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