If you’ve ever been to (or even heard of) a WordCamp, you already know that these events are all about the speaker sessions, meeting new people from the community, and of course, the delicious food and the fun afterparties!
We’ve always made it a point to support and attend local WordCamps. This time, however, there was so much more for us at WisdmLabs to look forward to!
For starters, we were on our way to one of the biggest WordCamps on the planet!
WordCamp US is known to attract over 2000 attendees with different backgrounds from across the globe. Not to mention, we were finally about to connect with some of our oldest clients and friends from the industry – outside of the virtual world, for a change.
But little did we know, that we couldn’t possibly anticipate what this trip really had in store for us.
Arriving in New York
As we landed at the JFK Airport, the first thing that we couldn’t help but notice, was the stark difference in temperate!
We were cold, jet-lagged and on a very tight schedule. But, how could we come to New York and not visit Times Square?
They say ‘Times Square is the beating heart of Midtown Manhatten’, and we couldn’t agree more! Everything from the throngs of people gaping upward to snap photos, to the huge digital billboards and pulsing neon lights, left us in awe of the entire setting.
The next day, we had just enough time to squeeze in a visit to the ‘Statue of Liberty’, before we head to St. Louis for the event.
Touch Down at St. Louis
Now, we know that saying “we could smell the difference in the air” sounds corny, but it’s true.
We weren’t surrounded by a jungle of skyscrapers anymore. Instead, we were driving past a rich array of cultural venues that spread outward, instead of upward. In Sagar’s words, “I discovered the true meaning of the word ‘mesmerized’ as I looked down at the view from the Gateway Arch”.
Impressions From the Sessions
So, on the 2nd of November, we got to the venue, a little exhausted, a little jittery, but extremely excited about the whole event.
Truth be told, the amazing lineup of sessions and workshops, had us completely spoilt for choices! So, we decided to split up, and cover as much ground as possible.
These sessions touched upon a wide range of topics. Whether you’re a WordPress developer, an entrepreneur, or a marketer, there was something for everybody to take back from here.
Jennifer Bourn quoted Jeff Bezos in her session: ‘Brand Messaging 101: How to Clearly Communicate Your Value and Get Clients to Say Yes.’
The highlight, of course, was the ‘State of the Word’ – a talk by none other than Mr. Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress, wherein he shared his thoughts on where WordPress has been, where it’s going, and of course, Guttenberg.
The ‘wow moment’ of this session was when towards the end, Matt collapsed his tab to reveal that his entire presentation was conducted using nothing but Guttenberg! The entire audience broke into applause, and rightly so!
In fact, we even went on to attend WordCamp Seattle, a few days later.
The sessions here didn’t disappoint either.
This WordCamp was kickstarted with an amazing keynote by Jocelyn Mozak on ‘The Gift of WordPress’ where she spoke about how we can contribute, connect, and grow within the WordPress community.
Another noteworthy session – ‘Build Your Brand: Podcasting with WordPress’ – was conducted by none other than Bob Dunn or BobWP as we know him.
It’s safe to say, that we came back with tonnes of new-found inspiration, and a fresh perspective towards everything that’s currently happening in the WordPress ecosystem.
To Old Friends, and New!
Over the years, we’ve connected with a lot of wonderful people from the industry.
People who’re constantly working towards making WordPress what it is today. People who’ve supported us and inspired us to keep pacing forward. People who’ve turned into friends; and friends who’ve turned into family.
Finally being able to meet some of these people in person, was hands down the best part about WordCamp US 2019, and WordCamp Seattle.
Take a look!
All things said and done, WordCamp 2019 kept us on our toes – literally, and metaphorically.
We never realized what we were missing out on until we actually traveled halfway across the globe this year.
Whether it’s a warm welcome from someone you’ve only met for the first time or a hearty discussion with someone you’ve known for years, connecting with the WordPress community at WordCamp US was, to say the very least, a truly surreal experience!
Last But Not Least
A glimpse of our team ‘touristing’ in the US…