This past weekend I traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio and joined over 200 business owners, designers, developers, writers, and digital marketers at WordCamp Cincinnati.
Held at the University of Cincinnati, the two-day WordPress-focused event featured a schedule with a wide range of speakers and topics.
WordCamp Cincinnati included tracks for marketing, development, WordPress how-to, and a full-day WordPress 101 session to learn how to create your first self-hosted WordPress site.
The University of Cincinnati was an excellent venue, I’m a big proponent of having a WordCamps at a university or college because:
- Rooms are set up for presentations, including good audio, projectors, and comfortable seating
- Excellent wifi
— Brian Retterer (@bretterer) October 15, 2016
- Accessible to everyone
- Open areas for networking
Why I Attend WordCamps
I love going to WordCamps to meet and reconnect with people, find out how others use WordPress, and of course, learn about WordPress!
Shoutout to the organizing team on the successful launch of their first WordCamp Cincinnati! Great job!
5 Takeaways From WordCamp Cincinnati
Though I’ve attended close to three dozen WordCamps, I always learn something new at each one! And WordCamp Cincinnati was no different.
Here are my takeaways:
WordCamp Cincinnati kicked off with a keynote by Jeff Rowe, owner of Nunan Vogel and Rowe, who gave one of the best keynotes about networking I’ve ever heard.
Actually, I don’t think you could call it a keynote.
It was more an interactive session that allowed a half-dozen people in the audience to stand up, talk about themselves, and their goals.
Rowe encouraged others attendees to connect with them to help meet their goals.
Great concept to kick off WordCamp!
Instead of sitting through a keynote, trying to decide what session to attend, Rowe captured attendees’ attention with his questions and had people in the audience raising their hands to be the next person.
I would love to see this keynote format at other WordCamps.
As I’ve written in the past, WordCamps are not only about learning how to work with WordPress, WordCamps are about the community.
The people we meet and the relationships we build.
And that’s what Bridget Willard shared in her inspirational keynote about her journey to WordPress.
She encouraged people to move beyond their online interactions and meet people in person at meetups and WordCamps.
— LeeAnne Galioto (@galiotoweb) October 15, 2016
Andrea spoke about open source software, volunteer leadership, and how WordPress meetups are the bedrock of the WordPress community.
— WordCamp Los Angeles (virtual event) (@WordCampLAX) October 16, 2016
As for me, I reconnected with people I’ve met at WordCamp Columbus and other Ohio WordCamps I’ve attended in the past four years.
I continued my WordCamp tradition of always having lunch with people I’ve never met before.
- On Day 1, I joined Gary Wright and Matt Buckley to talk about Cincinnati, football, and WordPress as we ate our meal overlooking the University of Cincinnati football stadium.
- And I enjoyed meeting and having lunch with Ruth and Melissa Morgenson on Day 2, who are working on an FM radio station WordPress website.
- Quick Way to Install WordPress
I’ve been an unofficial volunteer at Angie Meeker’s WordPress 101 all-day workshop for the past four years.
And despite working with WordPress for 10+ years, I always learn something new at her workshop.
This year, Angie showed attendees how to use Pantheon to install WordPress.
What an easy way to get people started with WordPress, without getting bogged down with all the details.
Anyone can get a free Pantheon account to set up two websites quickly, for free, within five minutes. You only pay when the the site goes live.
- So You Think You Can’t Video?
Loved this session with Jessica Garbarino explaining how she uses her iPhone to create and edit videos. Great tips and advice for setup, equipment, and editing.
Here are a few of Jessica’s recommendations:
- If you don’t have access to natural light, you’ll want to invest in some lighting equipment: umbrella lights or Diva Ring lights.
- Find free music for your intro and outro with the free YouTube Audio Library
- At the end of your video, include a call to action. Send people to your website, ask them to subscribe to your mailing list.
- How to Run Your WordPress Site on Your Phone
You could feel the excitement in the room when attendees discovered how easy it was to manage their WordPress site with their phone.
— Deborah Edwards-Oñoro (@redcrew) October 15, 2016
WordCamp Cincinnati planning team leader Janette O’Shaughnessy walked us through the steps of setting up our phones to run our WordPress sites.
I admit, I’ve installed the app on my smartphone. But never used it. I did this weekend!
Did you know you can write your post by dictating the post, via your smartphone?
If you add images to your posts, you might want to upload the images to the Media Gallery via your desktop (keep from using up your data plan).
Learning abt using the WP app to add images to a post directly from your phone = "I feel like I just won the showcase showdown!" #WCCincy
— Andrea Middleton (@andmiddleton) October 15, 2016
Be sure to compress the images before you upload them using something like Kraken Image Optimizer, WP Smush, or Insanity plugins.
From meeting new people, helping others to learn WordPress, discovering new tips for working with WordPress, and just hanging out in the hallway track catching up with people, I had a wonderful time at WordCamp Cincinnati.
If you attended (or didn’t and wish you had), check the WordCamp Cincinnati 2016 site in the next couple weeks for links to the conference session slideshows.
Sessions were recorded and will be uploaded to WordPress.tv soon.
Next year, I hope you consider joining me at WordCamp Cincinnati 2017!