At last, WordCamp US 2022 (WCUS) is here! Beginning tomorrow, September 9th, and ending September 11th with a Contributor Day, WCUS takes place in gorgeous San Diego, California.
To allow for adequate social distancing, WCUS 2022 attendance is limited. As such, tickets sold out quickly, but there is good news for those who missed the opportunity to acquire one. A free live stream of sessions is available to everybody.
Five staffers from WebDevStudios are attending WordCamp US 2022. We love interacting with other members of the WordPress community, especially those with whom we’ve interacted online (via social media, WordPress forums, or GitHub). If you see us, don’t be shy and please say hi. Let’s connect!
There is a lot to experience at any WordCamp, but unlike localized events, WordCamp US attracts folks from all over. That adds to the excitement of attending.
Brad, Justin, Autry, Laura B., and I are eager to be there. Here are some things at WordCamp US 2022 that we’re looking forward to most.
Meeting in person, finally!
We’ve said it once, we’re saying it again. (And, we’ll keep saying it, too.) Since day one, WebDevStudios (WDS) has been a 100% distributed website agency.
That means our team works remotely from anywhere in the world. To support our company culture and forge bonds, WDS hosted annual retreats.
That was until the pandemic came along. Today, there are many of us coworkers who have never met in person.
Brad, Justin, and I have met and spent time together in person on several occasions. This will be the first time we’re meeting Autry and Laura B. in real life.
“I haven’t met anyone from WDS yet so I’m very excited,” exclaims Autry. “I am excited to be back in the community this weekend and I am also very excited to officially meet some of my fellow WDS-ers,” she adds.
Keep in mind that Autry just celebrated her second-year anniversary with WebDevStudios, so getting to meet her in person is a big deal for all of us. Additionally, many of us have interacted online with other WordPressers but still have not met face-to-face. WordCamp US 2022 is allowing us to change that.
Reuniting with old friends
What makes WordPress so special is the community behind it. Many members have known each other for years. The only time they get to see each other is at WordCamps, especially WCUS. The pandemic interrupted that.
As a co-organizer of the first-ever WordCamp US (Philadelphia, 2015), WCUS holds a special place in CEO, Brad Williams’, heart.
“It’s been so long,” he says, adding, “I can’t wait to see all my WordPress community friends again.”
Engineering Manager, Justin Foell, agrees. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my people,” he says.
WordCamp US 2022 is the first in-person US flagship WordCamp event since 2019. It is the second in-person US-based WordCamp in 2022.
The pandemic disrupted the flow of these important events. While the education and information provided at WordCamps are essential and unique, it’s the human interaction that most attendees are craving.
Talks and workshops
Okay, enough blubbering about seeing people. The whole reason for any WordCamp is the sessions. We’re here for talks, workshops, and Contributor Day.
There are lightning talks, standard talks, and workshops taking place. Additionally, sessions are organized according to three tracks: Sun, Palm, and Surf. Sun and Palm are programming tracks and include talks such as, “Customizing Core Blocks for Clients” and “FSE for the Win.”
The Surf track is a hands-on series of workshops that cover topics like website accessibility and building a block theme. I’m looking forward to Maddy Osman’s workshop titled, “How to Create Your Brand Content Style Guide,” which is happening on the 10th.
Other standout talks are “Where Is WordPress’ Place in the Creator Economy,” “Developing Cultural Intelligence,” and, “WordPress for the Next Generation.” Honestly, all the featured sessions look pretty interesting and amazing. See the full schedule yourself to choose your favorites. (Good luck with that.)
Parties, socializing, and networking
Don’t let the stereotypes full you. Smart people love to party, socialize, and network (while also being respectful of those who don’t).
Yes, there will be parties. There are a handful of competing ones happening on the first night. Each one features its own theme—from the 90s to a cool science museum, to high-class cocktails. Savvy party folks will ride share together and attend them all.
On Saturday, after all of the talks and workshops are completed, WCUS is hosting a social at Riverfront Park where drinks and appetizers are provided. It’s another great opportunity to unwind, reunite with old friends, and make some new ones.
Of course, no WordCamp is complete without hallway talks. These informal gatherings happen spontaneously in the hallways of the conference venue and normally end with an exchange of business cards and new relationships forged.
San Diego, baby!
I mean, hello, it’s San Diego. How can anyone not take the opportunity to explore this fair-weathered city?
First of all, WCUS is being held at the luxurious Town and Country Resort. This place has everything! From mid-century coolness to chef-driven dining, this landmark hotel is a sight to be remembered. Heck, it even boasts a 150-foot-long looping waterslide called Twister.
Second, did I mention the beaches? San Diego’s signature attraction is 70 miles of glorious coastline. There is a bevy of beaches for WCUS attendees to choose from, and each is just as beautiful as the next.
Lastly, there’s a zoo. You may have heard of it. The name is fitting. The San Diego Zoo is a 100-acre wildlife park. It’s home to over 12,000 rare and endangered animals, representing more than 650 species and subspecies. This attraction is designed to delight people of all ages. You don’t have to be a child to enjoy it, just youthful and curious.
Follow the Hashtag #WCUS
Again, if you’re missing out on the action, talks will be live-streamed. The organizers at WCUS wrote a guide to help you maximize your WordCamp US 2022 viewing experience. I recommend reading it.
To keep up with the shenanigans, follow the hashtag #WCUS. I predict a slew of photos, videos, and gracious tweets directed at knowledgeable speakers. WordCamps are always one big lovefest.