WordCamp US 2019 is next week and I’m getting excited. It’s the biggest US-based conference for people in the WordPress community and at this point, it feels a lot like a college reunion to me. But there are also goals I’d like to accomplish while I’m there. If you’re spending your own money to get there, you’ll likely want to make the most of your WordCamp experience too. While it can be overwhelming, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you maximize your conference weekend.
1. Have a Main, and Secondary Goal
Before I land in St. Louis, I’ll have the a primary metric to measure whether or not my WordCamp US was a business success (seeing friends guarantees it will be generally successful).Making the most of #WCUS: Write down 1-2 goals and work to make them happen! Click To Tweet
I recommend that you write down a set of goals you’d like to accomplish at WCUS. It could be something like:
- Meet a few people you only know online
- Find a tool or product that will help you do your job better
- Make a mutually beneficial connection with someone related to your business
- Get clarity on a business problem you’re having
- Improve your WordPress website in a specific way (better performance, improve a feature, etc)
Once you have that list, narrow it down to 1-2 goals and focus on making them happen.
2. Reach Out to People to Talk to Before the Event
The beautiful thing about WordCamps (and other conferences) is they make the attendees list available. If there are people you really want to chat with, reach out to them and offer to buy them a coffee, or meet up in the hallway track (an informal area where people tend to hang out).
This year, I’ve even gone so far as to set up a Calendly link specifically for WCUS*. Something like this will ensure you have at least some time with the people you want to connect with, at a 2000 person conference.Making the most of #WCUS: Reach out to the people you want to talk to before you get to the conference. Click To Tweet
One caveat: be respectful of people’s time. Ask for 5-15 minutes, make it focused, and let them know why you want to chat when you reach out.
3. Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready
You’re going to meet a lot of people. They’re going to ask you what you do. Have an elevator pitch. This will allow you have to a clear, succinct way to communicate what you do.Making the most of #WCUS: Have your elevator pitch ready – tell people who you are, and why you're there. Click To Tweet
This should absolutely be based on your primary goal. Tell people what you do for your day job, and why you’re at WCUS. This is how you extend your network! Remember, you’re not the only one going to a conference with specific business goals.
Bonus: Remember the Talks are Going Online
Another wonderful thing about WordCamp US is the talks are live streamed, for free. They also go up on WordPress.TV very quickly.
This allows you to spend time with the community – if you’re in the middle of a fantastic conversation, and you want to see the talk, remember you’ll be able to watch it later. If you want to connect with the speaker, see Step 2.Making the most of #WCUS: Remember the talks will be online. Click To Tweet
I’m not saying don’t go to talks – but if you need to choose between connecting with someone or seeing a talk, remember you can have both.
What are You Looking Forward to Most?
If you’re heading to WCUS, I’d love to meet up. I’d also love to hear what you’re most excited about! Let me know in the comments below!
*If you want to grab a time, feel free – just message me about it first!