In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, communities around the world were forced to put their in-person events on hold for the safety and well-being of their members. The WordPress community, known for its vibrant and inclusive gatherings, was no exception. However, at the mid-point of 2023, there is an accelerated resumption of WordPress community activities, breathing life back into local Meetup groups and WordCamp events.
WordCamp US, the biggest North American WordPress events, took place in Nashville in both 2017 and 2018. While WordCamp US 2023 is taking place a bit farther north, just outside of Washington D.C., Nashville has been without any WordCamps, much less the vaunted WordCamp US. It’ll be interesting to see if and when grassroots WordPress events return to the Music City, as currently, the Nashville WordPress Meetup chapter lies mostly dormant.
Looking farther north, there hasn’t been a WordCamp of any type in New England since 2019, and the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont have never held a WordCamp US. Specifically, there’s never been WordCamp anywhere outside of Massachusetts or Rhode Island. Recently, our developer Rob Petrin has organized a local Meetup in his area, which held its first event this past May. Rob will also be attending the aforementioned WordCamp US later this summer in National Harbor, Maryland. His stretch goal is to, in the next year or so, bring a WordCamp back to the Boston area.
While the excitement surrounding the return of WordCamps is palpable, it is important to recognize that the strength of the WordPress community lies in its grassroots-level engagement. Meetup groups play a pivotal role in fostering connections, sharing knowledge, and nurturing a sense of belonging within local communities. The rebuilding of the community starts at these intimate gatherings where WordPress enthusiasts, developers, and users come together to discuss best practices, troubleshoot challenges, and celebrate successes. As we witness the resurgence of WordPress community activities, it is the Meetup groups that act as the foundation for rekindling the spirit of collaboration and learning.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted community events worldwide, causing the cancellation of numerous WordCamps and Meetup groups. However, as we enter a new era, the WordPress community is witnessing an accelerated resumption of its activities. As we embrace the rebuilding process, let us not forget the significance of grassroots-level engagement through Meetup groups, which serve as the bedrock for community growth. Together, we can look forward to an era filled with inspiring collaborations, valuable insights, and the celebration of all things WordPress!