WordCamp Miami is one of the largest and longest-running annual WordPress events, thanks to its dedicated organizers and volunteers. Last year, the event attracted 770 WordPress enthusiasts from around the world. Co-organizer David Bisset expects that attendees will be in the range of 800 this year for its 6th edition.
The event has sold out every year, with 250 attendees on its first run in 2010 and attendance steadily increasing every year. Organizing a successful WordCamp for more than half a decade requires organizers to go with what works and always be open to introducing new formats.
Expanded Kid’s Workshop Planned
Last year’s fifth anniversary event included an experiment with hosting a kid’s workshop for ages 8-12. Organizers guided the children through the process of setting up a new blog and publishing to the internet for the first time. Bisset said the 2015 event plans to expand on kid’s workshop.
Expect it back this year based on demand, but we are also bringing something else for young ones to WordCamp Miami 2015. One of our biggest goals at WCMIA is diversity – and diversity includes young ones. They are the next generation of bloggers, developers, and coders.
Volunteering to help with the kid’s workshop is a fun way to reignite your excitement about WordPress and publishing in general. The event will likely offer more opportunities this year with an expanded workshop planned.
BuddyCamp Miami to Return for 3rd Edition
BuddyCamp Miami will return for a third year on May 29th to kick off the main event. This year the topics will be more developer-focused than previous years.
“We really don’t want people just to come and listen to talks, but actually CHAT with developers and contributors one-on-one to learn and improve their development and design skills with BuddyPress and bbPress,” Bisset said. Attending a BuddyCamp is a good way to connect with those who are involved in making BuddyPress and find out more about extending and contributing to the plugin. Attendee maximum numbers for the 2015 event will be more limited than previous years to facilitate a stronger environment for developer-focused learning.
New “How To” Track
WordCamp Miami is already a veritable smorgasbord of WordPress knowledge, but organizers plan to add several new formats this year for variety. In addition to the traditional abstract/motivational track, a practical “How To” track is in the works.
“This track will be focused on users walking into the room and walking out in that same hour with actionable insights and knowledge,” Bisset said. Sessions will take the form of mini-workshops where attendees can quickly learn new techniques and technologies.
Bisset’s announcement also hints at “Hallway Tracks,” which will unofficially welcome and recognize hallway networking. Business talks will be welcome again this year but will be refocused to provide a more practical and organized series of talks with resources for attendees.
WordCamp Miami will remain committed to furthering developer education based on feedback from the local community. Organizers plan to encourage more deeper-level developer talks at the 2015 event. “We think Miami is ready for more serious developer talks and conferences,” Bisset said. “According to feedback from local meetups and other sources, more and more advanced topics are being desired (and less of the very early or beginning level topics).”
A Call for Speakers and Volunteers
Speaker applications for WordCamp Miami opened up today, and organizers welcome first-time WordCamp speakers to join the event. Topic suggestions are available on the speaker submissions page of the event website.
An event of this magnitude requires a large crew of local volunteers. Last year the eight person coordinating team managed a crew of 30 volunteers, a few of which were even from out of town. “Volunteers literally made 2014 possible,” Bisset said. The team currently has almost a dozen coordinators in its Slack group and will be adding more in the coming weeks. If you want to get involved, there are lots of opportunities to share your knowledge and skills to help make WordCamp Miami 2015 another successful event.