Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to attend WordCamp North Canton located in North Canton, Ohio. The event took place on the Stark State College Campus within the Center for Entrepreneurship and was coordinated by Joe Rozsa. The venue offered plenty of seating, multiple classrooms for sessions and outlets galore for charging electronic devices. Although the WiFi at the event was surprisingly low speed considering the venue, it was’nt enough to notice when tweeting or pushing out images. In fact, there was little in the way of problems with the WiFi.
One of the cool aspects of this event is that it was the first WordCamp to have a Zero waste strategy. Everything used during the event was either recyclable or fully bio-degradable. There was a station set up in the back of the main room staffed by volunteers to help make sure things were put in the proper place. Having zero waste at a WordCamp event is beneficial no matter how you look at it. From what I heard, Joe Rozsa will be putting together a tutorial for how he accomplished this feat which will be shared on WordCamp.org for other organizers to take advantage of.
One of the highlights for me was the lunch prepared by Ermannos pizza. They brought in a selection of pizzas but my favorite was their Margherita which contained Extra Virgin Olive oil Infused with Garlic, their Triple Blend Cheese, Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Basil. Topped with Parmesan & Romano Cheese, Italian Herbs & Seasonings, and Balsamic Glaze. This pizza was awesome and when I’m back in the North Canton area, I’ll definitely be stopping by for some more.
One other treat that I’ve not seen at any WordCamps is S’mores. Ermanno’s also baked ravioli stuffed s’mores that were fluffy, gooey pastries filled with marshmallow and chocolate. While I managed to eat two of them and then take a few home, I know of a few other attendees that couldn’t stop eating them.
Overall, the event was a major success for it being the first of it’s kind for the North Canton area. The sessions I attended were presented by people passionate about the subject they were talking about. Most of the people in the audience were either new to WordPress or had little to no development experience. I also wanted to point out that a lot of the attendees at this event were women. If s’mores didn’t cap off the camp in WordCamp, tents and sleeping bags were among some of the prizes given away at the end of the day. Joe Rozsa and his team of volunteer staff members are to be commended for a job well done.