WordPress Meetup Groups in Belfast and Dublin are Planning WordCamps for 2016 and 2017


The inaugural WordCamp Belfast and WordCamp Dublin are now in the early stages of planning. Members of the WordPress Northern Ireland meetup group are collaborating with the Dublin meetup to organize an event in Belfast in September 2016 and one in Dublin in April 2017. The dates have not yet been set in stone but organizers are looking at venues and are gathering all the details and costs to begin work on a budget.

“Ever since first setting up the WordPress Meetup group in January 2014, a WordCamp was always something that we wanted to see – when the time was right,” organizer Mark Smallman said. “Having had the meetup group running successfully for two years, and having been in communication with the Dublin group, we decided the time was right to explore the possibility of running a WordCamp.”

John Walsh, co-organizer of the Dublin WordPress Meetup Group, has applied to be the lead organizer of WordCamp Dublin 2017.

“The goal is to combine our resources and work together to achieve the common goal of bringing WordCamp to Dublin and to Belfast on an annual basis,” Walsh said. “Separately, we have a certain capability but by working together we can accomplish a lot more.”

Since neither of the two groups has previously hosted or planned a WordCamp, Smallman said that it’s a steep learning curve for all of them.

“It helps to have as many and as varied a range of skills as possible on-board to help us get to the summit,” Smallman said. “We hope that once we have #WCBelfast in full swing, some of the same organizing team members can either offer assistance to WordCamp Dublin or take on roles directly within their organizing team. This should help both WordCamps in terms of planning for the future.”

Smallman said that if both WordCamps are a success, the teams will look at the possibility of alternating between Belfast and Dublin in future years.

“Having a team that is spread over the two areas will also help to widen the net of possible speakers, sponsors and attendees for both WordCamps, hopefully helping to make both a success,” he said. “And who knows, possibly both will become regular events on the WordCamp calendar.”

The Wapuu of the North: Growing the Community Spirit in Belfast

Smallman and the organizing team hope the two WordCamps will help to validate and grow the unique WordPress communities on both sides of the border.

“Belfast and Northern Ireland have a wide range of very skilled people in the I.T. sector,” he said. “But up until recently it was lacking when it comes to community spirit within the sector. Slowly, we have seen groups within the area grow and now we have thriving Blogging and PHP groups as well as many others.”

belfast_wapuuAs an expression of community spirit, the Belfast organizing team has already created a wapuu mascot for the event.

“The Wapuu of the North was generously created by Peter of 1440 Design in Belfast,” Smallman said. “Peter works along side Sam Nelson who is on our organizing team. Sam also created our #WCBelfast badge.

“We chatted and bounced a few ideas around for a theme for the WordCamp,” he said. “Game of Thrones was a very obvious choice, and one that none of us could think of a better fit. Northern Ireland has no fewer than a dozen filming locations for the show. We all thought that we could not choose anyone better than the Wapuu of the North to deliver the message that the White Walkers (developers) were on their way!”

Smallman said the team is excited about the venue they’ve selected for hosting Northern Ireland’s very first WordCamp.

“With all being well, we really are planning something very special for our first WordCamp,” he said. “We cannot wait to get moving onto the next stage.”


12 responses to “WordPress Meetup Groups in Belfast and Dublin are Planning WordCamps for 2016 and 2017”

  1. Hi Sarah!!

    Thanks so much for featuring our WordCamp on the blog, it is an honour. This will help us to promote #WCBelfast

    It has been a fantastic journey so far and it’s been an amazing experience working with Mark, Samantha & others in helping to bring the the first ever WordCamp to Northern Ireland.

    Thanks again so much for your support

    Simon ?

  2. Many thanks for the coverage Sarah. Much appreciated. It also proves that someone other than just ourselves (the Dublin & Belfast organising groups) is listening!

    It is indeed a steep learning curve, and my coffee in-take is definitely increasing but I feel that the Ireland of Ireland deserves at least one WordCamp per year going forward for the benefit of the development/design community and the user-base itself.

    We have some of the best designers and developers in the world in Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland and hopefully if we can get the right structure in place we can create something really special.

    For anyone who is interested in joining us, please feel free to join the Dublin or Belfast meetup groups. Thanks ! John

  3. It’s great to see such support coming in from the WordPress community, from all over the world for our planned WordCamps, both in Belfast & Dublin.
    And it’s great to have such brilliant local support that are as keen as I am to see the first WordCamp in ‘our wee country’
    Hope to see you all later in the year, and look our for updates on our Twitter – @WCBelfast


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