many people attended WordCamp Europe?
Milos: 500 people attended the contributor’s day, with a further 2,100 people attending the conference itself. This year’s event exceeded all expectations. It was the biggest WordCamp Europe we have ever held, everything ran smoothly. Overall the event was a huge success.
What was your reaction when you found out WordCamp Europe was being hosted in Belgrade?
Milos: Honestly, I couldn’t believe that we had managed to bring it to Belgrade. Belgrade is home to a fast-growing, engaged WordPress community. Many members of the community are already part of the WordCamp team. We were all very excited at the opportunity to host the largest WordPress conference in our home town. Serbia is a beautiful country with great people and food. I couldn’t think of a better place to host WordCamp Europe!
Had you organised another WordCamp previously, or was this your first?
Milos: It wasn’t my first and, it is certainly not going to be my last! Being a host, this Wordcamp was different to previous ones I have helped to organise. It was great to see so many people from different cultures joining forces to make something great happen. We wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without everyone’s support.
What skills do you need to become a WordCamp volunteer?
Milos: Organisational skills are an absolute must-have as things can get hectic. Being a team player is essential, events like WordCamp require a lot of man power! Milan, our local team lead was crucial is ensuring we met our deadlines.
How big should the organising committee be?
Milos: The size of the committee varies. We are pushing the limits with each year. This year we had 54 organizers plus volunteers. If you look at it, that’s big team and the number increases with each year.
How much time do you need to commit to become a volunteer?
Milos: On average you will need to commit 8-10 hours per week if you want to be part of a WordCamp planning committee. Although, as the event draws closer you may need to commit some extra time to ensure the event goes off without a hitch!
What challenges have you faced as a WordCamp organiser?
Milos: When you first join a WordCamp planning committee it can be challenging to grasp what’s going on as it takes numerous teams to organise a WordCamp event. It’s also important to be aware of and manage your time effectively, this has been a personal challenge of mine. As I said before things can get chaotic, you must stay organised!
What have been the benefits of becoming a WordCamp volunteer?
Milos: People! Being a WordCamp volunteer gives you the opportunity to meet lots of new people from all over the world. We get to meet the great people behind the products and software that we use daily. Some volunteers have even found job opportunities through the events. Ultimately, we are all united by one thing, WordPress!
Image by: Ivan Gatic