WordCamp Atlanta was amazing! let’s just start there. They had a great location with great people that obviously know how to put on this type of large event. You never went thirsty because they had a ton of food and drinks everywhere you turned.
As a speaker, I felt completely taken care of. They had a separate room just for speakers and this room was stocked with food and drinks from the very first talk. I would know because I had the pleasure of being one of the very first talks for that day.
But that’s not what I will remember this great experience for. WCATL has by far been the WordCamp that I’ve met the most people at.
My WCATL Mission
I set out with a goal of after I get done teaching developers and designers on how to make their websites accessible. I wanted to make as many contacts with as many vendors and sponsors as possible so we could utilize those contacts with our WordCamp that we plan on doing. I had no idea what I was getting myself into…
After going from table to table collecting contact info and asking what it takes to get their company at our WordCamp. I came across a table that had a co-organizer handing out some awesome swag from WCATL. As I explained to him what I have already repeated a half dozen times, he happily told me that I need to talk to “Kathy”. She’s the one that will be able to help me.
I started to make my way downstairs to find Kathy and on my way I happen to see a few people that I follow on twitter and look up to because they are doing what I am want to do. So I made sure to walk over and introduce myself. They all where very nice, very smart and every one of them stopped and had a conversation with me.
Then I ran into a bunch of amazing WordPress developers and designers that I have gotten to know over the last year from speaking at all of the Florida WordCamps. They are the leaders and organizers at there respective WordCamps.
The WCATL Wizard Behind The Curtain
Somehow I finally managed to find Kathy. I introduced myself and promptly began to explain that I wanted to organize a WordCamp in our community and if she would have any information for me. After she gave me a big’ol, smile she grabs my hand and said “You have asked the right person, follow me” and she escorted me into the speaker room with all the snacks and drinks that I loved so much.
We sat down and she began to explain so much to me. It was immediately clear that she was right, I had asked the right person. As she was explaining to me the process and helping me find a bunch of resources online. A woman walked into the room and began to walk over to us. This woman seems familiar but I can not place where I know her from. Then as Kathy is explaining who she is, it hits me. She is the person that vetted and accepted my partner and me to the WordPress meetup community. This allowed us to began to organize our hometowns’ WordCamp community through local meetup groups.
After that 5 minutes of excitement that I am meeting Angela the person that gave me my start in the WordPress community, it was back to work with Kathy. At this point, I am thinking to myself that it can’t get much better than this. That’s when Kathy hit me with the best thing I could have ever imagine that was gonna happen at WCATL.
A Dream Come True
She offered to mentor us through the process of us putting together our WordCamp St. Pete……. I’m just gonna let that sink in for a moment. The person that is the absolute lead for WordPress WordCamps in the South East just offered to mentor me.
That just shows how open, inviting and just downright amazing this WordPress community is. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with WordPress as the leading CMS in the world. But what really makes WordPress special and what really separates this from all other CMS’s is the community! WordPress has the best community than any industry I have ever been a part of, by far.
Thank you WordCamp Atlanta for allowing me to be a part of something so big and so special.