BetweenSessions let’s you know what you missed when running to the next great topic, having dinner with co-workers, or just sleeping during the conference. We’re not here to recap the speakers, sponsors, sessions, and official events, the official site and other recaps will do those things justice. Our first BetweenSessions is WordCamp Phoenix.
If there is any kickoff to the WordCamp season, it’s WordCamp Phoenix. For two years in a row this is my first WordCamp of the year. It’s one of the largest camps in the United States and is certainly in the perfect city for those of us who haven’t seen the sun in weeks and snow is a four-letter word.
Let’s get to some of the topics and questions on people’s minds with the first being location and attendance. This year’s camp switched to Events on Jackson and was a brilliant selection (except for maybe some of the speakers). The venue easily accommodated a large number of people while keeping the feeling intimate and that’s not always an easy thing to do. One thing heard was that speakers needed to be able to AirPlay their sessions – as much as I’d love to see it, not everyone is running a Mac or iOS device. Not the fault of organizers and I’m sure there will be more elegant solutions for next year. As for attendees, total tickets purchased were slightly below last year but we are looking at maybe a 5% difference off from last years ~600, certainly nothing indicative of anything.
Asia. Wait I thought we were talking about Phoenix, except that the first WordCamp Asia is in less than two weeks and attendees and sponsors are rightly concerned about Coronavirus 2019-nCoV and the already in place travel restrictions for some countries and what may come next. I know the organizers and sponsors have invested immense resources to put this together but I personally feel that stronger and more definitive responses should have started in January. Thailand has reported 32 cases as of February 10, 2020. With Sony and Amazon pulling out of Mobile World Conference, which is not even in Asia, it really seems that a postponement should be made. I expect something definitive in the next day or so since postponing next week would be impossible for sponsors who need to ship booths, swag, and more by end of this week. Keep an eye out on the official WordCamp Asia Travel link.
On the business talk side of the universe, lots of companies have very exciting plans for the year. Based on conversations, I would certainly keep an eye out on Convesio, GoDaddy Pro, GoWP, and Web Ventures. As soon as we hear or can say more, we’ll let you know.
What was also exciting on the business side, was the amount of variety in solutions and industries being targeted. I had a great conversation with a firm launching multiple solutions for CBD and legal marijuana dispensaries. It’s a fascinating world with a lot of the same business issues every industry experiences but certainly some unique variable. Will be looking to follow up on what’s going on in the web space over the year.
That’s it for the first BetweenSessions, looking forward to catching up with the community at WordCamp Miami.