There's snow swirling outside as I sit in my comfy chair at my local coffee shop back in Green Bay. I got back into Green Bay late last night after an amazing WordCamp Phoenix last weekend. If you haven't ever been to a WordCamp you have to go. They're a very affordable conference where you get to meet other people in your industry & hear all sorts of presentations related to WordPress.
Connecting an Avatar to a Face
With the exception of the WooTrip last year this was the farthest I've traveled for a WordCamp. There were 750 attendees which is much bigger than I'm used to! The great part about this is that I got to meet a people that I've been following online like these two classy people (both from the WP Watercooler):
And I also was lucky enough to meet some incredible people who I hadn't met on the Twitterverse before.
- Julie Kuehl (from Modern Tribe)
- Kirby Prickett (from WPEngine)
- Sarah Pressler (from WebDev Studios)
- Raquel Landefeld
- Maura Teal (organizer)
- Betsy Cohen
- Dan Beil
- Chris Christoff (EDD developer)
Presentations To Inspire
In addition to meeting other people who are walking in your shoes you get hear talks from industry leaders. Here are some of my favorite:
Cain & Obenland in the Morning by Michael Cain & Konstantin Obenland
This had to be one of the more creative presentations. These two brilliant automatticians has a radio show style show where they talked about how they build themes for Automattic.
Security Best Practices by Brennen Byrne & Sam Hotchkiss
Wooing eCommerce with WordPress by Brent Shepherd
This was a fantastic presentation – not just because he talked about WooCommerce but because the speaker is very thorough and gave the audience all sorts of screenshots and scenarios to use all of the options in WooCommerce. He must have answered 20 questions during the presentation and another dozen afterwards. This could easily have been a 2 hour presentation with all of the audience participation and all of the material to cover.
Sane Plugin Updates and Releases by Pippin Williamson
There's no one more well known for plugins than Pippin and he didn't dissapoint. He covered all sorts of common update & release issues. I'm very glad I went to this presentation.
101 Ways to Elevate Yourself and Demand Higher Fees by Troy Dean
In my opinion Troy had by far the best presentation. He was hilarious, truthful, and honest with his ideas. All of that on top of an Australian accent makes for a pretty darn good presentation.
I presented Building a Sustainable Business with the Freemium Model on Sunday. I'm pretty happy with the presentation and I got a fair number of compliments from it. But I have some ideas for how I can make it even better next time:
- Plan for a broader audience – My presentation was geared for developers so when only 1/3 of the attendees were developers that made me think of my feet and come up with some more common use case scenarios and examples.
- Practice practice practice – I practiced several times before the conference but I can do more next time. I tend to speak quickly when I'm nervous and my 35 minute practice time turned into 25-30 minutes on stage. Not a big deal but continuing to practice will help with this.
All in all this was a great WordCamp. I had some amazing times with some great people and I got to learn a lot while I did it. I will definitely be going next year.