I have attended to WordCamp Europe 2016 with the entire PixelGrade crew. In my scenario, I must confess I lived an amazing experience. My mind is full of a bunch of things I’ve learned, things I figured out I was doing wrong or things where I may be pretty good at.
The unforgettable experience at WordCamp Europe
On top of that, I’ve met a lot of pleasant people, among them tons of Romanian compatriots who are doing great things in the field. Of course, I’ve met WordPress masters in person. I repeat, it was impressive.
Shitty things happen all the time. Some of them turn to be not that bad.
Oh well, not everything was pink from top to toe. In fact, things went pretty nasty at some point.
We’ve prepared for our ride, we got fed, ran to the airport and there, big surprise! our flight was overbooked.
Long story short: 7 people of our team can’t fly directly from Iași to Vienna. The alternative was Iași-Bucharest-Vienna. Still good, right? Well, kind of. We’ve slept only 3 hours at an expensive hotel (this is the fly company paying for the mistake in the right image), miss the first two conferences at #WCEU and arrive there sleepless and frustrated.
But well, at least we were there.
And when there wasn’t enough heat and tiredness and sleepiness, here’s come a new adventure. I’ve checked my pockets to get my iPhone and see if the clock was self-adjusted by the network. Which iPhone? Surprise: my pocket was empty!
The great part of this soap opera was that finally, I got to my first WordCamp event. There was nothing in the world to stop me enjoy it.
Catching up with awesome people
While rolling around at WordCamp Europe, I began to see people that I already know in a way or another. Actually, I was surprised to catch up with Ovidiu Iacomi(@Morphyyy), the mentor who thought me a bunch of things about the web. However, he didn’t miss the chance to make fun of me regarding how would I survive without a phone. I felt the irony from top to toe, but I was pretty sure that two days without any gadgets around me would be a pleasant rehab.
How did I succeed to make the most out of WordCamp Europe?
I realized I would have a better experience at WordCamp this way, and I could focus my mind in a more productive way.
I was free from all the phone distractions: emails, tweets, calls, SMS, anything that can trigger a push notification. I even skipped the fear of “low battery” syndrome, and I was so relieved when someone’s iPhone was ringing and disturbing Matt’s t live interview.
This way I could felt Caspar’s (@glueckpress) caring sentiment, without trying to google his name on my phone while he was speaking about Thoughts on WordPress Plugin UI – a great talk if you ask me.
This way I could enjoy watching marvelous Helen (@helenhousandi) playing piano instead of trying to capture the moment on mp4. Btw folks, when the lights go off, and there is only one spotlight on the artist, it happens for a reason. The blitzes and the phones lights might not be in the show’s intentions. (I know haters will say that I couldn’t record that moment, and now I’m jealous).
This way I could catch the wonderful Ana Silver’s (@AnaFranciscaS) jokes between speeches about her accent like “Can I have a glass of wuathaa” xD. Dear Ana, I never thought I could laugh when someone’s repeating “wuathaa” about 12 times.
Considering the context, I could pay attention at Tomaz’s (@TomazZaman) speech. He convinced me (mostly through his smart humor) that I should charge more and get a new iPhone. I’m sure that I worth more than a toilet paper per hour.
I’m not gonna bitch myself against the technology and social media because I’m abusing it myself. But God damn it, we should force ourselves to detach from times to times. I mean how many chances do you have to watch Matt Mullenweg in person on a stage? Filming him with your phone should be the last thing to worry about.
We do this in our life way too often. We are hanging at a beer, laugh, listen, tell a story and suddenly when someone is making a bad joke (this one is usually me) everyone at the table is grabbing a phone and check the “newest” story online on some whatever network, and the silence falls. The story may be under your nose in that glass of wine, on that delicious plate, at that specific moment with your friends and dear ones.
To the north, WordCamp Europe!
Since I’ve learned a lot of this event, I’m eager to attend the next WordCamp. It’s always worth to listen to the experienced ones and connect with witty people in a fun and engaging way. Sharing is caring, right? See you in Paris, or maybe in Bucharest (who knows?). Btw, I’m thinking seriously to leave my phone home.
And for those who think that I couldn’t take photos at this event, don’t worry. I’ve got this big photo by Florian Ziegler and I may use it as an avatar.