As part of the Brighton Digital Festival, Friday the 23rd September saw Brighton’s first professional WordPress event take place. Superbly organised by Paul Bunkham, David Lockie and Michael Bailey, it brought together over one hundred local (and not so local) professionals, all with at least one commonality: using WordPress successfully as part of their business.
The lead up to the event was well handled. A clear idea and strategy was presented in the preceding weeks. Well written blog entries, eagerly tweeted by expectant attendees, kept the event fresh. The blog articles reinforced the benefits of businesses and web professionals getting together to share and discuss how they use WordPress.
The day itself went very smoothly. The inevitable minor hiccups were taken care of efficiently and with a certain ingenuity. There was great buzz throughout the proceedings, with many references to the sessions’ quality and friendly community atmosphere they were presented in. The presentations were all filmed and photographed, a daring thing to arrange for fledging event organisers, but a superb decision I think. The presentation slide shows are all going to be available to download from the website, but nothing quite compares to seeing and hearing the speaker’s expressions and emphasis.
The sell out attendance and positive reactions on the day prove that local businesses are not only interested in events such as this, but want to share and learn about WordPress just as much as the rest of the world. As corny as Dave thought his idea about improving things for everyone locally may have sounded, who knows just how much events like this can bring to the business community and the people they serve?