WordPress Meetup Cheltenham

So the WordPress UK community just got a little bit bigger, with the launch of the WordPress meetup in Cheltenham hosted by myself. With nearly 60 members there were over 30 people signed up to attend according to the meetup.com website which was fantastic but a little bit daunting at the same time!

I’ve personally been involved in the community for well over a decade and gained so much knowledge from other users and developers in the community, I thought it’s about time to give something back to my local WordPress community in Cheltenham.

Having the support of many people I have met at various meet ups as well as WordCamps it was especially humbling having some of them attend on the night and I would like to thank them all (you know who you are).

After introducing myself and how I came to the community I went on to explain what this meet up was all about. Then I swept the room asking everybody to introduce themselves individually and how they came to use WordPress. I did this for two reasons firstly for myself to get a feel of who was in the room and secondly to help others realise they may have a spark of synergy between each other. I suggested that if they heard something that they liked from the introductions then perhaps think about having a conversation with that person before we went into a break.

During the introductions it was obvious that there was a wide spectrum of skill sets in the room from absolute beginners to seasoned pros! It was truly brilliant given the fact that this was the very first meet up. The break was a welcome breather for me and I got the impression everybody was relaxed and getting into the swing of things, there was a really good vibe in the room during the break and the murmur of chatter turned into a cascade of conversation with the odd burst of laughter every now and again.

After an hour I brought the meeting back together for a bit of a FAQ/feedback session. Although there was a flexible element to the structure of this first meet up based on the feedback and comments from the members that attended on the night, the roadmap for coming months is looking to be quite interesting indeed. There were suggestions of a happiness bar, short lightning talks and post-it Q & A’s amongst other things.

Now I’m no public speaker so this was a big thing for me and it’s always interesting hearing other peoples feedback about their perception of you when you have your own perception of yourself, it was a very positive and encouraging experience!!

I’m really excited about the future growth of this community and helping others to contribute to growing this community as well. So, if you missed this first one and you want to come along to the next one, perhaps you’d like to give us a presentation or maybe “show and tell” about something you’ve created with WordPress then even better!

Why not come along to the next one even if you just want to observe, simply join our meet up page for notifications of the upcoming meet ups.