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Post Event Report: WordCamp Atlanta

Hotlanta… or at least that’s what I was expecting. How ironic is it that the day I leave Philadelphia the temperature sores to the 80s while Atlanta was a comfortable 65-ish degrees? This was my first time visiting WordCamp Atlanta, and I’m not sure why I didn’t go sooner.

Attending a truly organized and entertaining WordCamp is a pleasure and Atlanta did everything right. I arrived a day early to explore some sites and take in the city a bit. As it turns out, I didn’t get to see much, but I can tell you that my hotel bed was great for napping. The life of a traveler sometimes, am I right?

Also, it should be noted that no matter how early I start my slides for any presentation, I always decide that I don’t like any of them on the day before. This, of course, leads to investing a few hours in improving my presentation. Atlanta was no different.

During WordCamp Philly in 2017, I was having a conversation with Aaron Jorbin about potential topics for WordCamp presentations. It was at that time that he suggested doing a talk on selling to enterprise clients could be helpful for attendees. I took the idea and ran with it and then submitted this talk for the first time to WordCamp Atlanta. Part of my professional goals this year is to speak at four WordCamps that I’ve never attended before. Atlanta is the first to check off my list.

The theme this year was Creative Diversity and it radiated through the event in unique ways. They had a graffiti board, for example, that allowed attendees to channel their inner Banksy. This was one of the times I wished I had Cameron Campbell, our creative lead, with me because the extent of my artistry was using two different colored markers. There was also a caricature artist and magician at the after party which was incredible. The organizers and volunteers need to pat themselves on the back because the chatter among attendees was super positive and everyone walked away having learned something.

Someone this weekend asked me why I travel to WordCamps. It got me thinking about the true purpose of attending. I explained that in my position it is important for me to stay connected to the community. It’s also important that I’m aware of what’s happening with WordPress as a platform. But, the joy of meeting different people from around the world is truly what keeps me motivated.

On a personal note, I truly enjoy speaking and WordCamps give me the opportunity to exercise that skill in a safe and comfortable environment. And I’m never disappointed. This weekend I met some amazing people. I had the opportunity to spend time with Pressable, GoDaddy, Wordfence Security, Pantheon, and many friends that I’ve made throughout the years.

My talk was on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Pro tip: don’t stay up until 2 a.m. the night before chatting. Regardless, I was ready. The room started to fill with attendees and I reminded myself that I had one job—take a group selfie for our blog. Well, my slides weren’t working and technical difficulties followed, so I forgot to do that. But you can use your imagination. It was a beautiful room.

My presentation centered around some of the tips and techniques I use for working with enterprise clients but we also covered some basic sales principles, including my definition of sales:

/verb/
Sales is about providing solutions to challenges a client may be having while being respectful of their budget.

It’s important to me that attendees walked away with two key elements: the lesson that fear is what holds us back and the confidence in working with clients. The presentation covered the basics, the needs, the research, and the proposal process along with client stories and helpful advice. Sales is not a dirty word, and I’m cleaning it up.

If you missed out on the magic of WordCamp Atlanta, you can view a copy of my slides here. Keep up with the various WordCamp events at Central.WordCamp.org. Find out which WordCamp WebDevStudios will be attending (or speaking at) by visiting our WDS Gives Back page

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