Belgrade Takes Center Stage as WordCamp Europe 2018 Host City

The streets of Belgrade pulsed with energy in June 2018 as the city welcomed over 1,500 WordPress enthusiasts from around the world for WordCamp Europe 2018. As the largest WordPress conference in Europe, WordCamp Europe offers an unparalleled opportunity for education, networking, and community building within the European WordPress ecosystem. The selection of Belgrade as the 2018 host city reflected the Serbian capital’s rapid growth into a hub for technology and innovation in Southeastern Europe.

Belgrade’s Transformation into a Leading Tech Hub

Over the past decade, Belgrade has undergone a digital renaissance, with an influx of IT companies, startups, and digital nomads transforming the city into a leading tech center in the Balkans. The Serbian tech scene has exploded, with an estimated 2,000+ tech companies operating in Belgrade today.

Homegrown startups like Nordeus and Frame have put Belgrade on the map globally, while incubators like ICT Hub nurture the next generation of local entrepreneurs. International companies like Microsoft, Google, and Siemens have established offices in the city, creating high-paying jobs and attracting top technical talent.

The surge of creativity and innovation made Belgrade a fitting choice for the 2018 edition of WordCamp Europe. The modern Sava Center convention complex provided an ideal venue location in the heart of New Belgrade. With cutting-edge facilities equipped to handle large-scale events, Sava Center demonstrated Belgrade’s capabilities as a host city for major international conferences.

Highlights from WordCamp Europe 2018 in Belgrade

The WordCamp Europe 2018 in Belgrade was a whirlwind of knowledge sharing and community-building. Let’s dive into the memorable moments:

Notable Keynote Speakers

World-renowned keynote speakers, including Rand Fishkin of SparkToro and Morten Rand-Hendriksen of LinkedIn Learning, graced the stage with their wisdom. Their talks drew standing-room only crowds, leaving attendees inspired and informed. These experts shared invaluable insights that left a lasting impact.

Diverse Workshop Topics

With over 50 workshop topics to choose from, attendees had the opportunity to dive deep into various aspects of WordPress. Whether it was JavaScript development or exploring ecommerce solutions with WooCommerce, there was something for everyone. These hands-on workshops empowered participants to enhance their skills and stay at the forefront of WordPress development.

Vibrant Networking Opportunities

In between sessions, attendees seized ample networking opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals within the European WordPress community. The sponsor booths from WordPress leaders like Automattic and WP Engine were buzzing with lively discussions and engaging demonstrations. It was a chance to build valuable connections and exchange ideas.

Belgrade’s Unique Charm

WordCamp Europe 2018 didn’t just revolve around the conference; it also showcased Belgrade’s captivating charm. An exclusive concert at Belgrade’s Kalemegdan Fortress on the opening night provided a picturesque backdrop of river views and electrifying local music. The official WordCamp bar crawl whisked attendees to trendy cocktail lounges and old-world taverns in the Savamala district, offering a taste of Belgrade’s vibrant nightlife.

A Glimpse of Belgrade

For many international attendees, WordCamp Europe 2018 was their first introduction to Belgrade’s unique blend of grit, grandeur, and youthful energy. The conference not only celebrated the city’s rich history but also showcased its forward-looking approach, establishing Belgrade as a significant player in the European tech landscape.

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Lasting Impact on Belgrade and the WordPress Community

Hosting WordCamp Europe 2018 has had a resounding impact on Belgrade, highlighting the city’s progress in cultivating an inclusive digital community. Local WordPress users gained immense value from connecting and learning from peers from over 60 countries worldwide.

The conference provided unparalleled knowledge sharing and community building opportunities to strengthen the Belgrade WordPress scene. Many collaborations and partnerships forged at WordCamp Europe will facilitate continued growth of the Serbian tech ecosystem.

The event also stimulated increased tourism and foreign investment in Belgrade. According to the Tourist Organization of Belgrade, foreign visitors to Belgrade rose over 20% in 2018, partly fueled by global exposure from WordCamp Europe. The media spotlight on Belgrade’s burgeoning startup scene piqued interest from international venture capital firms eager to tap into the city’s tech talent pool.

Most importantly, WordCamp Europe demonstrated the power of the WordPress community to unite people across cultures. Friendships formed in Belgrade will underpin the continued expansion of the European WordPress network for years to come.

Exploring Belgrade’s Captivating Culture

Beyond the conference, Belgrade rewards visitors with a dynamic mixture of historical riches and modern excitement. Here are some insider tips for making the most of a visit to Serbia’s cosmopolitan capital:

  • Learn about Belgrade’s tumultuous past at landmarks like the Belgrade Fortress and Yugoslav History Museum.
  • Wander the streets of Skadarlija, Belgrade’s historic bohemian quarter, for Old World restaurants and kafanas (taverns).
  • Splurge on gourmet cuisine at restaurants like Druga Pijaca that are redefining Serbian food traditions.
  • Bar-hop along the Sava and Danube rivers to experience Belgrade’s famously raucous nightlife scene.
  • Escape to nature at Ada Ciganlija Island, an urban oasis perfect for watersports, biking, and relaxation.

Though its history traces back over 7,000 years, Belgrade throbs with youthful creative energy. Ancient crossroads, Baroque palaces, and communist relics mingle with gritty street art and riverside cafes in this Balkan metropolis. Belgrade rewards those willing to look beneath the surface – no wonder it stole the spotlight during its turn hosting WordCamp Europe 2018.

The Future is Bright for Belgrade and WordCamp Europe

With the success of Belgrade 2018, anticipation will be high for next year’s WordCamp Europe location. Wherever the event lands in 2019, the connections and community spirit kindled in Belgrade will continue to unite WordPress users across the continent.

After proving itself on the world stage this past year, expect to see Belgrade lean further into its tech momentum with expanded incubators, educational initiatives, and infrastructure to support digital startups. The WordPress community and digital landscape in Serbia will continue flourishing long after the closing party lights went down on WordCamp Europe 2018.

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The connections forged in Belgrade in June 2018 will continue to strengthen the WordPress ecosystem across Europe for years to come. Join the community and be part of shaping the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is WordCamp Europe?

WordCamp Europe is the largest WordPress conference in Europe, bringing together designers, developers, content creators, and business professionals from the European WordPress community for several days of learning, networking, and collaboration. The first WordCamp Europe took place in 2013 in Leiden, Netherlands.

Why was Belgrade chosen to host WordCamp Europe 2018?

Belgrade was selected through a competitive bidding process among cities across Europe. The city’s growing reputation as an emerging tech hub in Southeastern Europe, modern conference venues like Sava Center, and the enthusiasm of the local WordPress community made Belgrade an attractive choice for the 2018 edition of WordCamp Europe.

How many people attended WordCamp Europe 2018 in Belgrade?

Over 1,500 attendees from more than 60 countries converged in Belgrade for WordCamp Europe 2018, making it the largest European WordCamp ever.

What kinds of topics and activities were included in WordCamp Europe 2018?

The event featured keynote presentations from industry experts, over 50 educational workshops on design, development, business, content creation, social events like an opening concert at Kalemegdan Fortress, and networking events at local bars and restaurants.

What was the economic impact of hosting WordCamp Europe?

Hosting the conference significantly boosted tourism and exposure for Belgrade in 2018. Tourism numbers increased over 20% year-over-year, and many international tech companies and investors gained interest in the city’s startup scene due to WordCamp Europe.

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