DrupalEasy: Two very different European Drupal events in one week

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I was fortunate enough to attend two very different European Drupal events recently, and wanted to take a few minutes to share my experience as well as thank the organizers for their dedication to the Drupal community.

The events couldn't have been more different - one being a first-time event in a town I've never heard of and the other celebrating their 20th anniversary in a city that can be considered the crossroads of the Netherlands.

DrupalCamp Cemaes

First off - it is pronounced KEM-ice (I didn't learn this until I actually arrived). Cemaes is a small village at the very northern tip of Wales with a population of 1,357. Luckily, one of those 1,357 people is Jennifer Tehan, an independent Drupal developer who decided to organize a Drupal event in a town that (I can only assume) has more sheep than people. 

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When this event was first announced a few months back, I immediately knew that this was something I wanted to attend - mostly because I've always wanted to visit Wales to do some hiking ("walking," if you're not from the United States.) I used the camp as an excuse for my wife and I to take a vacation and explore northern Wales. I could write an entire other blog post on how amazeballs the walking was…

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DrupalCamp Cemaes was never going to be a large event, and it turns out there wound up being only nine of us (ten if you count Frankie, pictured below.) The advantage of such a small event was easy to see - we all got to know each other quite well. There's something really nice - less intimidating - about small Drupal events that I realized that I've really missed since the decline of Drupal meetups in many localities. 

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The event itself was an unconference, with different people presenting on Drupal contributions (James Shields), GitHub Codespaces (Rachel Lawson), remote work (Jennifer Tehan), the LocalGov distribution (Andy Broomfield), and Starshot (myself.)

The setting of the event couldn't have been more lovely - an idyllic seaside community where everything was within walking distance, including the village hall where the event took place. If Jennifer decides to organize DrupalCamp Cemaes 2025, I'm pretty sure Gwendolyn and I will be there.

Read a brief wrap-up of DrupalCamp Cemaes from Jennifer Tehan. 

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This camp was proof that anyone, anywhere can organize a successful Drupal event with a minimum of fuss. 


Four days later, I was in Utrecht, Netherlands, at the 20th anniversary of Drupaljam, the annual main Dutch Drupal event. 

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I had previously attended 2011 Drupaljam and recall two things about that event: the building it took place in seemed like it was from the future, and many of the sessions were in Dutch.

This was a very different event from the one I had been at a few days earlier, in a city of almost 400,000 people with over 300 attendees (I was told this number anecdotally) in one of the coolest event venues I've ever been to. Defabrique is a renovated linseed oil and compound feed factory that is a bit over 100 years old that is (IMHO) absolutely perfect for a Drupal event. Each and every public space has character, yet is also modern enough to support open-source enthusiasts. On top of all that, the food was amazing.

Attending Drupal Jam was a bit of a last minute decision for me, but I'm really glad that I made the time for it. I was able to reconnect with members of the European Drupal community that I don't often see, and make new connections with more folks that I can count.

I spent the day the way I spend most of my time at Drupal events - alternating between networking and attending sessions that attracted me. There were a number of really interesting AI-related sessions that I took in; it's pretty obvious to me that the Drupal community is approaching AI integrations in an unsurprisingly thoughtful manner.

The last week reinforced to me how fortunate I am to be able to attend so many in-person Drupal events. The two events I was able to participate in couldn't have been more different in scale and scope, but don't ask me to choose my favorite, because I'm honestly not sure I could!