I have attended a lot of WordCamps (volunteer organized WordPress focused conferences) and met many wonderful people through them. When I started attending these conferences I found myself overwhelmed by all the people and it was challenging to make connections. Fortunately, I like eating a big breakfast before tackling a full day conference so at one of the early WordCamps I attended (WordCamp Lancaster 2015) I mentioned online when and where I’d be having breakfast and extended an open invitation. Early that Saturday morning Casey Driscoll joined me for breakfast and we celebrated the first Unofficial WordCamp Breakfast.
In addition to starting my day with a belly full of delicious breakfast food, walking into the conference with one new connection already made was empowering. I firmly believe this social support helped me make the most of the conference and ultimately gave me the confidence to apply to speak the next year. Fun fact: both Casey and I were speakers at WordCamp Lancaster the following year.
Since the inaugural Unofficial WordCamp Breakfast, I’ve announced the location of many more. Occasionally, I’ve eaten alone but more often than not I’ve enjoyed breakfast with other attendees. I’ve been doing this long enough that sometimes I’m joined by familiar faces (which is great) but just as rewarding is making a new connection. Recently, Laura Byrne Cristiano (a veteran Unofficial WordCamp Breakfast attendee) organized an Unofficial WordCamp Breakfast at a WordCamp I was unable to attend. While I’m sorry I missed out on that breakfast, I’m thrilled she continued this tradition.
If you’re attending a WordCamp where I’m having breakfast, I hope you’ll consider joining me. If you’re attending a WordCamp where no one else has declared an Unofficial WordCamp Breakfast location, I hope you’ll pick a breakfast spot and spread the word.
Toast ‘n’ Jelly by Steve Snodgrass
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