WordCamp Phoenix 2023 was a incredible camp! The placement was good, the camp was very effectively attended, and the organizers, audio system, and volunteers had been superior. I’m so fortunate to have been capable of attend!
Arriving for WordCamp Phoenix 2023
My one-hour flight from LA was very easy. For these of you who’ve flown to Phoenix earlier than, you’d know that on most days, it’s windy and it could possibly be a bit of scary to land there. However I used to be fortunate, and every part went nice.
After checking in on the resort, I went all the way down to the foyer to satisfy with Ericka Barboza whom I had not seen since WordCamp US in 2022, and we gave one another an enormous hug.
We then had a chunk to eat at Barrel & Bushel positioned within the foyer of the resort and we bought caught up on work and camp stuff.
Thursday evening was the Speaker-Sponsor occasion at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. positioned in Downtown Phoenix, a number of blocks from the resort the place we had been staying.
As we walked to the placement, we realized how hustling and bustling the realm has change into. Fairly a distinction from the final time I used to be there in 2020.
As we walked in, we acknowledged the group of WordCampers and we couldn’t wait to say hello to everybody.
We bumped into James Tyron from Simply Amused. Ericka and I had not seen James since WordCamp US in 2022 and we bought caught up on new initiatives he’s engaged on together with his firm.
I’ve recognized Dave for a very long time, from many camps in the past. Dave lives in Phoenix and can also be one of many organizers of the camp and he instructed me he had been very busy engaged on the camp.
He had a solid on his arm as he had fallen and injured himself, however he stated he was doing nice and was in superb spirits.
I then noticed Kathy Zant of KadenceWP. Kathy and I had recognized one another for a few years and used to run into one another the evening earlier than every camp whereas checking into motels with bell carts loaded with swag.
I had promised her an enormous hug, and I gave her a extremely large one and I hugged her many instances throughout the camp.
What can I say, I’m an enormous hugger!
After individuals had been having fun with native tacos, Raquel Landefelt, the camp Sponsor Wrangler, went on stage, gave presents to every speaker, and thanked all of the sponsors.
Matthew Clancy, the Lead Organizer, additionally got here on stage to introduce himself and say his thank yous. Everyone knows that nothing would occur with out the unbelievable work and fervour of the organizers.
Because the night went on, we met a whole lot of outdated and new mates, akin to Maddy Osman from the Blogsmith, and Jessica Spart, additionally a part of the organizing group. And we went on having nice conversations with everybody.
First Day of Camp
WordCamp Phoenix 2023 was held at Occasions on Jackson, a big and beautifully-restored former fruits and vegetable warehouse constructed within the Thirties inside strolling distance of Downtown Phoenix.
I liked this venue in 2020 and I nonetheless assume it’s a good location for this camp.
Ericka and I walked in and bought our registration badges. The very first thing we did was cease by the swag desk to get our WordCamp Phoenix swag and to thank the volunteers who had been there for all of the work they do at these camps.
We noticed Michelle Frechette, Director of Group Engagement at StellarWP. Earlier, Michelle had tweeted that in the event you took a pic together with her and retweeted it with a specific tag, there can be a donation made to BigOrangeHeart whose focus is supporting and selling constructive well-being and psychological well being inside distant working communities.
So, the very first thing I did was take that image together with her and put up it on social media, as lots of the different individuals within the camp did as effectively.
Kathy Zant was standing and the Kadence sales space, which was the primary sales space on the entrance of the venue, and naturally, we hugged once more!
Somebody had posted on Twitter that in the event you had been on the camp, you needed to say hello to Chad Beatty with Rocket.internet, who can also be one of many sponsors, so I seemed for the desk and I did simply that.
I additionally met with Baljinder Singh with wpspins.com who instructed me he is aware of our very personal Marco Berrocal. He was serving to out on the Happiness Bar and we chatted a bit of bit.
Whereas ready for the camp to begin, I bumped into Alex Vasquez whom I met at WordCamp Lengthy Seaside in 2019 the place he was on the organizing group, and Matt Kopala with SiteDistrict, whose travels I observe on social media. I additionally stated hello to Devin Sears from Bluehost. I’ve recognized Devin since my very first WordCamps in 2019 and have at all times had quite a lot of respect for him.
It was good to see them once more and catch up.
Beginning Day One
On day one, I used to be capable of attend a number of shows. “Social Media and Rising Your Viewers” by Darreyl Davis was very attention-grabbing to me.
Darreyl is an Ohio native who has lived in Arizona for 15 years. In his presentation, he talked about how you can create partaking content material for social media, optimize your web site for optimum visibility, and measure the success of selling campaigns.
