WordCamp Europe 2013: It's Time

WordCamp Europe 2013: It’s Time

A group of WordPress enthusiasts, based in Europe, have banded together to start organising WordCamp Europe 2013. Zé explains how the idea came about and what is happening next.

Yes, you read it here first: WordCamp Europe in 2013. Our mailing list is ready and you can sign up to get updates.

Beginnings

The idea for WordCamp Europe developed slowly. Come to think of it, it was in much in the same way WP Realm itself was born. We kept running into each other at various WordCamps in Europe; the conversation went on, each city a different chapter.

It mostly did not feel like a different country at all. It didn’t feel like any particular country, actually. It just felt like, well… Europe. The fact that we could just as well be having the conversation over liquid nitrogen desserts in Amsterdam, tapas in Sevilla or drinks in Lisbon has had no impact on a fundamental, unspoken principle, which is this: all those places are home.

Given the nature and history of Europe, all of us easily and often cross national borders and languages to meet each other. This is why so many WordPress enthusiasts from Europe, regardless of their specific country of origin, attend and speak at so many WordCamps in other European countries, probably more so than anywhere else in the world.

Decisions

It was only a matter of time before the subject of an European WordCamp came about. After all, WordCamps happen in countries all over the continent throughout the year, giving the local WordPress communities an opportunity to get together, collaborate and share ideas. Why not get everyone together? The community on the continent is thriving, be they individual developers, designers, contributors, businesses, Code Poets or VIP Consultants, most of them treating Europe as a single unit, rather than a collection of countries.

The subject of WordCamp San Francisco was discussed, too. It is after all the WordCamp of all WordCamps. I’m sure all of us would love to attend, every year, but the costs are often prohibitive for people outside of the United States. A similar large-scale WordPress event in Europe seemed to us to be the perfect opportunity for WordPress professionals and enthusiasts to meet enthusiasts, businesses, colleagues and peers.

We soon decided to get in touch with WordCamp Central for a tentative suggestion of a robust WordCamp Europe, fully aware that such an event would deviate from the “hyperlocal” philosophy behind WordCamps, but convinced that there was a case to be made for this particular exception; indeed, after a few adjustments and clarifications we were given WordCamp Central’s blessing and support.

When and where

We intend to make this an annual event, happening in a different city every year, as a way to get the whole continent involved, and a natural complement to WordCamp San Francisco.

For the very first event, however, it has been discussed, proposed and accepted that its location should be Amsterdam. Besides being home to some well-established WordCamp organisers, it is also a conveniently central location and a major hub for flights in Europe. We think that it will help establish the event’s reputation and visibility right from its first edition.

As to the years after 2013, priority will be given to cities with either a record of successful WordCamps or in need of visibility, and which offer the best travel conditions in terms of flight and housing prices. To be completely honest, we haven’t yet devised an exact procedure or criteria to determine how the decision is to be made: we are hoping for everyone’s input on a discussion to do so. That means you, too.

The dates aren’t set yet, as we await confirmation both from the venue and also the announcement of WordCamp San Francisco 2013′s dates, as it is counter-productive to have both events too close to each other. We’ll announce the date soon, giving you enough time to make plans.

Who

At this stage the WP Europe (the organising team) is a group of WordPress enthusiasts based in Europe who, at the moment, have no other purpose than to band together to launch this WordCamp Europe idea. It is mostly made of names you already know from WP Realm (Remkus, Siobhan, Noel, Tammie and myself). Xavier Borderie from France and Michael Pick from Scotland have already been invited to the team and we are planning to expand it even more, paying special attention to including representatives from all major regions of Europe.

More, tell me more

I’m sure that this will trigger an avalanche of questions and ideas; please get in touch on the new WP Europe website, and we’ll make sure to get back to each and every one of you. Don’t forget to follow @WPEurope on Twitter, too.

We do know that we’ll need everyone’s help in organizing this event and are counting on you to help make it absolutely brilliant.

Congratulations to us all and stay tuned for more news!

Comments

  1. says

    Paul, Brussels could be next. A, for Amsterdam, comes first. ;)

    Count me in. As a matter of fact, I would gladly arrive a few months earlier… and stay there for a while.

