Press the Issue a MasterWP Podcast

WCUS 2022 has just flown past and by now our team has had ample time to reflect on the highs and lows of the first in person WordCamp US since 2019.

Press the Issue
A Look Back at WordCamp US 2022
Loading
/

Top Takeaways

  • We experienced frustration with things like not having access to the recordings of talks, accessibility at the event, and clear signage for newcomers.
  • We loved the approachability and community at the event, the availability of the live stream, the sponsors swag, and so much more.

Press These Links

Monet Davenport:
Welcome to Press the Issue, a podcast from Master WP, your source for industry insights for WordPress professionals. Get show notes, transcripts, and more information about the show at masterwp.com/presstheissue.

Allie Nimmons:
WordCamp US 2022 was just a few s...

Monet Davenport:
Welcome to Press the Issue, a podcast from Master WP, your source for industry insights for WordPress professionals. Get show notes, transcripts, and more information about the show at masterwp.com/presstheissue.

Allie Nimmons:
WordCamp US 2022 was just a few short weeks ago. A good portion of the Master WP team attended, some for the first time and we have all had time to think over the event. There was so much we loved about the conference and so much that we as active community members hoped to see improved upon in the future. Here are some WordCamp US thoughts from Brian Coords, Devin Egger, Amber Fritz, Topher DeRosia, Monet Davenport, and myself Allie Nimmons.

Brian Coords:
I’m Brian Coords and WordCamp US 2022 was my third WordCamp, but my first WordCamp US. I’ll start with my least favorite thing, which was that I had to miss contributor day to get back to my family. I’ve seen some other ideas thrown around, but I would love to see a WordCamp that mixes the more passive sessions and the more active contributor time together in some way, maybe contributor mornings as a fun way to start each day than sessions in the afternoon or some other idea to break each of those up and bring that collaborative spirit through the entire conference. My favorite part about the conference is how approachable everybody is. I’ve had the benefit of, quote meeting many of the attendees online through Slack and Twitter, so I felt more comfortable approaching people, but in the past I’ve been to WordCamps when I was brand new and didn’t know anything and I was still given that same warm welcome. WordCamps feel like a community gathering more than just a trade show. So I really enjoyed that.

Devin Egger:
Hey everyone, this is Devin Egger and this was actually my very first WordCamp ever. And so I was really excited to go to this and the opportunity to meet so many people in person in the WordPress space was just so exciting and so awesome to me. So many people that I’ve either worked with online or met online or watched their videos or taken their classes, it was just an awesome opportunity to meet these people in person and getting the chance to see everyone face to face really sets in the idea that it’s a community and that we’re all part of this WordPress community. And a good reminder that we’re really all in this together and we’re all here because we dig WordPress and we’re all about the same thing.

Devin Egger:
So my least favorite thing coming back from WordCamp US actually came after the fact when I got home and I realized that all the workshops in the surf room weren’t actually recorded and available for future playback and I just didn’t have enough time to go see all the things that I wanted to see and get to attend all the events and the sections that I wanted to go to. And so I was really hoping when I got back home that I’d be able to catch the workshops that I missed and just a little bit bummed that I didn’t get to do that. But that being said, the ones that I did get to go to and participate in were very educational and I learned a lot more than I expected going into it. So I’m happy that I did get to go see the ones I got to see and I’m really excited to go to my next WordCamp.

Amber Fritz:
Hi everyone, my name’s Amber Fritz. And WordCamp US 2022 was my first big WordCamp. The first one I went to was WordCamp San Diego in 2016, and that experience kind of turned me off of WordCamps to be honest. I think it was the location. The sessions that I wanted to go to were separated by the sponsor area by kind of fabric screens. So unfortunately I wasn’t able to hear what the speakers were saying because there was so much going on in the sponsor area, so much talking and I had a really hard time focusing. So unfortunately I didn’t go to another WordCamp until this year, but thankfully in the hotel it was a large space. Everything was really well separated, but I think being an introvert, large crowds are taxing on me, so I don’t think that I really went to as many sessions as I would’ve liked.

Amber Fritz:
One of the pros about that is that some well sessions in two of the rooms were being recorded and streamed online, so I was able to catch a session remotely from where I was staying, and that was really nice. However, on that note, we found out after the fact that the workshops were not being recorded and I really wanted to be able to go back and review those. So that was kind of a disappointment, but thankfully some of the speakers did give us their slides, so that was really nice of them.

Amber Fritz:
I think having a calm room there, even though I didn’t utilize it, was really nice to know that that was there. But I think for me it was most helpful to be able to tune into the remote sessions. I think the other only con that I saw, and this wasn’t a personal experience, but I read some articles about people who had trouble with the accessibility of their rooms in the hotel, and that was kind of disappointing and I’m hoping that in the future the organizers will pay a little more attention to that and just kind of do a little more due diligence to make sure that everybody’s experience is good and that everybody is comfortable. But other than that, I had a great time. It was really cool to see everybody and just to get to talk to some of the sponsors and I think that it was a great experience.

