Practicing the Pac-Man Rule at WordCamp US

With more than 2,000 attendees expected, WordCamp US is one of the largest conferences devoted to WordPress. It’s a great opportunity to meet a lot of new faces and catch up with familiar ones. If you’re standing in the hallway at WordCamp US speaking with a group of people and want to encourage others to say hi or be part of the conversation, try this tip shared by Jason Cosper called the Pac-Man rule written by Eric Holscher.

Mini Pac Man Arcade Machine
photo credit: rbatina Random Phone Shots (license)

The rule is simple. When standing in a circle, provide an opening for someone to join the group. By standing in an open circle, it gives a passersby explicit permission to join the group and limits the appearance of cliques. I didn’t realize how standing in a closed circle can be off-putting to those wanting to introduce themselves or chime in until learning about this rule.

In addition to the Pac-Man rule, Bob Dunn suggests using eye contact to invite people to the group. Morten Rand-Hendriksen suggests that if you’re looking to start a conversation with someone new, start with groups of two people as they likely know each other and want to talk to new people. I’ll be practicing the Pac-Man rule this weekend and I encourage other attendees to do so as well.

3 Comments


  1. This is an awesome idea! I’ll make sure the groups I’m in are open to making others feel welcomed!

    See you in Nashville!

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