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We are only two days away from WordCamp US—the largest WordPress conference in the United States. WordCamp US will take place in Nashville, Tennessee for its second year on December 7-9, 2018. As huge advocates of open source, we are stoked to be involved with the event again this year!

WordCamps are open source conferences that are community-led and organized that bring together users from all over the world. These conferences are made up of bloggers, developers, designers, and users whose varying backgrounds come together to celebrate the power of WordPress. Each camp provides community members with the opportunity to collaborate and discuss new features through interactive workshops and sessions.

2018 brought quite the change within the WordPress community — from the imminent 5.0 update to questions of accessibility within the editor. Matt Mullenweg, Automattic CEO and Co-founder of WordPress even made a surprise appearance at WordCamp Portland in November for an impromptu Q&A session at the end of the day.

This has been a busy year for the Bluehost team full of excitement and well over 20 camps from coast to coast. In the end, all roads lead to WordCamp US.

Can’t Make It?

If you cannot make it to Nashville this year, you won’t be left out! Livestream tickets are available to any and everyone at no charge. All you have to do is register in advance, here. Be sure to livestream the event to get access to each talk in real-time!

If you haven’t seen the schedule just yet, we’d suggest looking it over and making a plan for which sessions you plan to attend. Here are a few I’m looking forward to attending.

Jonathan Desrosiers – Building a Successful Code Review Culture

Bluehost core developer, Jonathan Desrosiers was invited to speak on Saturday at 2:30 pm as part of the Banjo track.

This talk is a guided tour through the process Jonathan created while working at Boston University’s Interactive Design department. He’ll discuss the technical aspects (such as the tools and integrations used), the organizational and workflow aspects, as well as the human factors, which are often ignored but are the most important to establishing a sustainable code review culture that will help your organization flourish.

Morten Rand-Hendriksen – Moving the Web Forward with WordPress

Morten is the Senior Staff Instructor at LinkedIn Learning and He’s not new to the WordPress community and continues to present insightful and informational sessions at WordCamps. This talk explores how WordPress can be used to move the internet and society forward through code, community, and political engagement.

Matt Mullenweg – State of the Word

Matt’s State of Word address is usually the highlight of camp. These have been known to include major announcements including his vision for the future of WordPress. This will be the final session of WordCamp US at 4 pm on Saturday. Be sure to get in line early!

Bringing your kiddos?

Did you know that you can bring your kids to camp? Kids are welcome for the entire event, and children under 10 get in at no additional charge. Be sure to follow these instructions to ensure a safe and fun camp.

Want to get involved?

If you’ve been considering becoming a WordPress contributor, WordCamp US is a great time to get started! Contributor Day will take place all day on Sunday, also at Music City Center. This will be a day when all of the WordPress volunteers come together to work through projects together. With so many people all over the world, this is a perfect opportunity to put a name to the faces that work so hard on the WordPress project. This year, there will also be a Hackathon at Contributor Day to set up automated accessibility testing.

Looking for ways to connect with the community?

If you aren’t a contributor or just want more opportunities to meet new people, there are lots of events going on around camp. Rachel Cherry—a known leader in the community is organizing a few group runs around popular areas of Nashville. If you want to get involved, find more information about the run here.

There are so many opportunities to get involved throughout the weekend. From a potential entrepreneur meet-up to the official after party.

What to do before camp?

We’ve created a handy list of things to be sure you pack for WordCamp. Follow this guide to fill your suitcase, but also read below for our list of things to do before you head to your first session.

1. Identify the talks you’d like to attend ahead of time

Before you arrive at camp, we’d suggest perusing the schedule and identifying sessions that look intriguing to you. This will help you create an organized schedule and plan to ensure you don’t miss any talks that you’re looking forward to.

You can even import the schedule to your calendar and remove sessions you don’t plan to attend.

2. Follow speakers and people you’d like to meet on Twitter

Following WordCamp speakers means that you may get additional and helpful information. The WordPress community is very active on Twitter, therefore most speakers will link to their slides and also provide additional tips and tricks during or after WordCamp.

3. Follow the official WordCamp US twitter handle and hashtag

If anything changes in the schedule, the official Twitter account will be the first to report it. This Twitter handle will send out pertinent information about important events and times. This could include lunch, the official after-party, or speaker and room changes.

The hashtag (#WCUS) can also be used to track giveaways from sponsors, session information, and more. Who knows, you may even see a photo of yourself floating around!

4. Find the happiness bar as soon as you register

The Happiness Bar is your go-to for help during camp. The Happiness Bar is where volunteers of all backgrounds are available to answer any questions about camp or WordPress. If you want to download a plugin, but don’t know how—stop by the Happiness Bar for help! When you register, be sure to ask where this bar is located and stop by before your first session.

The Bluehost team will have a booth downstairs near the session rooms and one upstairs where you can hang out with the team and talk WordPress.

It’s not too late for tickets! Grab your ticket today. See you in Nashville!

  • Machielle Thomas

    Machielle is a content enthusiast who has a passion for bridging the gap between audiences and brands through impactful storytelling. Machielle has also spoken at dozens of WordCamps throughout the years.

    Texas State University
    Previous Experience
    Brand Content, Content Marketing, Brand Lead, Operations Lead, Course Instructor
    Other publications
    Shopify, Contently
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