This past weekend we sponsored and attended WordCamp Boston 2016. It was an excellent event with almost 500 in attendance.
Traveling from the airport to the hotel afforded some excellent sightseeing opportunities. There were so many beautifully constructed buildings. If you haven’t visited Boston, it’s highly recommended.
Visiting Friends from the 1980s
Depending on your age, you might not be familiar with the Cheers television sitcom, but it was part of my teen years and I was on a mission to visit and (at least) get a photo of this iconic bar.
It came complete with life-size cardboard cutouts of Sam, Diane, Norm, Cliff, Coach, Woody and other characters. And for a tourist destination, the food was great too!
Event Location and Sponsor Experience
Attendees were very engaged with all of the sponsors and our table was no exception. We answered a lot of questions both days and had many people come back with follow-up conversations about how best to keep themselves and their clients protected.
Most WordCamps offer a breakout room where every level of WordPress user can drop in and ask questions to those people who are more experienced with the software.
The best thing about a happiness bar is seeing people walk away with a smile after solving some problem they’ve been having with the help from someone else in the community.
Trends in Communication and Design
Diane Danielson was the keynote speaker and her session was well attended. She did a deep dive into what makes a powerful brand in 2016 as well as related trends in communications and design that are changing, and will change, the way people perceive and engage with online content.
It was an eye opener.
How to Organize Your First Website Usability Test
I’ve seen Anthony D. Paul speak several times and each talk is both unique and informative.
In this session, he talked about User Experience (UX) and how designers should keep this in mind before moving to the development stage.
He showed us a screen recording someone looking at a website for the first time and trying to accomplish a simple task of finding a specific web page link within a fancy looking menu. You could see and hear this person’s confusion as they stumbled through the task given.
It was a great example of why making assumptions on how website visitors will interact with your content is one of the worst mistakes you can make.
Ready! Filter! Action!
In her session, Amanda Giles walked us through the use of action and filter hooks. We learned what these hooks are, how to find them, and how to use them effectively to alter the default behavior of WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
Stenographers WordCamp Boston
One aspect of WordCamp Boston that stood out was the fact that every single session was transcribed live by a team of stenographers. It was an obvious benefit for accessibility reasons.
Summary of WordCamp Boston 2016
The organizing team, volunteers, sponsors and attendees all did a wonderful job making sure @WordCampBoston ran smoothly. It was well-organized and very informative with unique sessions I hadn’t seen presented before.
As soon as WordCamp Boston 2017 is announced, we’ll be one of the first to get our tickets so we can continue spreading the good word about our 360-degree security solutions and help more WordPress websites stay secure.