WordCamp Europe in Belgrade: bigger, bolder and better than ever
More than 2,000 WordPress users, designers, developers and entrepreneurs, from across Europe and beyond, gathered in the Serbian capital, Belgrade last week for what proved to be the biggest WordPress event in history.
WordCamp Europe, now in its sixth year, has become a fixture of the global WordPress calendar. Each event seems a little larger, a little more polished, and a little more mature than the last: and this year was no exception. Few of us knew much about Belgrade before we arrived; but we left with many fond memories of a unique and welcoming city.
With two tracks of uniformly excellent speakers over the two days, plus extended workshops and fringe events, it was impossible to see everything and everyone. But the two sessions which seemed to get most people talking were:
- WordPress project lead Matt Mullenweg‘s session on day one, laying out the roadmap for the integration of Gutenberg, the new WordPress content editing experience into the core software (session now available to watch online, helpfully summarised by Birgit at GutenbergTimes); and
- Google’s Alberto Medina, ably supported by Thierry Muller from VIP agency partner XWP, on the thinking behind the AMP format, and the work to build AMP compliance into WordPress core.
Both subjects represent significant evolutionary changes in what WordPress does, and how it does it. Inevitably, passions have been stirred: but those passions are the fuel which drives WordPress forwards.
I was struck to see both Matt and Alberto wasting no time in acknowledging and addressing the community’s concerns. The audience was left in no doubt about the depth of consideration and planning which has gone into both initiatives.
As in previous years, VIP’s agency and technology partners were highly visible at the event: in addition to those already mentioned, Human Made, 10up, Inpsyde and Yoast were all represented on-stage at various times. VIP has chosen these companies as partners because we believe they are at the top of their game. It’s great to see their talents also being recognised by the speaker selection processes for these events.
The main conference tracks were all live-streamed; and are now being edited for posting on WordPress.TV in due course. If you weren’t at the event – or even if you were! – you’ll be able to catch up on everything you missed on-demand shortly.
In keeping with tradition, the conference’s final act was the announcement of next year’s host city. WordCamp Europe 2019 will take place next June in Berlin: a city known for its creative community, in a country more devoted than most to the principles of the open web. It’s certain to be a great event.
If you can’t wait that long, the next major gathering will be WordCamp US, returning to Nashville, Tennessee in early December. But before then, there are dozens of smaller, local WordCamps happening all around the world: check out the full schedule at central.wordcamp.org.
Thanks to the organisers for the fantastic ‘aftermovie’, embedded above; and our fellow Automattician Clicky Steve for the featured image.