I attended my first WordCamp US event in 2015, and since then, I haven’t been able to resist making my way to it every year—experiencing each city and all the things that this national WordCamp has to offer. If you are new to the WordPress community and are not quite sure what I am talking about, let me fill you in.
What is WordCamp US?
WordCamp US (WCUS) is the national WordPress conference that brings together WordPress enthusiasts to a place of community from every background and industry. The event happens annually, and changes to a new city every two years. At the event, you have an opportunity to gather knowledge from various speakers and workshops that could help you improve your WordPress skills, positively impacting your business, be a better leader, and get involved in the community. Plus, there’s the networking. This event brings together over 2,000 attendees year after year!
Organizing WordCamp US 2019
This year was pretty special for me because the event was in St. Louis, Missouri, and I am a local. As soon as I found out the event was coming to St. Louis, I signed up to help organize. Being an organizer was always something I wanted to do, but wasn’t quite sure where or how I could help. Let me assure you that there is a job for everyone.
I was the co-lead on the Volunteers team, which helped to gather, organize and plan roles and responsibilities for WCUS volunteers. Yes, if you were wondering, the event is 100% organized and run by volunteers. It’s a huge deal. During the conference, I was running around from room to room, ensuring that each of the volunteers were there, had what they needed, and making last minute changes when required. It was really fun to be a part of WordCamp US 2019 and very rewarding to see the event to success.
This year, we had roughly 50 organizers who handled the logistics, budget and sponsors, design and programming, communications, plus all the things that go into making the attendee experience impactful. Special shout out to Jennifer Swisher, Angela Jin, and Kevin Cristiano for being the overall lead organizers for the event this year.
WordCamp US 2019 Report
WCUS took place at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis. Sessions, and workshops were held November 1-2, 2019. The State of the Word was presented by Matt Mullenweg on November 2nd. Sunday, November 3rd was all about Contributor Day and KidsCamp. Contributor Day was co-organized by our very own Christina Workman, who said it was a huge success! Here are some of my favorite things about WordCamp US this year:
- WordFest, the WCUS after party, was held at the City Museum, and WOW! Not only did the WCUS organizing team pick a great place, but they also brought in local food favorites like toasted raviolis and Ted Drewes famous frozen custard. No one left hungry.
- WDS-ers gathered together and we made great memories! We work remotely, so we don’t get to see each other that often in person. A portion of our crew traveled from all over the US to attend the event. I got to officially meet Mike and Scott from our team in person.
- We had an amazing BBQ lunch at Sugarfire Smokehouse on Saturday together. What’s better than brisket, macaroni and cheese, and vanilla pudding?! We pigged out!
- We really enjoyed the local brews from Schlafly Beer. Brad now loves their Pumpkin Ale.
- State of the Word is always one of the highlights of the event for me. If you missed it, you can watch it on YouTube.
- I love networking with folks from other agencies and gathering all the fancy swag from the Sponsor Hall. My favorite item that I picked up this year was the speaker and journal from Bluehost.
- There was a life-size Wapuu!
- The most talked about session was “How I Built WPBingo: A PWA That Uses Vue.js, Tailwind CSS, and the WP REST API,” by Brian Richards (a former WDS-er).
Overall, it was an awesome year at WCUS for the attendees and the WordPress community, which has left a long-standing impression for everyone involved. I’m already excited for next year’s event!