Back on September 13th, New Mexico played host to WordCamp Albuquerque 2013. It was a three day event located at the Albuquerque Convention Center. As you would expect from any successful WordCamp, it brought the local WordPress community together for an exciting and fun social event (not to mention bringing in lots of interesting out of town speakers).
This year’s WordCamp Albuquerque was the third so far, and this year brought in about 180 in attendance. Karen Arnold, an organizer for all three years, was kind enough to touch base briefly with me after the event. “The response to the community has been huge. I’ve been so pleased to see how many people have come out of the woodwork over the last three years. We have really amazing WordPress people in ABQ.”
Whenever I ask organizers about WordCamps, I’m always interested in the meetup as well – since that’s where many WordCamps get their start. Karen told me that the meetup has been active since early 2011. “There was no WordPress community in this area and I was essentially starving for a community.” As Karen said this, it’s good to note how a few people (or even one) can start a movement like this.
Another common question I like to ask of WC organizers is their favorite WordCamp story. “We realized we could contract with a local sandwich shop for lunch to save on food services costs.” Karen relates. “Now, we are in New Mexico, where rain is a rarity, but as it happened it rained pretty much every day leading up to WordCamp and the forecast called for rain all day the day of WordCamp. I was so nervous; we had people scouting out other locations where we could fit 200 people comfortably with sack lunches away from the rain. About an hour before lunch the sun came out, the ground dried up enough for our purposes and we ended up with the most amazing outdoor community experience. It was beautiful.”
WordCamp Alburquerque also had great support from over 15 volunteers as well. Big hand to those who helped out! Also big hand to those who supported the WordCamp kid’s workshop, which has been something of a tradition for Albuquerque.
Karen tells me that we should see some videos of the WordCamp appear on WordPress.tv. Can’t wait!