At 2,200 attendees, WordCamp Europe (#WCEU) 2016 was officially the largest WordCamp ever held. Tickets sold out over six months in advance, prompting organizers to quickly allocate additional tickets and arrange additional presentation space.
WCEU 2016 was hosted in the MuseumsQuartier of beautiful Vienna, consisting of three very large tracks and the sponsor hall, where the SiteLock booth could be found front and center. From a total 220 applicants, 75 speakers were selected to present at WCEU on subjects ranging from the REST API to figuratively “herding cats.”
As a proud sponsor of WCEU 2016, SiteLock sent President Neill Feather, Executive Vice President Tom Serani, and Evangelists Logan Kipp and Adam Warner to meet attendees, spread the good ‘Word’ of security, and provide the customary swag offering.
The MuseumsQuartier Location
The “MQ” is home to several large art museums like the Leopold Museum and the MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna) and includes contemporary exhibition spaces like the Kunsthalle Wien and festivals like the Wiener Festwochen, an annual summer event that is headquartered in the MuseumsQuartier Wien. – Source: Wikipedia
As regular supporters and members of the WordPress community, we’re familiar with many aspects of what sponsorship means. Each experience is unique and WordCamp Europe was no different.
Each sponsor table was located in areas that attendees used to get from one session to the other, to go to lunch, or to head outside for a quick break from the action.The SiteLock table was one of the first to be seen when entering the hall and also when exiting
The SiteLock table was one of the first to be seen when entering the hall and also when exiting. This was one of the factors that made our conversations with attendees non-stop throughout two entire days. We’re happy to report that security seemed to be on the minds of many people and that in itself makes for a stronger and more secure web.
The entire organizing and volunteer team did an amazing job ensuring that everything worked smoothly and that everyone was happy. We’d especially like to thank Jenny Beaumont, Luis Rull, Milan Ivanovic, Noel Tock and Petya Raykovska.
We expanded on our regular inventory by introducing a raffle to win an iPad Pro on Saturday. With hundreds of entrants, the crowd swarmed the SiteLock booth when it came time to draw. However, only one winner could be chosen. That winner was René Sejling, who runs an agency by the same name, and plans to share the new iPad Pro with his two sons at home in Roedkaersbro, Denmark.
WordCamps are meant to foster a deeper community. Finally meeting someone from Sweden who you’ve only known online for years is just one of the personal connections we experienced.
We connected more deeply with those we knew and had meaningful first-time connections with people who we now consider friends.
I also had the personal pleasure of speaking with Matt Mullenweg, Co-founder of the WordPress platform. As I expected he was pleasant, calm, and seemed very interested to hear my WordPress story. He also did a Q&A session with Brian Krogsgard of PostStatus that was enlighting and entertaining.
The Grand Ball
The Grand Ball at the end of the Saturday sessions was something many were looking forward to attending and it didn’t disappoint.
It was held in a huge space and offered music from all decades and genres (as long as it was danceable). There were many more non-alcoholic drink choices at this after party event than I’ve seen at most. This was a welcome option for many.
This is a day focused on teaching people who they can contribute to the WordPress project. There are many ways to do this and especially noteworthy is that you don’t need to be a developer or designer to help.
My personal Contributor Day started with a slight hiccup. I went to the wrong building, quite far from the correct location. That was not any fault of the organizing team, that was the fault of a U.S. tourist who can’t read maps very well;)
Once I arrived at Contributor Day I was very impressed. It was different from smaller WordCamps in that each option for contributing had a dedicated room and multiple sessions of hands-on guidance.
These topics resonated and inspired people to get involved deeper and ore often.
WordCamp Europe 2017
During the closing remarks, it was announced that next year WordCamp Europe would be held in Paris, France. We’re looking forward to next year and if our conversations with people this year are any indication, security solutions will again be on the minds of attendees and of course, we’re happy to help with that;)