WordCamp Miami, one of the largest and longest running WordPress events in the US, is gearing up to celebrate its 6th year on May 29-31. Last year the event brought together 770 attendees and tickets for 2015 are selling fast.
“We have sold over 600 tickets, and we see a sell-out on the horizon,” organizer David Bisset told the Tavern. “Our workshops are already almost sold out, and soon the weekend tickets will be as well.”
WordCamp Miami has adopted a strong educational focus for the event with an expanded array of workshops. On Friday, May 29, the organizers will host a BuddyCamp and a separate Front-End/Theme workshop. As last year’s kids workshop was a success, organizers are exploring the option of adding a more advanced kids workshop that gets into coding.
New “How To” Tracks and Mini-Workshops for Developers
Bisset and his team received feedback from last year’s event indicating that attendees are interested in having more advanced developer talks. This year organizers are replacing the user track on Saturday with experimental “How To” tracks.
“To my knowledge, this is the first time a WordCamp has tried something like this,” Bisset said. “This track will focus on getting things done – almost like a mini-workshop focused on one or two concepts with step by step instructions – steps you can go home that night and do hopefully on your own.” Attendees of these tracks will be able to print out “cheat sheets” of each session and bring them to the conference or refer to them when they get back home.
The organizers are hand-selecting the speakers and requesting that they format their slides to be a lasting resource for users. Speakers will also move to the Happiness Bar to answer any questions in a non-rushed environment after their sessions are finished.
For the first time, WordCamp Miami will add an additional developer track on Sunday, which will consist of mini-workshops. In this format, two speakers will be give presentations on a single subject (back-to-back), so attendees will get multiple perspectives on the same subject.
“For example, Andrea Rennick and Jesse Petersen will start off that Sunday with a ‘Genesis Framework’ mini-workshop,” Bisset said. “Andrea will introduce the basics and concepts while Jesse afterwards will dive into more advanced topics on Genesis. There are also mini-workshops on building WordPress plugins, the WP-API, and more.”
Organizers are also reaching out to other open source communities to help forge connections across different projects.
“For the first time, we have a Joomla developer coming to speak on Sunday and talk about Joomla, WordPress, and open source,” Bisset said. “We have been opening our doors to local Joomla and Drupal developers so we are excited about this presentation and hope it’s the start of something bigger for the future.”
WordCamp Miami is known for its excellent opportunities for networking and will maintain that aspect of the event in 2015.
“Besides knowledge, networking has always been a key reason why people (local or not from the area) attend WordCamps,” Bisset said. Organizers are tailoring the after-party to be more of a “networking party” where attendees can continue their conversations from the event. Networking parties will take place on Thursday evening, Saturday night, Sunday for social breakfast, and a brief ice cream social Sunday afternoon.
The new venue, Florida International University, is large enough to accommodate the 800+ attendees expected this year. All of the educational and networking opportunities during the 3.5 day event give attendees an incredible value for their tickets, especially for those who are traveling from a distance.
WordCamp Miami is an event that traditionally sells out every year and Bisset expects the same for 2015. The workshops will be limited to 100-150 people and tickets are going fast. Check out the event website for more details on the schedule and available tickets.