WordCamp Phoenix 2023 – Recap

WordCamp Phoenix 2023 was a incredible camp! The placement was excellent, the camp was very nicely attended, and the organizers, audio system, and volunteers had been superior.  I’m so fortunate to have been in a position to attend!

Arriving for WordCamp Phoenix 2023

My one-hour flight from LA was very easy. For these of you who’ve flown to Phoenix earlier than, you’ll know that on most days, it’s windy and it may very well be just a little scary to land there. However I used to be fortunate, and all the things went nice.

After checking in on the lodge, I went all the way down to the foyer to satisfy with Ericka Barboza whom I had not seen since WordCamp US in 2022, and we gave one another an enormous hug.

We then had a chunk to eat at Barrel & Bushel situated within the foyer of the lodge and we received caught up on work and camp stuff.

Barrel and Bushel
Ericka and I having fun with a sandwich at Barrel & Bushel

Speaker-Sponsor Occasion

Thursday evening was the Speaker-Sponsor occasion at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. situated in Downtown Phoenix, just a few blocks from the lodge the place we had been staying.

As we walked to the situation, we realized how hustling and bustling the world has turn into. Fairly a distinction from the final time I used to be there in 2020.

As we walked in, we acknowledged the group of WordCampers and we couldn’t wait to say hello to everybody.

We bumped into James Tyron from Simply Amused. Ericka and I had not seen James since WordCamp US in 2022 and we received caught up on new initiatives he’s engaged on along with his firm.

Whereas attempting a number of the native beer, we received an enormous hug from Adam Warner from GoDaddy and chatted with Dave Ryan with Bluehost and Newfold Digital.

I’ve recognized Dave for a very long time, from many camps in the past. Dave lives in Phoenix and can be one of many organizers of the camp and he informed me he had been very busy engaged on the camp.

He had a forged on his arm as he had fallen and injured himself, however he mentioned he was doing nice and was in superb spirits.

Speaker Sponsor Event
Speaker-Sponsor Occasion

I then noticed Kathy Zant of KadenceWP. Kathy and I had recognized one another for a few years and used to run into one another the evening earlier than every camp whereas checking into motels with bell carts loaded with swag.

I had promised her an enormous hug, and I gave her a very large one and I hugged her many occasions throughout the camp.

What can I say, I’m an enormous hugger!

After individuals had been having fun with native tacos, Raquel Landefelt, the camp Sponsor Wrangler, went on stage, gave presents to every speaker, and thanked all of the sponsors.

Matthew Clancy, the Lead Organizer, additionally got here on stage to introduce himself and say his thank yous. Everyone knows that nothing would occur with out the unimaginable work and fervour of the organizers.

Because the night went on, we met numerous outdated and new buddies, equivalent to Maddy Osman from the Blogsmith, and Jessica Spart, additionally a part of the organizing staff. And we went on having nice conversations with everybody.

First Day of Camp

WordCamp Phoenix 2023 was held at Events on Jackson, a big and beautifully-restored former fruits and vegetable warehouse constructed within the Nineteen Thirties inside strolling distance of Downtown Phoenix.

I liked this venue in 2020 and I nonetheless suppose it’s a excellent location for this camp.

Getting Prepped

Ericka and I walked in and received our registration badges. The very first thing we did was cease by the swag desk to get our WordCamp Phoenix swag and to thank the volunteers who had been there for all of the work they do at these camps.

We noticed Michelle Frechette, Director of Group Engagement at StellarWP. Earlier, Michelle had tweeted that if you happen to took a pic along with her and retweeted it with a selected tag, there could be a donation made to BigOrangeHeart whose focus is supporting and selling constructive well-being and psychological well being inside distant working communities.

So, the very first thing I did was take that image along with her and publish it on social media, as most of the different individuals within the camp did as nicely.

Michelle and Anna WordCamp Phoenix
Michelle Frechette and Anna Gargioni taking an image at WordCamp Phoenix 2023

Kathy Zant was standing and the Kadence sales space, which was the primary sales space on the entrance of the venue, and naturally, we hugged once more!

Somebody had posted on Twitter that if you happen to had been on the camp, you needed to say hello to Chad Beatty with Rocket.web, who can be one of many sponsors, so I appeared for the desk and I did simply that.

I additionally met with Baljinder Singh with wpspins.com who informed me he is aware of our very personal Marco Berrocal. He was serving to out on the Happiness Bar and we chatted just a little bit.

Whereas ready for the camp to begin, I bumped into Alex Vasquez whom I met at WordCamp Lengthy Seaside in 2019 the place he was on the organizing staff, and Matt Kopala with SiteDistrict, whose travels I observe on social media.

It was good to see them once more and catch up.

Beginning Day One

On day one, I used to be in a position to attend just a few shows. “Social Media and Rising Your Viewers” by Darreyl Davis was very fascinating to me.

Darreyl is an Ohio native who has lived in Arizona for 15 years. In his presentation, he talked about methods to create partaking content material for social media, optimize your web site for optimum visibility, and measure the success of selling campaigns.

