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WCEU 2023

WordCamp Europe 2023 (Athens, Greece Edition) – Our Recap

Another year, another WordCamp Europe would be an understatement. 

This year’s WCEU (2023) took place in Athens, Greece. 🇬🇷

We had the pleasure of sponsoring this year (for the second year in a row now) and it was an absolute blast to meet so many of you in the incredible, vibrant WordPress community. 

On this trip I was joined by 4 others on the team: Dave Nesbitt, Disha Pegu, Justin Arnold, and Alex Panagis. 

  • 2545 attendees
  • From 94 countries

A tremendous shoutout and thank you to all of the organizers and volunteers who made this event possible. We may have organized our fair share of virtual events but pulling off an event of this size, in-person, in Athens is a big credit to the hard work, dedication and time commitment from everyone involved. 

From left to right: Disha Pegu, Vito Peleg, Dave Nesbitt

Sponsoring WCEU for the 2nd Year In A Row

Insights From Meeting The Community (And Many Existing Users)

Last year, I attended WCEU with Alex – just the two of us & we had an absolute blast meeting tons of existing users and introducing Atarim to people in the community who had never heard of it before. 

As you may expect, given it’s our second year in a row sponsoring – this year was no different. In fact, just bigger and more

This year there were three of us at the booth: Disha, Dave and Justin.

From left to right: Dave Nesbitt (Atarim), Anne Bovelett (WCEU Organizer), Justin Arnold (ScaleMath)

Year after year, we get the same feedback. Either: 

  1. People already use and love Atarim. 
  2. They haven’t heard of it but absolutely need this for their work. 
  3. They use something similar, but don’t love it, and are intrigued to see if they’ll love Atarim. 

#1 is obviously a big credit to all of those who already support us and have done so from our early days. 

#2 is a big credit to the fact that the mission we’re on is more relevant than ever for people in WP – be it agency owners or internal teams. 

And last but not least, #3 is the area that we’re keeping a close eye on – it’s constantly making sure that everyone using Atarim has the best possible experience. This is a big ongoing commitment the team is already heavily focused on (Jehrome in particular), essentially working on helping mature our entire software engineering processes. 

Rolling Out Our Website Redesign Ahead of The Conference

Well, it was a big ask – completely redesign every square inch, every pixel, of our entire website to make it more representative of the product, more engaging, and more informative – all in time to roll out before WCEU!

And frankly, I couldn’t be more proud of what we all achieved. Take a look at the transformation:

The Before
The After

Every single person involved pulled out all the stops and absolutely nailed it, getting the whole site beautifully redesigned, reorganized, and ready for Athens. Having the new site completely ready in time made it massively easier to communicate and demonstrate the value of Atarim across in conversations we had with new clients.

And what was really satisfying was to see the immediate feedback from people at WordCamp who had seen the new site. In fact, we were getting comments from people who were checking out our new site while on their way to Greece:

“Amazing work on the new website, so much more indicative of the product.”

“Love the new site + being able to see exactly what Atarim does at a glance.”

Most of these comments were delivered directly to Dave, our designer, and rightly so. Huge credit to him. He was the powerhouse that drove the design forward and brought it to fruition. He was responsible for leading this project along with Justin, Alex, and Stanley from ScaleMath.

But this website redesign is only the beginning, and we have a whole range of improvements to Atarim planned. What you’ve seen recently with the introduction of new features (such as forms, and autoresponders), as well as a completely new site, is just us setting the stage for everything else that’s on the way.

This is an incredibly exciting time, and the next few weeks and months are going to see a massive number of new initiatives, features, opportunities, and tools that will revolutionize the way agencies and design teams work. 

We’re glad you’re here to enjoy the journey! It’s going to be fun.

Notes from Vito – Meetings With Partners

One of my main goals for WCEU this year was to focus on how we can better serve enterprise-level clients, which included meetings with some of the leading agencies (many of which are already users, and others are planning to soon become users, etc.). Trying to figure out the best path for this. 