He additionally invited a shock visitor speaker on the stage, Maddison Gaffney, a social entrepreneur, neighborhood builder, and educator with over 100K followers on social media who shared her expertise and the way she bought the place she is whereas answering questions from the attendees.
Earlier than the lunch break, I additionally watched “Make The Unimaginable Attainable: Create a Lasting Impression in your Group by Doing Work Price Doing” by Keely O’Connor. It was an inspirational presentation that left the attendees with the next concept: “Take motion, imagine in your self, you’re the director and producer of your life”.
At lunchtime, we loved taco bowls within the outside space of the occasion house. We sat across the spherical tables and chatted with everybody. The Arizona solar was good and heat, though we had been sitting within the shade.
It was a fantastic setting for lunch!
Within the afternoon, we adopted Cheryl Marquez, who mentioned a really attention-grabbing and sizzling subject which is “Running a blog within the age of AI: Tips on how to Keep Related and Aggressive.”
She mentioned numerous AI instruments and the restrictions of these instruments. I discovered it to be a really attention-grabbing presentation.
After day one of many camp was over, Ericka and I handled ourselves to dinner at The Compass. It’s a revolving restaurant positioned on the very prime flooring of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix.
Dinner was scrumptious as was the wine, and the views of Downtown Phoenix had been superior. However one of the best half was sharing private tales between us.
We grew to become a lot nearer that evening.
Day Two of Camp
On Day Two of WordCamp Phoenix, Ericka and I attended a whole lot of the shows.
Within the morning, I watched Alicia St. Rose who’s a part of my native Meetup. She talked in regards to the block editor in her presentation “You’re Invited to a Block Occasion.”
Alicia was very informative, and he or she additionally had occasion music at some factors of her presentation which made for a enjoyable hour.
After that, we listened to James Tyron speak in regards to the new Website Editor in ”Taking pictures Hoops with WordPress’s New Website Editor: Ideas and Methods for Elevating your Website-Constructing Sport.”
Earlier than lunch, we watched Maddy Osman discuss Content material UX in “Content material UX: Tips on how to Create a Nice Reader Expertise.” I appreciated it when she stated, “An excellent consumer expertise is sort of invisible”.
I agree 100% with that.
Lunchtime on the Camp on Day Two
Lunchtime arrived and it appeared just like the morning went so quick. We sat within the outside house once more and chatted with individuals sitting at our desk, together with Maddy Osman, Christina Hills of WebsiteWorkshopCreation.com, Cheryl Marquez, and Donald Luke who’s a part of my native Santa Clarita Meetup.
I’ve been on so many Zoom Meetups as we each attended just about in the previous couple of years. It was good to satisfy in individual for a change and chat about issues occurring in the neighborhood.
Within the afternoon, we watched a number of extra shows, Femi Lewis in “Construct your On-line Presence: Brainstorming Workouts to Develop your Content material Technique”, Robert Windisch in “Tips on how to Scale WordPress/WooCommerce”, and Subh Sahal in “Securing your WordPress Web site: Finest Practices and Ideas for Newbies”.
All of the shows had been actually attention-grabbing!
And identical to that, it was already time for closing remarks. Matthew Clancy invited all of the volunteers to come back to the stage to present them a particular thanks for his or her work. Volunteers are an integral a part of camps they usually really deserved our appreciation.
The After Occasion
The After Occasion was additionally held at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. in the identical outside heated coated patio the place the Speaker-Sponsor occasion was held the evening earlier than.
It was a very nice night, and the Arizona climate was good. We had been all excited and drained from the 2 days of camp however able to occasion.
We had drinks and meals and talked to lots of people together with Carol Stambaugh and Jessica Spart from the organizing group. Then we met a few of the attendees whom we had not met on the Sponsor and Speaker dinner akin to Tammy White and William Bay.
Earlier than we knew it, the clock struck midnight and we needed to head again to the resort and get some relaxation, particularly Ericka who was occurring a protracted journey again to Costa Rica the subsequent day.
Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to Ericka. We hugged many instances within the resort foyer preventing again tears. I’ll miss Ericka very a lot and hope to see her once more at a camp quickly.
The following day, I headed to the airport to catch my return flight to LA. I took an image of the downtown space from the resort room flooring and stated goodbye (or so long) to Phoenix.
One other WordCamp Phoenix is within the books!
An enormous thanks to the organizers, audio system, sponsors, volunteers, and naturally, the Phoenix WordPress neighborhood.
Till subsequent yr!