Choices, WordCamp. Choices, WordCamp.

Unless you are a WordPress user or developer, these are not two words that you would normally associate with each other.

Living in eastern Ohio, I was very fortunate this year because I have been able to attend three WordCamps so far this year.

The first was WordCamp North Canton which was held on May 4th at Stark State College.

WordCamp North Canton
Next was WordCamp Columbus which was held on August 2nd and 3rd at The Union on the campus of Ohio State.

WordCamp Columbus
Finally, this past weekend I drove about 5 hours and attended WordCamp Buffalo for the September 14th event.

WordCamp Buffalo
I have only been attending WordCamps since 2010 and last year was the first that I attended multiple events.

Choices. When I am looking over the schedule for sessions at a WordCamp, invariably, there are two or more speakers that I would like to hear speak that are speaking during the same time slot. I call this the “dammit” factor. I use this word quiet often as I am trying to see which sessions I want to attend. Without a doubt, WordCamps offer quality information from well qualified individuals.

Just as important as the sessions at a WordCamp are the people! Meeting and thanking the organizers is a must for any attendee. The organizers devote untold hours for several months before the event. Speaking from experience, once an event such as this is finally underway, a big sigh of relieve is given by all involved. Also, meeting people and renewing acquaintances is a big part of any WordCamp.

Twitter is the social media vessel of choice at a WordCamp. Before you attend (or ask before the event begins) find the hashtag of the event and follow that throughout the day and even for a few days afterwards. A lot of good info will be posted on Twitter such as the hyperlinks to speaker slides.

Again, I am fortunate that there were more than one WordCamp that I could attend. Is it worth the effort and the money to attend these events? YES! I am sure that someone could calculate the ROI comparing the cost versus benefits gained.

Visit WordCamp Central to find an event near you.