You are interested in WordPress and you either have a blog, or you want to create a website. Maybe you are a web developer, a blogger, a web designer, a photographer. Or even someone with a shop and you wish to have an online presence for your products or an e-shop.
You search around in order to meet people and expand your network in the WordPress world. Trying to find information on how to advance your skills and knowledge on the topic, you experiment and study tutorials.
This is the right time to attend a meetup.
Do your search at meetup.com for an event around you. Don’t feel alone, don’t feel like you do not fit. A meetup is not only for developers. If you are a woman, don’t worry if there will be mostly men attending the meetup, as this is a common mistake. Everyone is highly welcomed at a local WordPress meetup, as well as at bigger events like WordCamps. People attending a WordPress meetup do not care about your sex, physical appearance, level of knowledge, and skillset. WordPressers of the world do not mind if you are not a professional.
Introduce yourself to the meetup organizers and explain how or why you wanted to attend the meetup. Ask if you have a question after a speaker presentation has ended. There is not any stupid question. After all, we all started somewhere. No one was born with all knowledge stored in their minds. Blend in with people, ask them if you have any questions. WordPress Community loves sharing, stories, success, failures, knowledge, information, feedback. Try networking. You have the chance to find a suitable person to assist you or to work with.
The desire to know how you can contribute and get involved is active.
If you want to contribute and get involved but you do not know how to do it… In case you have ideas you would like to share or to implement in order to assist in organizing a meetup, speaking, or sponsoring, let the organizers know. They will definitely inform you and take into consideration any suggestions you make.
Come forward. No fear. A meetup is a friends’ gathering where you can also gain something new in the WordPress world.
My first time
I first met WordPress GreekCommunity at the beginning of autumn, back in 2015 (In Greece it seemed still summertime). After returning to my hometown a few months earlier, I had a job, but my contract was about to end. At that point, I saw a Facebook post saying that “If you are interested in WordPress, we are going to have a cup of coffee at a coffee shop nearby.”. I have studied Computer Science and Communications, so I thought, this is around my interests and maybe I should try it. Learn more about it. If I don’t like it, I can always leave it behind.
I didn’t know anyone and I had second thoughts before I left home and even when I arrived. After messaging them, I found the spot they were seated and I was suddenly at a table with 10 complete strangers. All of the men. Evangelos Athanasiadis, who organized the gathering, as well as everyone else, made me feel welcome. We introduced ourselves and explained why we were there. Evangelos shared his dream of an official meetup and there it was born, Larissa WordPress Meetup. Realizing this was interesting and fun, I decided to let it open a new window in my professional and also personal life.
Four years after that day, I am thankful for all the things I have learned, working with Evangelos for our hometown meetup and volunteering as an organizer at WordCamp Athens and Thessaloniki. Watching talks, taking part in workshops, asking questions, or sharing my knowledge. Mostly though, I am thankful for the amazing friends I made during this journey. WordPress Greek Community is like a big greek hug. And everyone fits in… (Plus we usually share some pizzas in the end!)
These people are indeed my family!