This year’s WordCamp US is just around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited about it! We had a blast at WordCamp EU last summer in Vienna, where the whole ThemeIsle crew volunteered. So now it’s time to visit a new continent and see what it’s like to be a part of the biggest WordCamp event of them all!
Let’s have a quick preview of what we can all expect at this year’s WordCamp US. Here’s everything you need to know before attending WordCamp US 2016:
#WCUS on Social Media
But first, let’s do a bit of social media research to observe people’s overall mood regarding this huge upcoming event. On Twitter, for instance, the big fuss about WordCamp US started a long time ago. Everybody’s excited and can hardly count the days until the beginning of December. It’s something like this, basically:
(Chart by WordPress Charts and Graphs Lite.)
— Adam Silver (@heyadamsilver) November 3, 2016
— Milan Ivanović (@lanche86) November 8, 2016
— Andrei Băicuș (@andreibaicus) October 1, 2016
— Chris Lema (@chrislema) October 28, 2016
— Another Day, Another Doug (@zamoose) October 25, 2016
— Val Vesa | Social Media & Travel Photography (@adspedia) October 22, 2016
— Future Design Group (@futuredesigngrp) November 15, 2016
If I get nothing else accomplished today at least I got my #WCUS slides done.
— Nicole Kohler (@nicoleckohler) November 9, 2016
getting pretty stoked about #wcus. finally going to get a chance to meet a bunch of you face-to-fantastic-face. 🤘
— Tom McFarlin (@tommcfarlin) November 7, 2016
Did you know?
- The first WordCamp ever took place in San Francisco 10 years ago at the initiative of Matt Mullenweg. Actually, it was more like a local meeting that gathered 500 people and lasted just one single day. That one event was what started the whole craze and what led us to the huge WordCamps of today.
- It took Europe 7 years to organize a similar event to be hosted on the old continent. So, in 2013, the first WordCamp Europe was born in Leiden, The Netherlands.
- The term “WordCamp US” was introduced only last year, when the event moved from San Francisco to Philadelphia for 2 years, including 2016. So, this year’s event is actually the second one ever officially called a “WordCamp US.”
- Nashville is next! The search for the next city to host WordCamp US in 2017-2018 is over, and Nashville, Tennessee has come on top!
WordCamp US 2016
What’s in it for you?
The event takes place in Philadelphia again, for the second year in a row, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Everything is possible thanks to the 12 main organizers and the army of volunteers (I mean us!), who make sure all falls into place. And when I say “army” I’m not even exaggerating. There are 200 volunteers. Basically, we are there to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to approach us anytime you need.
Now, attending conferences can be a complicated process in itself. It may seem simple at first, but to really get the most out of your experience, you should get yourself ready. For instance, listen to this awesome podcast episode that goes through all the steps necessary to get the most out of any conference.
In case you won’t be attending, you can still watch the full live coverage from the event for FREE. Just sit in your couch, grab a beer, and enjoy the sessions.
Speakers and sessions
There will be 57 speakers and a total number of 52 sessions, running three at the same time in different halls. There will be a lot of big names this year too, namely Taco Verdonschot, Pippin Williamson, Petya Raykovska, Mika Epstein, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, Chris Lema, Topher DeRosia, Joost de Valk, Andrew Nacin, and a lot more.
Funny thing! Each day starts with yoga, so everybody can get in shape for the fantastic days ahead!
Now, I invite you to review the highlights by days:
Friday, December 2nd
- WordPress for Schools by Cameron Barrett. Everybody is talking about WordPress for professionals. But what about teaching WordPress or raising awareness on how great it is for schools and students? You’ll get case studies of public schools switching to WordPress and the advantages that come as a result.
- Design for humans not robots by Tammie Lister. Sometimes, in our pursuit of results and reaching important marketing goals, we forget that our audience is formed of humans. When you design something, keep your human touch and don’t overthink things. This is what Tammie will try to tell us through her talk.
- Teaching the FBI to photoblog with WordPress by Karl Kevilus. “How I worked with the FBI around the country to create BanditTracker websites to put away some of the countries most dangerous criminals.” I think this quote sums it all. And I think this will be just great and very interesting.
- HeroPress: The People Of WordPress by Topher DeRosia. Since we’re a community, let’s find out more about us – as a group of people loving WordPress, but mostly as individuals.
- Finding your voice by blogging by Chris Lema. So you’re blogging, but it seems like nothing falls into its place? Chris Lema’s talk may help you find out who you are and what you stand for. Once you get to know yourself and your plans better, you’ll find your voice.
Saturday, December 3rd
- WordPress & SEO in 2016 by Joost de Valk. SEO 2016 takeaways presented by the creator of the most popular WordPress SEO plugin in the market.
- Internationalizing The New York Times by Scott Taylor. See how WordPress is successfully used and customized to serve as the publishing platform of choice for one of the biggest media brands in the world.
- Let’s Encrypt! Wait. Why? How? by Nancy Thanki. This has been one of the hottest topics of the year. First, on WordPress.com, then on all self-hosted sites.
- A view from Google: The latest in Search and mobile by Maile Ohye. Google is our friend … but sometimes also our enemy. It’s important to understand what Google expects of us, and how to make sure that our sites check off all the right boxes.
- Lat but not least… State of The Word with Matt Mullenweg. Perhaps the main panel that you should really attend … at least if you want to be up-to-date with everything that’s next on WordPress’ timeline.
Sunday, December 4th
Contributor Day. Take your laptop and create something great to improve WordPress (no matter what field you’re working in).
But these are just our picks, so check the full schedule here and make your own agenda!
After the sessions, discussions, and mostly serious stuff, it’s time to have fun too!
The Saturday night WordCamp after-party will be something… unconventional. The party will actually be held in The Academy of Natural Sciences, aka a museum! You can have fun, dance, and at the same time look at the exhibits and visit the location. What’s planned for this night? Karaoke (yeeey!), live animals (that will be interesting), a Butterfly Room (interesting again), and chill/relaxation time in the library.
How things were a year ago … in pictures
While we’re looking forward to the 2016’s WordCamp US, let’s go back to see a few of the last year’s awesome moments that reveal how much people really enjoyed Philadelphia.
See you there!
Almost the whole ThemeIsle team will be in Philadelphia this year as part of the volunteering crew. It’s the first cross-continent WordCamp we’re attending, and everybody is very excited about that. If you see us around, we’re more than happy to spend some time with you and chat (as long as we’re not on duty :D) Personally, I’m really happy that I’ll have my own small contribution in making this edition of WordCamp possible.
So, we’re getting closer and closer to our first WordCamp US, and we’re happy to be there. Are you as impatient as we are? Have you made your plans yet?