WordCamp Denver 2017 Recap

Over this past weekend, I attended my very first conference, WordCamp Denver! WordCamp is a community-organized event that happens in different locations all over the globe. Through speaker presentations and workshops, developers, designers and small business owners learn more about the Wordpress platform, share ideas about running a creative business, and most importantly, make some personal connections! 

After attending one of her webinars, the wonderful Erin Flynn suggested I attend and for $20 (that's not a typo), I figured why not! Along with the other changes in my business, I've been expanding my web design services and figured this would be the perfect opportunity to connect with other designers and developers while learning more about Wordpress.

Wordcamp Denver 2017 recap

Saturday was the first and primary day of the conference with speakers covering topics from finding that ever-elusive work-life balance, to e-commerce and selling products online. The morning sessions were about 30 minutes long — and flew by. With a break for lunch (which was pretty dang delicious), I was able to talk one-on-one with some other designers and developers and learn more about their skills and experiences. The afternoon sessions were about an hour long and featured more in-depth topics, as well as town-hall style discussions. If you're interested in hearing the presentations, they will be available on Wordpress TV

Saturday evening, we were able to foster those connections and make more at the After Party. Don't get me wrong — the presenters had some great insight and tips, and I definitely learned a lot, but making connections and meeting others was the best and most valuable component of the conference, by far

Sunday was broken into smaller and more intimate workshops on running a creative business, Wordpress-specific design and development skills, and branding. Since client experience is one of my top priorities, I attended Erin's workshop on on-boarding (you can purchase a pre-recorded version of her workshop here).

By the end of the morning, I was definitely exhausted, but excited and inspired about my business. Overall, I had a great experience and am looking forward to attending WordCamp 2018!

speakers at wordcamp denver
workshops at wordcamp denver

My biggest takeaways

On doing #allthethings

I've heard it a thousand times and it never stuck until this past weekend — if you try to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything. When I originally signed up for the conference, I was looking to grow my development and Wordpress skills. I had the design part down, but I needed to be able to build sites. By the end of the day Sunday, my mindset had totally shifted.

Design is "my thing" — it's what I know how to do and what I'm good at (not to mention what I enjoy doing). Instead of trying to excel at another skill set, there are other opportunities out there where collaboration is mutually beneficial. I left the conference excited to build on the connections I had made and continue building collaborative relationships.   

Finding confidence

I touched on this in my newsletter last week (if you want to know what you're missing, sign up using the form below), but as I continue growing as an entrepreneur, I've found that sometimes, I can be my own biggest enemy. Whether it's "waiting until everything is perfect" (aka making excuses) or full-blown imposter syndrome, more often that not it's a straight-up lack of confidence in my skills and myself that are keeping me from moving forward.

But more than once over the weekend, I caught myself saying, "You know, I do know what I'm doing. Not everything, but I'm on the right path." I am a good designer. Maybe not the best, but I have something valuable to offer and share with other entrepreneurs. 

So no, I didn't spend the weekend learning Javascript and I still wouldn't be the best person to build an entire site on Wordpress solo. But attending WordCamp gave me valuable connections, great ideas and two pieces of valuable insight in running a creative business. All that for $20, not bad at all.