On top of hanging out with friends until the early hours of the morning every night and us sponsoring (as discussed earlier) – I had three main goals for this year’s WCEU: 

  1. Connect with existing partners and continue the conversation with new ones. 
  2. Connect with some of our larger users and close some additional 6-figure deals. 
  3. Connect with large enterprise-level agencies, some are our users but with the notion of figuring out how to expand on an interesting use case that has been evolving organically for us over the past year: internal team within enterprise companies. 

To make this possible, I made sure I attended all the side events that were related to this space in WordPress, which included a number of incredible evenings: 

  • The WordPress Enterprise Gap Meetup by Crowd Favorite
  • The rooftop party by BigBite and HumanMade
  • The WordPress VIP meetup by Automattic 
  • And a few 1:1 meetings that followed on from these

My goal, as usual with these types of connections, is to listen, learn and hopefully answer a few of the pressing questions I had running through my mind in relation to how we can serve this sector better. 

We gathered a ton of great feedback and amazing opportunities (now that we’ve been back for a while). I’m excited for us to start following up on and implementing the required improvements to the product. 

This is the true power of WordCamp. You don’t need to come with answers – just get clear on the questions, and others will help however they can. 

A Note from Disha on Meeting Peers in the Industry

My very first WordCamp was actually a lot of fun, contrary to how I imagined it would be, i.e., “intimidating”. I loved the fact that we can mix business and fun! The community spirit of WordCamps always amuses me. This is the goal for me as a community manager, and maybe, in the long run, I will be able to achieve Atarim meet-ups in different cities! 

I met people who I have been working with for years in person, and it has been an absolute pleasure! Giving demos (though I am always terrified) is always a learning experience for me.

Meeting my fellow community and marketing peers from our partner companies and other companies, in general, was such a lovely experience. I still consider myself as being at the beginning level of my career and in WordPress. My interactions with people who have been making notable contributions in community and marketing is the best takeaway for me, and our mini brain-storm sessions and exchange of ideas with folks who are at the same stage of the journey as me is something I always look forward to in any event I attend.

Definitely looking forward to meeting everyone again in Turin next year. 

A Note from Dave Reconnecting at WCEU & Running Demos

WordCamp Europe in Athens was an incredible experience for me, being my second WordCamp event. One of the standout aspects was the remarkable WordPress community that I had the privilege to engage with again – there were so many familiar faces having only been at one event previously. 

Throughout the event, I had the opportunity to connect with users and learn more about their experiences with the app. Conversations revolved around their usage patterns, their likes, and dislikes, how we can be more accessible for everyone, and most importantly, how we could elevate the app’s functionality to the next level. It was enlightening to hear firsthand from the users and understand their perspectives, helping us shape the future of the app based on their valuable feedback.

WordCamps are known for their perfect blend of work and play, and this event was no exception. The numerous after-parties were an amazing way to unwind and further foster connections with fellow attendees. The relaxed atmosphere allowed for even more engaging conversations, strengthening the sense of community and collaboration.

However, my main takeaway from WordCamp Europe in Athens was the sheer number of people I had the privilege of engaging with. The event provided a platform for open and candid dialogues, creating a pathway for users to freely express their thoughts and suggestions on how we can improve. This open exchange of ideas was invaluable in our ongoing pursuit of becoming better and meeting the needs of our users.

Overall, WordCamp Europe was a highly rewarding experience that emphasized the strength of the WordPress community, the importance of user feedback, and the power of open dialogue to drive innovation. I left the event with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement to implement the valuable insights gained from these interactions, ensuring that we continue to evolve and enhance the app for our users’ benefit.

I cannot wait for next year! Bring on Turin 🇮🇹

A Note from Justin on Working With Atarim at WCEU 2023

(Justin is the Head of Content at ScaleMath, and helped run the Atarim booth this year)

Working With Atarim in Athens – A Personal Experience

The thing that struck me first about working with the Atarim team in Athens was the heat. Not one for traveling to hot countries as a rule, leaving behind the windswept, rainy familiarity of the north of England for the blistering sun of Greece was quite an experience. As was meeting so many people who had also made journeys of varying lengths to experience WordCamp Europe 2023.