    • says

      Amsterdam
      Brussels
      Copenhagen
      Düsseldorf
      Edinborough
      Frankfurt
      Gdansk
      Hamburg
      Ivanec
      Jette
      Köln
      London
      Milano
      Nurnburg
      Oslo
      Paris
      Quimper
      Rome
      Stockholm
      Tallin
      Uster
      Valencia
      Warzaw
      Xanthi
      Yverdon-les-Bains
      Zürich

      Not sure if all of these cities (towns) meets the criteria, though :-)

  2. says

    Any idea what time of the year it’s being planned for? I’m planning on crossing the pond to go to WordCamp Windsor UK in July, and I’d love to be able to go to WordCamp Europe while I’m over there. It’d be great to meet you all, and see Siobhan and Tammie again. :)

  3. Anwar says

    Freakin’ love it! I happen to live in Amsterdam, but I would just as much travel to let’s say Lisbon. Wordcamp events in Europe are now a good excuse for me to travel within Europe! :D

  4. says

    I’ll be there! If I’m feeling brave I could even do a French language talk if it ends up in France, though god help me if anybody wanted me to answer questions in French!

    But given that WordCamp UK was told to stop being a WordCamp UK by the powers that be, how in heck are you going to get a WordCamp Europe past them?

      • says

        Hahah – I think those in the US struggle to understand that in Europe dictats from above simply don’t work. We had centuries of that only to find it led to a lot of wars… If WordCamp Central gets funny about it there’s a good chance that it’ll sow the seeds of the first viable WP fork, which I’m not sure anybody really wants right now.

      • says

        Dave, there are actually no dictats from above, just guidelines. We’ve made sure to discuss everything with WordCamp Central every step of the way, even the most preliminary ones. This announcement is proof that talking to each other as human beings can make things happen.

      • says

        Zé – how did that work out? They simply told us that we couldn’t have a WordCamp UK any more. Of course, the reality is that nothing changed in how it happens, but it’s now WordCamp Edinburgh UK, or WordCamp Windsor UK… but when Jane stood up there and told us it definitely felt like a dictat.

        So is this actually going to be WordCamp Amsterdam Europe rather than a pure WordCamp Europe?

      • says

        Well, we approached it and pitched it right from the beginning as a one of a kind WordCamp. Much like WCSF could probably be called just “The WordCamp”, our event is meant to be unlike any other city WordCamp. Keep in mind that it was a very long process and many, many conversations were had and many adjustments were made.

        The event will most definitely be called WordCamp Europe only (“pure” as you call it), not some other variation.

        From my modest and personal point of view, however, city WordCamps still continue to make sense as does the push to make them even more local.

      • says

        Hahah – I think those in the US struggle to understand that in Europe dictats from above simply don’t work. We had centuries of that only to find it led to a lot of wars…

        @Dave Please let’s not go there. Very soon we would end up in a discussion which totally doesn’t belong here about British-American history and wars fought over “dictats” going overseas from Europe.

        I can see where your comment might come from, yet the obvious truth is whatever issues need to be solved, they are going to be solved by individuals or teams of individuals. If we were ready to call each other out by nationalities, we could just be efficient about it and start bombing each other right away.

      • says

        Ooh – bombs!

        Seriously, I think my point was maybe badly made there Caspar – I meant that Europeans basically spent a lot of time going to war with each other and there’s a culture of not really being very keen to put up with somebody telling a European what they must or must not do. Diplomacy works, but only if both sides are willing to listen. Europeans aren’t really the type of people to take things calmly, so it’s important to be diplomatic. That’s why the EU and various other institutions have been created – it gives us mutual self-interest and helps to fix some of our horrible mutual histories.

        WordCamp UK was one of the first WordCamp groups out there and the way the naming issue was dropped in unexpectedly at the end of an excellent WordCamp was unpopular. It should have been a much more carefully stated and explained direction, rather than simply telling a room full of people that we were all doing it wrong and should have smaller city based WordCamps. It *was* a dictat – nothing more, nothing less.

        If you ignore that there are cultural differences between countries then you get exactly what happened at WordCamp UK that day. My statement wasn’t a nationalistic one – just a reflection that US culture is more pro-establishment and more likely to conform to what the leadership asks for. Not all in the US are like that, nor are all Europeans prone to starting fights, but it’s handy to know what the trends might be. That’s why I don’t ask for pork in an Arab restaurant* or show my soles in Asia.

        * not that I would anyway, I’m veggie, but you get my drift.

      • says

        Yeah, completely understood and agreed!

        Ooh – bombs!

        Hope you got my drift as well… ;)

        Europeans aren’t really the type of people to take things calmly

        Obviously… :D

  5. says

    What, nobody from the Serbia? We need to change this ;)

    Let’s alarm” Vladimir Prelovac and Milan Dinic about this.

    Amsterdam should be good and if I can, I’ll be there for sure,
    Representing European-Americans that is hehe :)

    I love the video BTW, it goes nicely with Stolichnaya ;)

    Thanks,
    Emil

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply