Last night we returned from a trip to Chandler, AZ and the first (hopefully annual) Pressnomics conference. We are all a little groggy and trying to adjust to the time change, but we are also really energized by everything that has gone on over the last week. Pressnomics was a really great event!
Definitely not your average WordCamp
Here at WebDevStudios, we are no stranger to WordCamps and tech conferences and Pressnomics really hit it out of the ballpark with this WordPress business-focused event. WordCamps are always great networking and learning events, but Pressnomics took a completely different approach to the WordCamp model by focusing on WordPress businesses instead of WordPress users.
Pressnomics organizers, Josh & Sally Strebel of Page.ly (and I’m sure a few other very important people who I apologize to for not mentioning) did an awesome job of putting together a conference that focused on the monetary side of WordPress and the businesses that are successful (or trying to be!) in doing so. I have a policy of not buying tickets to WordCamps because I don’t want to take a ticket from someone who can truly benefit from the camp. I prefer to help out by volunteering mainly because most WordCamp sessions are not interesting/helpful/comprehendible to the office manager/book keeper of a WordPress-based company. However, many Pressnomics sessions were something that could completely apply to my role in the company. I spoke to lots of people in between and after sessions and I wish I had attended many of the sessions after hearing what the speakers topics focused on.
The HUGE importance of networking
Beyond the scheduled conference events, Pressnomics was hugely influential for networking. You hear it again and again no matter what industry you are in: network, network, network. I really think the networking opportunities with this specific group were the most important part of the entire week. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times Brad said how awesome it was to finally meet and talk with someone who he has known online for years, but never met in person. Being so involved with the WordPress community, we are in contact with tons of other WordPress people, but talking with someone one-on-one is truly invaluable and seem to doesn’t happen all that often. It may look like we spent hours at a time in San Tan Brewery just for the food and beers (which are great), but honestly, we all (even people with ZERO coding knowledge like me!) learned a ton from those nights out.
The WordPress community provides so many resources for working with WordPress, but learning how to build your business around WordPress is a much different thing and I tend to feel lost and overwhelmed at a general business building event. Talking with other WordPress businesses in the community this week has turned me on to a number of different methods and tweaks that could really help us in running our company. Speaking with Brad, I can see that he has a renewed energy in many older topics and ideas that have been put on the back burner to focus on WebDev’s client-focused business. This is especially true of projects that would consist of collaborating with other WordPress companies to make great things.
Keeping the conversation going
Corey Miller wrote a blog post asking, “How we keep this momentum and energy going?”This is a great and important question. As we all return to our normal, busy lives we are consumed by our own personal tasks. It’s easy to say we will all keep in touch, but finding ways that we actually do so will certainly be the challenge.
To help try keep the conversation going, the Pressnomics organizers have created http://on.pressnomics.com where business entities can share knowledge. We also have an invaluable resource that we can use to continue the conversation in person, WordCamp. If your company is anything like WebDev, I’m sure you attend at least one WordCamp a year. (If you aren’t, you should definitely consider it.) These are pre-planned WordPress events that we should take advantage of. Find out who else is going, make time for meetings, maybe even schedule time for a small get together the day before or after WordCamp. Many people see WordCamp as a great place to learn new tips or find new clients, why not expand this toward collaborating with the awesome companies already out there too?
Last, we want to give a huge thank you to everyone involved with Pressnomics from the organizers to sponsors to attendees. If we are lucky enough to have another Pressnomics event next year I know WebDev will be happy to attend!