He additionally invited a shock visitor speaker on the stage, Maddison Gaffney, a social entrepreneur, group builder, and educator with over 100K followers on social media who shared her expertise and the way she received the place she is whereas answering questions from the attendees.

Earlier than the lunch break, I additionally watched “Make The Not possible Doable: Create a Lasting Impression in your Group by Doing Work Price Doing” by Keely O’Connor. It was an inspirational presentation that left the attendees with the next concept: “Take motion, imagine in your self, you’re the director and producer of your life”.


At lunchtime, we loved taco bowls within the outside space of the occasion house. We sat across the spherical tables and chatted with everybody. The Arizona solar was good and heat, though we had been sitting within the shade.

It was a fantastic setting for lunch!

Lunchtime at WordCamp Phoenix
Lunchtime at WordCamp Phoenix underneath the Arizona heat solar

Within the afternoon, we adopted Cheryl Marquez, who mentioned a really fascinating and scorching matter which is “Running a blog within the age of AI: Keep Related and Aggressive.”

She mentioned varied AI instruments and the constraints of these instruments. I discovered it to be a really fascinating presentation.

After day one of many camp was over, Ericka and I handled ourselves to dinner at The Compass. It’s a revolving restaurant situated on the very high ground of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix.

Dinner was scrumptious as was the wine, and the views of Downtown Phoenix had been superior. However the very best half was sharing private tales between us.

We grew to become a lot nearer that evening.

Ericka and Anna at the Compass
Having fun with a scrumptious dinner on the Compass Restaurant

Day Two of Camp

On Day Two of WordCamp Phoenix, Ericka and I attended numerous the shows.

Within the morning, I watched Alicia St. Rose who’s a part of my native Meetup. She talked concerning the block editor in her presentation “You’re Invited to a Block Social gathering.”

Alicia was very informative, and he or she additionally had get together music at some factors of her presentation which made for a enjoyable hour.

After that, we listened to James Tyron speak concerning the new Website Editor in ”Taking pictures Hoops with WordPress’s New Website Editor: Ideas and Methods for Elevating your Website-Constructing Recreation.”

Earlier than lunch, we watched Maddy Osman discuss Content material UX in “Content material UX: Create a Nice Reader Expertise.” I appreciated it when she mentioned, “A very good person expertise is nearly invisible”.

I agree 100% with that.

Lunchtime on the Camp on Day Two

Lunchtime arrived and it appeared just like the morning went so quick. We sat within the outside house once more and chatted with individuals sitting at our desk, together with Maddy Osman, Christina Hills of WebsiteWorkshopCreation.com, Cheryl Marquez, and Donald Luke who’s a part of my native Santa Clarita Meetup.

I’ve been on so many Zoom Meetups as we each attended just about in the previous few years. It was good to satisfy in individual for a change and chat about issues occurring locally.

Within the afternoon, we watched just a few extra shows, Femi Lewis in “Construct your On-line Presence: Brainstorming Workout routines to Develop your Content material Technique”, Robert Windisch in “ Scale WordPress/WooCommerce”, and Subh Sahal in “Securing your WordPress Web site: Finest Practices and Ideas for Inexperienced persons”.

All of the shows had been actually fascinating!

And similar to that, it was already time for closing remarks. Matthew Clancy invited all of the volunteers to return to the stage to offer them a particular thanks for his or her work. Volunteers are an integral a part of camps they usually actually deserved our appreciation.

Closing Remarks WordCamp Phoenix 2023
Some organizers and volunteers being cheered on the stage at closing remarks

The After Social gathering

The After Social gathering was additionally held at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. in the identical outside heated coated patio the place the Speaker-Sponsor occasion was held the evening earlier than.

It was a very nice night, and the Arizona climate was excellent. We had been all excited and drained from the 2 days of camp however able to get together.

We had drinks and meals and talked to lots of people together with Carol Stambaugh and Jessica Spart from the organizing staff. Then we met a number of the attendees whom we had not met on the Sponsor and Speaker dinner equivalent to Tammy White and William Bay.

Earlier than we knew it, the clock struck midnight and we needed to head again to the lodge and get some relaxation, particularly Ericka who was occurring an extended journey again to Costa Rica the subsequent day.

After Party in Phoenix
From Left to Proper: Anna Gargioni, Ericka Barboza and Jessica Spart

Sadly, it was time to say goodbye to Ericka. We hugged many occasions within the lodge foyer combating again tears. I’ll miss Ericka very a lot and hope to see her once more at a camp quickly.

The subsequent day, I headed to the airport to catch my return flight to LA. I took an image of the downtown space from the lodge room ground and mentioned goodbye (or goodbye) to Phoenix.

From the Hotel
One final image from the lodge earlier than I am going house

One other WordCamp Phoenix is within the books!

An enormous thanks to the organizers, audio system, sponsors, volunteers, and naturally, the Phoenix WordPress group.

Till subsequent 12 months!