WordCamp Seattle 2017 - A Journey Across Continents - Plesk Recap

WordCamp Seattle 2017: A Journey Across Continents – Recap

We’re just back from WordCamp Seattle where 6 team members from Europe and Canada represented Plesk in the US. We were proud to be one of this WordCamp’s Gold Sponsors and even better for me – it was my first ever trip to the US!

Everyone was so friendly and helpful in the days leading up to the event that I couldn’t help but amp up the excitement. After exploring some of the city in the first snowflakes of the winter, we were ready for the big weekend.

https://twitter.com/CaroleOlinger/status/926542476600532993

WordCamp Challenge: Unlocked!

One day before the start of WordCamp Seattle 2017 and the unthinkable happens. After many weeks of prep work on our sponsor appearance, we find that our booth and swag is stuck in customs in Memphis. And there was no chance to get it to the event in time. Well, for no small fee anyway.

But we kept our cool and immediately started looking for alternatives. Furthermore, we decided to spread nothing but good vibes and I assured the team that the WordPress community would be more than empathetic about us being booth and swag-less. And this is exactly what happened.

But we’re Plesky, so we couldn’t help but get cheeky and fun about the whole thing. We presented our “invisible booth” to the first arriving WordCamp attendees. It was “a new Plesk concept and probably the most awesome booth they’ve ever seen – if they use their imagination! Just be like Walt Disney, be magical!”

We had fun with it but also learned and passed on to fellow sponsors that shipments can get stuck at customs if you don’t provide enough info regarding the degree of toxicity of the ink in our swag pens. Yes. So, live and learn, folks!

We then thought on our feet and assembled a TV, posters and roll-up banner. In the end, our improv-booth looked pretty good. Special thanks to Eric Amundsen, WordCamp Seattle sponsor wrangler, who helped us set it all up.

Our Flying Wonders

Unexpectedly – one of our parcels managed to find its way to Seattle, and 12 little Plesk toy drones popped out of the box! Knowing that these drones were the only swag we could give away, we started a “Drone-Winning Competition” – first by photo contest and later by raffle.

Admittedly, we had our own fun flying the drones all over the place with old and new WordPress friends. But the gliding sensations also brought lots of interested people to our booth. And here are the lucky winners of the toy drones looking rather pleased:

Volunteering at WCSEA

I went for my usual volunteer shift as room manager and emcee and assisted Ben Byrne and Saied Abbesi during their informative talks. Ben’s session was about accelerating custom development with dynamic scaffolding and WP-CLI. This is a developed approach that leverages WP-CLI to dynamically inject configurable, pre-written code into a specific in-house starter theme. Saied’s talk was about truly responsive website design and he explored browser-compatible innovations in CSS instead of using media queries. The end result will save time and create more adaptive web experiences.

I shared my shift and duties with the lovely Marina Snyder, a first-time WordCamp attendee who immediately started as a volunteer – Kudos to you, Marina!

WordPress Toolkit Demonstrations

Back at the Plesk booth, I noticed many people interested in a demonstration of Plesk’s WordPress Toolkit. This tool simplifies the life of WordPress web professionals in many ways and it was a pleasure to see how enthusiastically the community reacted when recognising its potential.

WordCamp Seattle 2017 Sessions

Here are some more sessions we attended during the two days of WordCamp Seattle 2017.

  • WordPress is a Banquet – Keynote by Andrea Middleton

Andrea talked about the multiple ways there are to contribute to the open source project, WordPress. He showed inspiring examples of WordPress contributors like Petya Raykovska and Bridget Williard, who it was a pleasure to finally meet in person in Seattle. Anybody can find something to contribute. So if you’re passionate, let’s do it. Here are some words of wisdom from the one and only.

  • Women in WordPress Panel – by Bridget Williard, Francesca Marano, Tessa Kriesel and Rachel Cherry, moderated by Miriam Goldman

This was one of the most inspiring sessions I have ever seen at a WordCamp. Four amazing women sharing their experiences in the tech world in a more than honest way – which certainly took some courage. Follow these women on Twitter. We learnt a lot about behaviours that should be questioned, from either gender. There was an important message to spread to women in tech: Stop apologizing for being awesome!

  • Gutenberg and the Future of WordPress by Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Morten gave the audience true insight into what Gutenberg is and how it’s going to change WordPress. With no fear for live demo risks, he showed the audience fascinating details about WordPress’ upcoming new editor. An amazing tool, but it’s not ready yet. Every WordPress user should use and test it and provide valuable and needed feedback.“Gutenberg is our tool, Gutenberg is our responsibility!”

Great Time in the US

After the sessions, the Pleskians and I had a smashing time at the socials, with a delicious team dinner and a hilarious WordCamp Karaoke event! Let’s just say I know what’s on my schedule for WordCamp US in Nashville, starting December 1st! I’m proud of the Pleskians for overcoming all obstacles in a way that stayed true to Plesk. Meanwhile I thank the wonderful WordPress community for the support through WordCamp Seattle.

More WordCamp Seattle Moments

Are you in our gallery below?

I’m so passionate about the WP community and love helping with organising WordCamps. What are you passionate about in the WordPress world? Tell us in the comments below!

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About

Carole is a WordPress Community Junkie and a passionate WordCamp organizer. She's been the WordPress Community Manager for Plesk since August 2017.
    Comments
    • Robert Nissenbaum
      Reply

      Loved that everyone on the team didn’t let missing swag and a customs hassle spoil their fun. You guys rocked!

      And I made it into the post. Now to find a purple hat!

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