I’m sitting here, on the third morning of BeachPress, with someone making breakfast for the group. Not much talking is going on as some code, some read, and some just drink enough coffee so they can feel sane.

Looking at the group right now, one may wonder what the value of BeachPress is? I mean many of the attendees are actually working during the day, so rooms are quiet and faces are pointed at laptops.

I could look at my laptop in mostly silence at home.

Learning Stories

Let me introduce you to Matthew Eppelsheimer. Matthew runs an agency in Portland called Rocket Lift. I’ve seen his Twitter avatar around, but last night I actually got to sit down and talk with him about life and clients and such.

Now I know Matthew. He shared his company plans and some struggles (we all have struggles) and I learned about his story.

He’s no longer an avatar or someone I ‘know’ online. I really got to sit with him and get to know him.

Shared Experience

Yesterday, the meatasauras attendees got served an excellent BBQ dinner via Ryan Duff and I learned a few things.

  1. Brisket is good
  2. Evidently what I called BBQ is really grilling
  3. Ryan loves BBQ enough that he got up at 4am (crazy) to get things going

Then we formed some groups and enjoyed eating, talking and telling stories.

Two nights ago, we unwrapped around 30 Nerf dart guns and ran around shooting each other. You know, like you’d imagine children doing.

I’m sure later we’ll tell stories about it to each other that sound something like ‘Remember BeachPress when we had the dart guns…’ and we’ll laugh and feel like tighter friends because of it.

Getting Advice

I could pretend I’m introducing you to Chris Lema, but really most people know who he is in the WordPress space now so…Chris Lema is here.

You know who else is here:

And a whole lot of other awesome people I’ve wanted to sit and talk with for a long time.

By coming to BeachPress I got to sit across the table or on the deck with all the people above, and talk business or code or life.

I got free advice from them which is going to let me run my business better.

It’s going to let me write better code.

I’ve got to learn a lot.

So BeachPress

Events like BeachPress are way more than spending the week at a house on the beach. Yeah, I know we don’t really need more than that, I mean a house on a beach, right!

BeachPress allows you to sit and talk and truly become friends with people in the WordPress community.

Now when we tweet or see each other in IRC it’s not just a familiar avatar, it’s a friend I’m talking to.

If you’re just starting out, then getting to make friends with community leaders like we have here at BeachPress is going to jump-start your career.

If you’ve been at this a long time (like myself) but don’t get out much (like myself) then getting face time with people you only know online will truly turn people into friends.

So get out to WordCamps, which happen regularly, and make new friends in the halls.

Next time an event like BeachPress comes up, don’t just think of it as an expense. Think of it as an investment in your business.

Because it is.

photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc

2 responses to “What on Earth is BeachPress good for?”

  1. Dorothy Hamilton Avatar
    Dorothy Hamilton

    Once again, thanks for the insight. I know the WordCamp held in Vancouver, wasn’t much of a financial expense per say. But it did mean I had to travel from another city, find accommodation etc, but was it very worth it. I am still applying what I learned from almost a year ago. I did miss being on the beach and playing with Nerf darts though! Great advise Curtis!

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      Hope to see you again at the upcoming WordCamp Vancouver Dorothy. I know I’m looking forward to it.