It’s already in the news and you could see the tweet this morning:
So since I never wrote a recap of the conference from my perspective, I thought I would just give you the quick skinny on why you should plan to attend this year.
1. Meet great folks
One of the best things about a WordPress conference that costs more than $25-40 and is held only once a year is that is raises the bar of the attendees. There’s nothing wrong with WordCamps – I love them. But the nature of them being in a lot of cities, at a low cost, rarely drives everyone into the same venue.
I knew I wouldn’t be an “invitee” but was thrilled to note that they would be selling tickets. So I bought one on the first day they came out, and was glad I did. It provided me the chance to meet some folks in person, that I’d known online – like Cory Miller. I also got to meet people I didn’t know – like James Dalman.
2. Talk about the business side of WordPress
As much as I love WordPress, I love business, startups and product development more. That’s saying a lot. But I’ve been a professional entrepreneur/intrapreneur since I started working (19 years). I’ve only enjoyed WordPress for a little over 7 years.
But a conference that brings the two together? You just can’t beat it. We weren’t talking about custom post types and post formats. We were talking about net promoter scores and price elasticity. So if you get excited just reading those phrases, this is the place for you. If you don’t know what they mean, this is the place for you!
3. Can I just say “SanTan”?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not really talking about the physical bar that was next to the conference. I’m talking about the concept of tons of free time to connect, talk, and joke with the social glue that certain beverages provide. If you know me well, you know I don’t enjoy “chit chat.” But even at the bar, I was able to have great conversations about virtual teams with folks like Jason Coleman.
4. It’s an Alternate WordPress Event
Over the past couple of weeks there has been a decent amount of discussion about who can speak at a WordCamp and who can’t – which affects you if you make your living off Themeforest or CodeCanyon (for now).
But one response, one option that’s available to people, is to create an alternate WordPress event. And if you’re going to do that – why not check out how to do it right. Joshua & Sally Strebel (of Page.ly fame) put on the best alternate WordPress event ever. So come just to get ideas and watch the masters.
5. It’s for a good cause
I don’t mean that you’ll learn something, and that’s a good cause. I mean that last year (and I’m making the assumption they’ll do it again this year) the Strebels donated over $5,000 to St. Judes. That’s pretty awesome when you think about it. I go to a decent number of technology related conferences and the profits are just pocketed (doesn’t apply to WordCamps). Here’s a way to get your hustle on, and be a good community participant all at the same time.
Your reasons don’t have to be my reasons. And I’m not saying everyone has to go. Everyone can’t go. But if you make your living using WordPress, and you can afford it, and there’s space – you better have a brilliant reason not to go. Or you’ll be kicking yourself later.