I'm just getting back into my groove after a wild time in San Francisco but before jumping back into the inbox I really want to share my thoughts on WooCommerce Conf. We had a wide variety of attendees, impressive speakers, the whole experience had a professional feel, and
First the speakers – they were incredible and I don't say that lightly. We had speakers from all over the world. Some very technical talks, some talks about marketing, some with practical tips, some with bigger picture e-commerce strategies, and some speakers who just told their story about building WooCommerce stores. All the speakers were great but I had a couple favorites
If you've ever seen Chris Lema speak you know what an amazing speaker he is. He didn't disappoint and told us a great story about building a platform rather than building a temporary solution. As with all of his talks instead of handing out technical information he tells a story about why you should do something instead of how.
If you missed the talk the next time you talk to Chris you have to get him to tell you about the waxing story.
— Brent Shepherd (@thenbrent) November 4, 2014
David de Boer
David de Boer was great because he crammed an incredible amount of really useful information into a fifteen minute lightning talk. Quick wins that will improve your conversion rate without A/B testing (because they've already been proven on many e-commerce sites).
— Mark Forrester (@mark_forrester) November 3, 2014
Kandace was my favorite speaker at the event. She didn't share a lot of technical information and she didn't have as much speaking experience as Chris Lema (it was actually her first speaking event ever!) but what she did have was a story. Her honest story about how she started using WooCommerce, how she experiences the product, and how that affects the design of the website.
Kandace is a great speaker because she knows how to communicate. I'm sure she uses the same skills to communicate the products to her clients which is probably why she works with large international companies. If you ever see Kandace speaking at a future conference make sure to talk to her. It'll be memorable.
— Needmore Designs (@needmore) November 3, 2014
One of the best parts of any conference is meeting the other attendees. You learn a lot from the sessions but I usually learn a lot more from people in my shoes. People who are going through the same struggles I am. No matter what type of store you run there was probably someone else in the exact same boat as you at WooConf.
I met store owners that are building sites on a $1,000 budget and some that were building sites on a $100,000 budget. I met store owners selling home made jam all the way up to custom computers. If you ever wanted to know “Can WooCommerce do ____” then you should come to the next conference and say “Hi” to the person next to you.
Not a WordCamp
I love WordCamps. A lot. They're all about building local connections and growing the community. That's why I help run the Denver WordPress Meetup and why I'm helping plan WordCamp Denver. While all of those are great we wanted to focus on something else.
We wanted to focus on bringing the best talent to the conference. We brought in a speaker from Yoast to talk about SEO, we brought in a security expert, and we brought in people with specific e-commerce knowledge even if they don't use WordPress. WordCamps are all about community we wanted our event to be the best e-commerce event out there and from the stories people shared with me at the after party I think we managed to pull it off.
If you missed the conference make sure to sign up for the WooThemes newsletter so you know about the next one.