We set off from Manchester at about 11.30am. The weather was lovely, however the traffic was awful. But do not fret, Nina and Kayleigh took full advantage of this and got their Poké action on!
Apparently there are many pokémon to collect, when traffic is slow moving. I even caught one myself…for science 😛
We arrived at Brighton at about 6.40pm and found our hotel on the sea front. I was lucky to get a sea front view, how very beautiful it was.
The rooms where also very good, with a wet room and comfy bed. Only thing missing was air conditioning. You could say it was a bit warm!
Once settled in and showered, we headed off to The Prince George for our tea. I never knew vegetarian could taste so good!
As a bonus, my brother lives in Brighton and came along to see me. We both flew the nest, he went 100 miles south and I went 100 miles north, so we don’t often get to see each other.
We headed back and got some sleep for our 6am rise the next morning.
I woke up, showered and went in search of breakfast and coffee! I met Tim and we went in search of an open coffee shop. Sadly none of the smaller independents opened until 8am and so, with heavy hearts, we had to resort to a Costa (sorry Costa). 7.30am came and we set off on foot to meet the van at the venue.
Yet again, another lovely warm day and a really enjoyable walk through Brighton. The organisers came and opened up and we set up our stuff.
The day started with the first talk by Tamsin Urquhart A hero’s journey. Well, what can I say. The fact I am writing this blog, in such a way, that I am telling it like a story is all thanks to Tamsin’s inspiration.
As your typical System Administrator, I would usually aim for talks of a technical nature, but at Brighton, I decided to go to most of them and see what they where about. Best decision yet!
I have taken so much from talks I would never have thought to sit in. When Tamsin’s talk comes onto wordpress.tv, I will share it for you all to enjoy. I cannot give it justice in my own words, but it helped me to stop, think about what I want to give and go out there and give it. To pull myself up when I fall, to not be afraid and do what I love doing.
I love technical things and I love helping people and that is what I intend to do! Thank you Tamsin for helping me to find the inner confidence.
The next speaker to inspire was Ross Wintle with his talk You are creative. Earlier in the day, I had a lovely chat with Laura, one of the helpers and I recalled saying the words ‘Im not really creative, I just do the techy bits’ . Then Ross pointed out that very angle and I was quite pinned. He pointed out that we ARE creative in many ways and that artistic skills are not the only form of creativity. Again, thank you Ross for inspiring me even further!
Next on my list was Lana Burgess and her talk about Why and how to put your audience at the heart of your WordPress site’s content. I found Lana’s thought processes very interesting, especially in targeting your content for better contextual search relevance and understanding the motivations and needs of potential customers. It is always nice to learn and understand how to make the most from your site. It also allows me to understand my customers needs and gives me appreciation for what they are trying to achieve with their WordPress sites. Also she is a demon on the dance floor 😀 Thank you Lana!
Barbara Saul gave her talk on How to keep your clients happy. Barbera reminded us on good techniques to help keep our clients happy and well informed. Based on her own experiences and with her own fun delivery style. I help customers everyday and could relate well with Barbera’s experiences.
There where many other great talks too, but these are ones that had a noticeable impact on me personally. It was a hot day and the organisers had cleverly provided eco friendly water bottles, so we could get water from the fountain throughout the day.
The lunch was amazing. Vegetarian and Vegan catering, probably the healthiest meal I have eaten in a while. Mega tasty so thank you to the chef!
Then we had the afterparty! Drinks both non alcoholic and alcoholic, music from a spotify playlist and then the DJ action. You got to get up on the stage and play your favorite tunes to the crowd. CHOON!
As with all WordCamps, I met loads of really lovely people and I hope to meet more and get to know those I met better in the future. I hope to be a bit more brave and start conversations with people (yes, I am a bit shy). Such a lovely and diverse community. As Brighton has proven, you just don’t know what you will take home from it.
I want to say a big thank you to the organisers and helpers, for making it such an enjoyable day. Thank you to all the speakers and thank you to all of you in the community, who make it what it is.
You can find all of Gemma Evans photographs HERE