Introvert’s Tips to WordCamps: From Attending to Volunteering

Kuma

I don’t talk to people much in real life.

Usagi

Me too! Here’s my story from attending to volunteering.

WordCamp, in a couple of words: a big, friendly get-together for the WordPress community. Sounds pretty extroverted. So here’s how I, an introvert, navigated through attending my first WordCamp and eventually became a volunteer at my second WordCamp.

Special kudos to Matt’s birthday post, a massive motivation for publishing this post! Happy Birthday

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Attending my first WordCamp – WordCamp Asia 2023

Some numbers to get a sense of the scale:

  • 1,724 registered
  • 1,299 attended
  • 653 contributed
  • 3,185 streamed

It was my first time visiting Bangkok as someone who only travels a little. So, arriving at WordCamp was already stepping out of my comfort zone.

Tip #1: Bring a friend, even if they’re new to WordPress

Attending the WordCamp was already a big step for me, and even more significant when I had to travel abroad! Having a buddy alongside me considerably eased my anxiety and made the experience more fun. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity for them to explore the WordPress world, and who knows? They might discover a newfound interest in WordPress!

Tip #2: Explore the sponsor booths

The staff at sponsor booths are ready and eager to engage with attendees – that’s their main goal. It’s a relaxed setting to learn about new tools and services, grab some awesome swag, and network casually. Sharing the awesome swag that I got!

Tip #3: Join the After Party

I skipped WordCamp Asia’s After Party due to a sour stomach but made it to WordCamp Taiwan’s. It’s surprisingly comfortable for introverts. You can observe, decide if you want to engage, and leave whenever you want. It’s a low-pressure way to end the event and see the community in a different light!

Volunteering for WordCamp Taiwan 2023

I just got back from WordCamp Asia, and guess what? The WordPress community in Taiwan was looking for volunteers for WordCamp Taiwan. Talk about great timing! I submitted my application stating my fear of interacting with people in real life and got accepted. The community can’t be any more friendlier than this.

Tip #1: Pick a team that suits your personality

There were several teams to choose from at WordCamp Taiwan. I knew immediately that the Sponsors team, which involves reaching out to sponsors and ensuring their satisfaction, wasn’t for me. Instead, I opted for the website team, aligning with my professional skills and anticipating minimal face-to-face interaction on the event day – or so I thought.

Tip #2: Set aside time for volunteering

Juggling volunteering with everything else can be tough. I set aside 3-5 hours weekly for WordCamp duties, a realistic commitment. But be ready to up those hours as the event gets closer. It’s all part of ensuring the event’s success and makes a difference.

Tip #3: Get to know your team

Narrowing it down to a small team made connecting easier for me. One teammate has been trotting the globe for a year and shares her adventures. The other is a seasoned local WordPress member who knows many exclusive stories. It’s this bond that kept us in touch after the WordCamp ended.

Looking towards WordCamp Asia 2024

I COMPLETELY drained my social battery during WordCamp Taiwan. I was even at the registration desk, where I basically met “every” attendee. So much for my “minimal face-to-face interaction” plan!

I intended to be a pure attendee for WordCamp Asia 2024, but as you know, plans have a funny way of changing themselves. After some twists and turns, I’m working on the website (again!) for WordCamp Asia 2024!

See you at WordCamp Asia 2024!

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