The first ever WordCamp US is this weekend and we couldn’t be more excited. After a bidding process, Philly was selected as the site for the inaugural camp, so you can stop by the Liberty Bell between talks or maybe grab yourself a cheesesteak — with or without onions. Wappu already has his hands on one.
Friday and Saturday will be chock-full of talks while Sunday stands open for Contributor day as well as a party. If that still isn’t enough for you, head to the city of Brotherly Love early for the Community Summit that starts on Dec. 2.
The Community Summit is a smaller, work-focused two-day session. The organizers have deemed the summit an “unconference.” This means instead of scheduled speakers and talks, the format will be a group discussion. Each group will be given a topic to discuss. Then they must assign a group leader, moderator, and note taker. After a few minutes of talking, the leader will announce the group’s thoughts to the rest of the room.
The unconference will be completely free from blogs, Twitter, and quoting each other so it is a completely free and open place to really delve into some interesting issues.
Sessions And Speakers
Friday begins the more regimented event with talks and speakers throughout the day. Things are kicked off with an hour of relaxing yoga, and then the talks start promptly at 9 a.m. The keynote will be delivered by WordPress core committer Aaron Jorbin. There are more than 60 speakers so it will be a jam-packed two days.
Unlike previous WordCamps, there aren’t specific tracks for specific skills. Instead, talks are geared toward everyone in the community including developers, bloggers, and designers. Talks cover all things WordPress, but there are some reoccurring themes, such as the WordPress REST API, security, and how to reach an audience.
WordCamp US is introducing Lighting Talks, which are only about 15 minutes each so are perfect if you don’t have an entire hour to devote to one speaker. You really can’t go wrong with any of the talks offered, but there are a few unique ones that stand out. For example, learn about “Godzilla CSS” with Michael Arestad, “What I Learned When My Blog Post Went Viral” presented by Dennis Hong, or listen to Curtiss Grymala discuss “WordPress In Higher Education.”
Then after everything is said and done, don’t miss Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word address at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Then head to the Happiness Bar to get any lingering questions you may have answered.
If you can’t physically attend WordCamp US but don’t want to miss out on anything, you can buy a ticket to the live stream. It is $10 for a ticket and $20 for a ticket and a t-shirt so you can feel like you’re really there!
The Happiness Bar
Stop by the Happiness Bar to get hands-on help with your WordPress questions. Troubleshoot problems, find a new theme, or even learn new tips and tricks you didn’t know about before. Feel free to bring your tablet, phone, or computer to the table and ask anything you need to. It is a judgement-free zone. There is no such thing as a dumb question at the Happiness Bar, it is simply happy.
WordCamp US After Hours
When the lights go down, there is still more fun to be had.
If you feel WordPressed out and all your questions have been answered, it is time to party. There are a few after parties to choose from.
WP Engine is hosting an after party on Friday, Dec.4 at 8 p.m. at Brü Craft & Wurst. The party is free, just be sure to RSVP as space is limited.
Post Status and Pagely have teamed up to present a party on Friday, Dec. 4 starting at 7 p.m. at the Twisted Tail. Admission is $30 but tickets are going fast, so make sure to send in your RSVP.
Then, as always, there is an official WordCamp party following the festivities. The party will be held at the Lucky Strike bowling alley on Saturday, Dec. 5. at 7 p.m. There will be billiards, ping pong, an open bar, and of course bowling. Tickets for that are $40.
Tickets to WordCamp US are still available.
Are you going to WordCamp US? Be sure to stop by the WP Engine booth to chat with the Torque team!