If you could only go to one WordCamp event a year, WordCamp US (WCUS) would be the one. Taking place in St. Louis, Missouri, November 1-3, 2019, WCUS is the WordPress hot spot of the year. And, every year, a portion of the WebDevStudios (WDS) team convene at and participate in this conference as organizers, volunteers, and/or attendees. This year is no different.
We have nine WDS team members who will be present at WCUS (some people are meeting their teammates for the first time in person). Keep reading to find out who’s going, who’s speaking, and with whom you can connect at WordCamp US.
Cristina Holt, Director of Project Management
“I have always wanted to get more involved in the St. Louis WordPress community and local WordCamp. When I heard WCUS was coming, I felt like it was the perfect opportunity to not only get involved locally, but nationally, as well,” she says. Cristina is co-leading the organizing team for volunteers, and she explains that it’s been great exposure to all that goes into planning such a large national conference.
“It’s amazing how people from the WordPress community come together and volunteer their personal time to make this event happen,” she exclaims. Cristina is looking forward to all the talks, workshops, and the WordFest party at City Museum, as well as spending time with her WDS coworkers.
Christina Workman, Support Technician
The Canadians are coming to WCUS! As a 100% distributed company, WDS is proud to have employees in the US, Philippines, Costa Rica, and Canada. In fact, two of our own Canadian counterparts will be at WordCamp US 2019: Christina Workman and Meagan Hanes (learn more about Meagan in the following section).
Christina’s role at WCUS is that of co-organizer of Contributor Day, which takes place on the final day of the event, Sunday, November 3rd from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. While there is a lot of mystery around Contributor Day, everyone is invited to attend and contribute.
“We need people to work with code, for sure, but we also need people to do user testing, copywriting, marketing, video editing, translating, and the list goes on,” Christina explains. “WordPress powers a big chunk of the internet, and people power WordPress. Without volunteers and contributors, WordPress wouldn’t be the great platform we all know and love, and it would cease to improve. Contributor Day is a good way to encourage people to come out and help in person.”
To assist with demystifying Contributor Day even further, WCUS is conducting two workshops to educate the WordPress community on the importance of contributing. The workshop is called “Everyone Can Help Make WordPress Better – How to Contribute to WordPress,” and you can catch the workshop on Friday at 3:15 p.m. or Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in Room 276 on both days.
This is Christina’s second time attending WordCamp US, and she invites her Twitter friends to say hi if they see her. Plus, she loves making new ones, so don’t be shy.
Meagan Hanes, Technical Project Manager
Going to WordCamp US is a big deal, but speaking at it is HUGE! This is Meagan’s second time attending WCUS, but this year, she is one of four speakers featured in the “Grow Your Meetup!” workshop, happening Friday at 10:00 a.m. in Room 274.
“I feel honoured to have been asked to participate in this brand-new Community track at WCUS,” Meagan gushes. “These kinds of larger discussions will help us feel less alone as we bridge our digital and physical lives and engage authentically with others as we travel our WordPress path. The entire team here has been hard at work preparing for this workshop, and we are excited to bring our years of experience and leadership in nurturing our WordPress communities to share with everyone.”
This workshop is truly meant for everyone who’s involved in local meetups, whether it’s a leader who is finding it challenging to grow beyond the limits of volunteering or an attendee who wants to take that next step up into speaking but doesn’t know how. Even a speaker who’s looking for more support would gain a lot from attending the “Grow Your Meetup” workshop.
“Running meetups can come with a lot of challenges, such as what topics to present, how to consistently build an audience, how to find speakers, venues, and other unknowns,” Meagan explains the workshop’s intention, adding, “This will resolve these challenges and equip attendees with the skills to help build a thriving and engaging WordPress meetup, no matter where they’re located.”
Meagan wants to remind everyone that unlike WordCamp talks, workshops are not recorded and presented later, making it all that much more important to attend. If you can’t attend WCUS at all, remember that you can livestream the event from wherever you are.
Jodie Riccelli, Director of Business Development
Like a champ, Jodie has attended every single WordCamp US, starting as an organizer for the very first one. Jodie says, “I find it thrilling to see how much the event has grown. This is a great opportunity for me to meet up with friends and colleagues in the WordPress community. Also, it’s a great chance to explore different parts of the country.”
Since this is the first year WCUS is being held in St. Louis, Jodie states that she’s looking forward to visiting this city for the first time, adding, “I hear good things about their BBQ. Also, there are some great sessions planned and WordFest looks like it is going to be an amazing experience.”
Lisa Sabin-Wilson, COO
Lisa’s first WordCamp was in 2009 at WordCamp Chicago and she is looking forward to WordCamp US in St. Louis over a decade after her first WordCamp. Lisa says, “WordCamps are always great fun and a nice way to touch base with colleagues in the industry and friends made through work and shared passions for the project.”
Lisa adds, “St. Louis is closer to home for me than all other US camps, so I’m driving down from Green Bay to St. Louis and am looking forward to enjoying the drive and midwest scenery along the way. WebDevStudios obtained an entire house for the WDS team to share for WordCamp US, so I am really looking forward to spending time with our team members who are attending and getting some much needed face time and fun! Overall, I expect it will be an amazing experience!”
Who else will be at WordCamp US?
Other WDS team members in attendance at WordCamp US include CEO, Brad Williams, Project Manager, Lauren Drew, Senior Backend Engineer, Jeremy Ward, Frontend Engineer, Mike England, and Backend Engineer, Scott Anderson. Our team is friendly, approachable, and love to talk about WordPress. So, if you see anyone familiar, don’t hesitate to say hello.