It’s been just about a week since the end of WordCamp Phoenix 2023 and what an event it was! There are already a few great recaps out there, so I want to focus specifically on what it was like to be a speaker, sponsor, and attendee at this event.
Speaking at WordCamp Phoenix
This was my first time speaking at a WordCamp! I’ll be putting together another article around tips and advice for speaking at WordCamps, but I still want to cover it a little bit here. If I remember, I’ll come back and link it up here.
To say I was a nervous wreck would be fairly accurate.
The only speaking I had done before this camp was a couple of virtual events and a couple of pre-recorded talks – both of which have far fewer eyes on you! This time, I had to stand in front of an audience and make sure I kept a reasonable pace throughout… or worse, keep from freezing entirely!
Overall, it ended up working out well. I got some words of wisdom from a few folks who had spoken before and remembered that these were our WordPress friends – rooting for me to do well! Plus, I had spent a lot of time putting together some really great, on-brand slides for my presentation, which everyone loved 🏀
Sponsoring at WordCamp Phoenix
Thankfully, sponsoring a WordCamp is something I’m more comfortable with. The business goal at WordCamps is of course to share our GoDaddy products and services with attendees. For me and my team, though, it just as much includes getting to know folks in the community and form relationships. It’s these relationships that open the door to talking about products, work opportunities, or ways we can partner with companies to do some really great things with WordPress.
Oh yea, and people love to get free stuff!
We also sponsored the afterparty. Camp “add-ons” seem to be a new way to allow sponsors to help provide for camp needs and I’m all for it! This was our first time picking up one of these sponsorships, but it was great to be able to share our GoDaddy toasts to WordPress’s 20th Anniversary and leave some goodies on the tables for attendees.
Attending WordCamp Phoenix
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to nearly as many sessions as I would have liked. There were several on the schedule that I had wanted to attend, but it just didn’t work out. Either I was too busy being anxious about speaking, I was hanging out at the GoDaddy Pro booth, or I was speaking myself.
I did get to overhear a little bit of the talks “Blogging in the Age of AI” by Cheryl Marquez and “Accessibility for Plugin and Theme Developers” by Amber Hinds. Both were really great and included a ton of wisdom and insight. Cheryl was very forward-thinking about how to leverage AI instead of fighting it. Amber was a true professional, sharing anecdotes and practical tools for addressing accessibility.
I did also sit in on “The First 5 Mile Markers on the Journey to Your First Digital Product” by Rene Morozowich. I met Rene back in November at Recurring Revenue Summit here in Orlando and was excited to be able to reconnect. Rene has done some incredible work since then to grow her personal brand, including starting a new podcast with some fantastic guests! It was also the talk before mine in that room, so I tried to use that time to shake off the nerves.
When they come out on WordPress.tv, I definitely have a few others I want to make sure to see, including:
- “Passwords are Broken: Passkeys Are Coming to Save Us” by Kathy Zant
- “It’s About Time” by Cami MacNamara
- “Building Custom Blocks. No JS Required!” by John Hawkins
- “From PHP 5.6 to 8.2: What Did I Miss?” by Austin Adamson
- “Belonging in WordPress” by Michelle Frechette
- “Shooting Hoops with WordPress’ New Site Editor” by James Tryon
- “Migrating Your Workflow from ACF Flexible Content to ACF Blocks” by Brian Coords
Wow. Just look at those names. I can’t believe I got to be a speaker at the same WordCamp!
End of Regulation
I guess that’s a basketball way to say “Conclusion” 😆 The camp was a huge success and that’s a testament to the hard work the organizers put in. It had been 3 years since the last WordCamp Phoenix (I wasn’t even a part of the community then!) and they made up for it this year. The theme was great, there were very few hiccups, and most importantly everyone had a great time!
See you soon, WordPress community!