WordCamp Miami is sporting an 80’s theme this year for its 9th year running. The team of 12 organizers is expecting more than 800 attendees and will host 60+ local and global speakers, including new speakers from India, Australia, Poland, Canada, and other international locations.
As in previous years, WordCamp Miami is a multi-day smorgasbord of WordPress networking and educational opportunities with workshops for all ages. The event is bringing back the two-day Kids’ Camp and Kids’ Panel it hosted last year. David Bisset, one of the organizers, is expecting approximately 50 attendees and said the team is seeing an even greater increase of parents and kids than previous years, based on more kids’ tickets being purchased earlier.
This year the Kids’ Camp will focus on blogging and coding and children will even get their own attendee bags. Kids will also receive free hosting and a free domain name, thanks to a donation from a sponsor. The call for speakers for kids aged 7-18 is now open.
WordCamp Miami will be hosting three workshops on the Friday leading up to the main event: a Beginner’s workshop, a Freelance workshop, and the WP REST API / BuddyCamp workshop. This is the fifth consecutive year for BuddyCamp and attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about building mobile applications with BuddyPress and the WordPress REST API.
The event’s organizers usually attempt to get “outside the WordPress bubble” by inviting speakers with experience in other platforms to share with attendees. This year’s lineup includes two sessions from members of the Drupal and Joomla communities. Mike Herchel, a front-end web developer at Lullabot, will present a session titled “WordPress & Drupal: Community and Contribution Differences and Lessons.” Aleksander Kuczek, CEO of Perfect Dashboard and a Joomla Extension Directory team member, will be speaking about how Joomla handles plugin contributions.
Other focus topics during the main event include customizing/extending WordPress, e-commerce, mental health, content marketing, and building a better business (from freelancers to agencies). Organizers have also reduced the time for speakers a little in order to introduce some “AMA” spots. The new format will feature prominent people in the community who will be available to simply answer questions from attendees. The guests for the AMA spots are still being finalized, but Bisset said one example is a representative from Sucuri and will be available to answer any questions regarding security.
WordCamp Miami will also debut the “Rate My Talk With Emoji” app that Bisset developed for attendees to give “live speaker feedback” while sessions are happening. He said the team is hoping to have the speakers decide on which emoji should be available, but if there are problems with pre-event testing they will pre-select emoji. At this time they are not planning on including any negative ones. Speakers will have access to their results after the conference.
WordCamp Miami would not be possible without the event’s army of volunteers. Bisset said organizers are still looking for volunteers to help out before and during the event.