Petya Raykovska: WordCamp Europe 2016 Opening Remarks
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Petya Raykovska: WordCamp Europe 2016 Opening Remarks

August 8, 2019


Yeah Good morning How are you all doing? Welcome to Vienna and to WordCamp
Europe 2016, which accidentally happens to be the largest WordCamp up to date My name is Petya Raykovska I am one of the
organizers and it is a great honor to welcome you here WordCamp Europe was created in 2013 as
an event to bring the European communities together but what happens it was not expected and today WordCamp Europe brings the world
together. We, all of us, we are developers designers, project managers. We are
business owners, service providers consultants, journalists, writers. We are
dreamers and we come from 68 countries and we speak more than a hundred
different languages and we believe or don’t believe in different higher powers
but we have two things in common all two thousand of us are here today
and WordPress so thank you for coming and helping us make history. Those of you who have been to WordCamp before know and for those
of you who haven’t, I’ll have a little secret to share the WordCamp Europe
experience is quite special. There are several things that make this
happen it’s once we change locations every year
which makes it an adventure going and exploring a new city a new community
every year and the second one is of course are awesome content their
speakers from all over the world coming here every year to share their knowledge
to give you lots of takeaways but then there’s also the spirit of
sharing and respecting our differences that we in Europe are so accustomed to
and there’s also something else, there is the special ingredient that is not that
easy to comprehend first. In the next three days, two days of content, one
Contributor Day, you’re going to learn from over 70 people from different
countries all over the world. They’re here to share knowledge and to
hopefully give you a lot to take away. You also have the chance to share
yourself. We have a Unconference happening at
the Leopold Museum on saturday afternoon and you can sign up for that today and
then you can go also and vote for talks that you’d like to hear at the Unconference. So by all means if you have something to share go and sign up for the unconference. Our third day is Contributor Day and this is the day where we all give back to the
WordPress project and this is the day where the ones of you who have not
contributed get to meet the people who are dedicating their time and effort
into making the software that powers 25% of the world. WordCamp Europe 2016 Contributor Day
is going to have 500 people, which is amazing on its own but even more amazing
is the fact that 200 of those people have never contributed before.
These are new people who were getting into the WordPress family. Contributing
makes WordPress yours and it feels great, it really does. During the conference you
get a chance to get some very very cool swag including from our awesome
sponsors coffee, tea, water, soft drinks are
provided and we’ll be serving lunch and snacks during some of the breaks and at
this point I’d like to say thank you a huge thank you to the companies that
made this possible. Thank you to our super admin sponsors thank you Jetpack. Please give them a
round of applause thank you to Yoast yeah and Plesk. Thank you so much we’d also like to thank our admin
sponsors WooCommerce, Flywheel Radix, Sucuri, SiteLock, Pantheon and
FlexiDB We are in Vienna and we decided since we
are in the most, one of the most beautiful cities in the world and we’re
in one of the most beautiful venues in that city, we would you like or treat you
with something special. I am super excited to invite you all to
the WordCamp Europe ball on Saturday night and personally I really cannot wait to
see the WordPress community dressed up. I don’t know what about you I’d like to say thank you to SiteGround
and Hover who are amazing after party sponsors they have special treats for
you during the WordCamp Europe ball we have a photo booths so you can take
your memories home and there’s a photo contest happening so enter there’s a great prize to be won. WordCamp Europe is growing and as with
every WordCamp one of the core purposes is to bring you together to talk to each
other but as they’re there two thousands of here these days it’s getting harder and
harder to actually meet new people and have meaningful meaningful conversations
and some of you are shy so for a second year we’re organizing networking
activities in the Leopold Museum which is across the square the beautiful white building and you can
go and attend the speed networking sessions each morning break and you can
go to tribe meetups which are just meetings of people that do the same
thing we have Community, we have Theme authors, Plugin authors look it up it’s
on yours it’s on your badge, schedules on your
badge. So this is a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded people I highly recommend it that you take it. Europe is the place where neighbors have fought wars and conflicts is quite quickly but it’s also a place where
nobody questions the right of others to be different so
with so many of you here today i would like to ask you to respect our Code of
Conduct you can find it on the website and
there’s one main thing that you have to remember, be nice and everything will be okay There’s a WordCamp Europe Slack
channel you can join, you can ask question. You can connect with other
people. Our volunteers are monitoring that Slack channel all the time, so if
you have anything to ask please join it. For the past four years
more than 36 people passionate experience very very busy European
WordPress contributors have organized this event. The organizing team
changes every year and we’ve been dedicating time into creating an event
where you can learn a lot but where you also feel that you belong and you can
bring your kids to. We’re trying to create an event that goes beyond borders
cultural differences, political interests, language barriers. Every year hundreds of people also
volunteer. Volunteer on this event. This year your lovely volunteers
have green t-shirt they’re all over the place you can raise your hands ask them anything and thank you so much yeah On the same note every year we’re
trying to make WordCamp Europe better and more accessible for everyone this year we managed to arrange
childcare for those of you who wanted to come here with your kids and your
families and I’m very happy that this is happening. We have a multi-faith from downstairs
and we also have breastfeeding facilities and the biggest thing is we
were able to once again live stream this event for free for everybody to
watch there are more than a thousand people
already signed up to see so hello to everyone from across the world. WordCamp Europe like WordPress
itself has the power to change lives,
communities were born In Leiden and in Sofia and in Seville and we tried to tell these stories in special series that we have on our
website but you know what the best thing is, the heroes, the people featured in all of these articles they are here today so look them up they have amazing
stories to share. I have a story of my own in 2013 in Leiden somebody made me fall in love with
WordPress community and I’ve been trying to repay that debt for the past three
years and for the same period I have been wondering where does the magic of WordCamp Europe come from You know the software, the open source
principles, the sharing, the knowledge and everything with accessibility part but
where does the power come from and I think the answer is this the
original team the original WordCamp Europe team
Siobhan is not on that slide but she was there they were friends they were a group of friends who made the case
WordCamp Europe and organize together an event that they would love
to attend as well and the spirit of friendship community and love has been leading factor during organizing the event every single year and the process of becoming friends with your co-organizers is super fulfilling and I
believe we transfer that to our volunteers and to everyone. It finally dawned on me yesterday what the special ingredient was when I was running around like a mad person you know mad with an anxiety about having to open a conference for 2,000 people and then I accidentally stumbled upon
the first group of volunteers who are being oriented and they were right
here and it was all of a sudden like 60 people beamed at me and wear like like I got more hugs than I can remember and I thought what are you afraid of? You are home and I know you came here to learn but there’s something more precious to take away and if I have I can make one wish for all of you for the next three days it’s this: make friends and build
connections. These will grow into something beautiful. Welcome to WordCamp Europe. I hope you have an amazing time.

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