Having ‘met’ Vito Peleg through several video calls, nothing quite prepared me for the whirlwind of enthusiasm and energy that rushed in, greeted everybody, was himself greeted by a few thousand personal friends and fans, and then committed himself to at least 23 hours a day of networking, meetings, and conferences. If nuclear fusion never fully takes off, I suspect the planet’s energy crisis could well be solved by somehow tapping into the man’s seemingly limitless energy.

Over the course of the WordCamp conference, I was able to support Atarim by manning the booth – an eye-opening experience in several ways. Meeting members of the Atarim team, including Dave and Disha, I was able to appreciate their passion and knowledge for both the product, and for how they could so readily address people’s needs and pain points.

My understanding of the product also grew, as I was having back-to-back conversations with many potential customers, each of whom had their own level of technical knowledge and expertise, their own experiences, and their own unique challenges and problems. Understanding these, and demonstrating what Atarim can do in a very personalized way was enormously helpful to me, and presented me with a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the product from many more angles.

I feel I have come away from WCEU 2023 with new friends and a massively better understanding of both Atarim and the wider WordPress community, and am already looking forward to doing it all again in Turin next year! 🇮🇹

Why You Should Attend WordCamps

WordCamp Europe has always been an awesome way of meeting like-minded people, showcasing what’s new, discovering new projects, learning new ideas and approaches, and expanding your own professional network – not to mention having an absolute blast, and experiencing the culture of a different European city every year.

The WordCamp Europe conference brings a hugely diverse range of people together, from business owners to bloggers, developers and designers to people who simply just love anything related to WordPress! For some, this brings job opportunities or networking opportunities, and for others it’s about learning from the experts, or discovering exciting new collaboration opportunities.

The one thing we’ve always loved about WordCamp Europe is the wealth of opportunity for learning. With workshops, lectures, and many, many opportunities to mix with and socialize with a whole range of people, the whole atmosphere fosters knowledge sharing, allowing for new skills and understanding to be gained, and for everyone to keep fully up to date with the rapidly evolving world of WordPress.

One of the words often used to describe Vito is ‘passion’, with ‘enthusiasm’ and ‘boundless energy’ close behind! But at WordCamp this isn’t unusual at all, and at every turn it’s tremendously motivating to be surrounded by so many passionate and enthusiastic people who want to share their success stories, their knowledge, and their current projects. If you’re looking to be reinvigorated with enthusiasm, and motivated to tackle new challenges, then immersing yourself into the world of WordCamp is an absolute must.

Of course, for many people one of the key benefits is being able to access prominent figures and leaders from the WordPress community. Whether attending workshops and presentations, or simply having a conversation (during the day, or at one of the many parties in the evenings), it’s a unique opportunity to seek their advice, guidance, and feedback. If your business is facing challenges, you’re concerned about technical issues or future development plans, then this is the perfect way to get the answers you need.

Whilst many people attend WordCamp with the primary aim of boosting the exposure of their business (just as we did with our Atarim booth – perfectly placed opposite a main entranceway, the toilets, and the lunchtime seating area!)It’s also essential to appreciate the fun and welcoming atmosphere. With so many people from so many different cultures and backgrounds, all sharing experiences, passion, and enthusiasm, it’s inevitable that fun is always high on the agenda. With many exciting social events on every single evening, as well as various informal gatherings, it’s a chance to build lasting relationships, create great memories, and remind ourselves of how far we’ve come, where we’re heading, and stir up the fire to get ourselves there!

Next Stop: Torino, Italy – See You Next Year 🇮🇹

So now that WordCamp Europe 2023 is over (although the ripples will continue for some time, with new associations, friends, contacts, and opportunities are realized over the coming months), what’s next?

Well, of course, it’s WordCamp Europe 2024! Next year we’ll all be in Turin, Italy, and looking forward to meeting everyone again, discovering and learning about the exciting opportunities, innovations, ideas, and developments within the WordPress community as a result of the following twelve months.

Turin will be a magnificent backdrop for this incredible event, with its majestic architecture, rich history, a vibrant arts scene, and culinary delights. With Turin being the birthplace of Italian chocolate, the home of the mysterious Shroud of Turin, and nestled amidst the picturesque Italian Alps, WordCamp 2024 will definitely not be one to miss! Atarim will certainly be there again, and we look forward to meeting you then! Ciao!

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