Monet Davenport:
Thank you for listening up to this point. Press the Issue by Master WP is sponsored by LearnDash. Your expertise makes you money doing what you do. Now, let it make you money teaching what you do. To create a course with LearnDash, visit learndash.com. Now back to the podcast.

Topher DeRosia:
Hi, I’m Topher DeRosia from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I’ve lost track of how many WordCamps I’ve been to, but this one was somewhere north of 80. One of the things I really enjoyed about this WordCamp was that the venue and the hotel were the same place. Not having to travel back and forth between your hotel and the event venue is just delightful. That was amazing. I was also surprised by how popular the pool was. It was an outdoor pool in the middle of the venue and I expected it to be more of a hindrance, just a big puddle of water in the way, but quite a few people took advantage of it, and it was a pretty social place. My least favorite thing was also a favorite thing, and that was the masks. Wearing masks is uncomfortable. It makes my glasses fog up. It’s too warm, it’s just not great. However, it allowed us to have to my knowledge, a COVID free event, and if we can have healthy events, I will happily wear a mask every single time.

Monet Davenport:
Hi, my name is Monet Davenport and I’m a creative lead and media producer for HDC. This year’s WordCamp in San Diego was my first WordCamp ever, and it was also my first time in California on the West Coast. From the perspective of someone in the design space, I can definitely say that initially I was a little unsure about how many of the sessions would be beneficial for my skillset, and I guess you could even say I had a touch of imposter syndrome being there. But overall, I can definitely say that WordCamp was extremely helpful and insightful for me. And though I didn’t get to attend as many sessions as I would’ve liked because jet lag definitely took its toll on me, the variety of different sessions I chose to go to on different subjects helped me to get a fuller understanding in the development spaces and web accessibility spaces.

Monet Davenport:
And a few of my favorite sessions were designing for accessibility by Sarah Cannon was really good. That session on developing cultural intelligence was phenomenal. Took a ton of notes. And the brand content style guide workshop also really, really good. And it was also really cool meeting and interacting with all the sponsors in the sponsorship area. In terms of what can be improved in future WordCamps, I’d say it would be helpful to have clearer signage when you first come into the main lobby so that first timers like me who don’t know how things are laid out and where to go can have better understanding of where each session room is located.

Monet Davenport:
It also could possibly be helpful in the future to have a printed schedule program possibly somewhere posted when you first come in into the lobby, but also a hard copy, some kind of card or program of some sort that you can bring with you throughout the course of the WordCamp so that you can of course, mark which sessions you’re interested in and just keep track of which ones you’ve gone to and just to have a souvenir to look at later. I think that would be really helpful. Other than that, I definitely had a great time. It was great seeing my colleagues in the flesh, and I’m very appreciative of all the work that the organizers, sponsors, speakers, and all the volunteers put in to help make this year’s WordCamp a success.

Allie Nimmons:
Hey, it’s Allie Nimmons. This WordCamp US 2022 was my 13th WordCamp and my second ever WordCamp US. I attended WordCamp US for the first time in 2019 as a speaker, and for this one, it was kind of hard to figure out exactly what my favorite part was. There was such a huge sense of community and all of the communities that I had either joined or helped to build during the pandemic were there and I got to actually see people and spend time with them. We had our first Black Press mixer, we had our first meeting of the WordPress Women in Color Group, and I got to meet my master debut team for the very first time and hang out with them and have breakfast and really spend time like nurturing those communities that I became a part of. I was able to see old teammates and friends and make new friends that I’d never met before, and I really saw a lot of growth in the community as a whole.

Allie Nimmons:
The attendees and the speakers were a more diverse bunch than I think I’d ever seen before. The swag in the sponsor area was so next level. Every sponsor really brought their A game with what they showed up with in the sponsor area. I’ll have to say my least favorite part, the part that I’d love to see improved upon for next year is the venue. I hope that in the future we’re able to maybe bring in a third party or somehow have more lead time to be able to research venues that match what we need in terms of the space, in terms of the food, in terms of accessibility especially. It just seemed like the majority of the problems or issues that I noticed or experienced really had directly to do with the venue that we were at. So that’s something that I’d love to see improved upon for next year, and I can’t wait for next year.

Monet Davenport:
Thank you for listening to this episode. Press the Issue is a production of Master WP, produced by Allie Nimmons, hosted, edited, and musically supervised by Monet Davenport and mixed and mastered by Teron Bullock. Please visit masterwp.com/presstheissue to find more episodes. Subscribe to our newsletter for more WordPress news at masterwp.com.

Your expertise makes you money doing what you do. Now let it make you money teaching what you do. To create a course with LearnDash visit learndash.com.