It was one year ago when we sponsored and attended our first WordCamp ever, the inaugural WordCamp U.S. Since then, we’ve sponsored camps throughout the world and SiteLock evangelists Logan Kipp and Adam Warner have racked up a lot of frequent flier miles attending over 40 camps. After the great time we had at the first #WCUS, we knew we would return, and return we did.
We were fortunate to be selected as a Commonwealth sponsor this year and with that, eight of us boarded planes from around the country and headed for Philadelphia. We were expecting big things, but we were not prepared for just how great it ended up being. Hundreds of t-shirts, Wapuu stickers and pins, and countless “We’ve Got Your Back” massages later, the interesting people we met and new friends we made at WordCamp US 2016 all made for an absolutely amazing time.
Because the amazing conversations went non-stop throughout both days of WCUS, we didn’t get the opportunity to attend any sessions. However, we asked many people how they felt about the sessions they attended and the overriding feedback was that the talks seemed intentionally focused more on the human element of web development and the WordPress community in general, and that was okay by everyone.
The culmination of WordCamp US is Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word.” SiteLock evangelist Adam Warner had this to say, “Having first found WordPress in 2005, and after dozens of WordCamps, this was the first time I’ve attended a State of the Word address in person. It was amazing. It wasn’t just being there that had me excited, it was what Matt shared about the current state of the platform, the challenges and opportunities we face as a community, and changes to the way they will be addressed in the coming years was refreshing. It solidified my belief that WordPress can continue to grow in market share, but more importantly, can continue to be “easy to use” for many types of new users in the years to come.
The announcements were many and varied. Rather than repeat what others have reported, I highly recommend reading this on PostStatus and this on WP Tavern. They both document the State of the Word content well and include interesting commentary from the community.”
The WordCamp U.S. after party was hosted at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, where large robotic dinosaurs appropriately dressed in scarves for the chilly Philadelphia weather greeted visitors. The party kicked off around 8pm, allowing everyone a chance to grab dinner, but provided lots of finger food and delicious ice cream from Philadelphia’s own Weckerly’s. Attendees were allowed unimpeded access to the entirety of the Academy and all of its exhibits, which included everything from displays of extinct species to a real human mummy. Later in the night, many attendees congregated in the Academy’s main auditorium for the entertaining production of bashful WordPress amateur pop stars.
We could not have asked for or imagined a better time in the City of Brotherly Love. From the WCUS organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees, the weekend was simply fantastic.
We hope that our presence and spreading the word about our industry-leading malware scanning and removal system and web application firewall services helped the overall WordCamp experience for all who attended. We’ll see you again in Nashville!