I found it to be a very enlightening conference.
This was my first visit to a WordCamp conference, and I found it to be a very enlightening conference, not focused just on WordPress, but covering many different topics that would be useful to any business, not just one that works with WP.
The opening remarks set the tone for the conference, telling us all about where to find the Lactation Room, the Quiet Areas, and the Multi-Faith Room, so very different to conferences of the past, but a positive step forward in line with today’s expectations and values.
My role at mso now covers managing the business and admin side, having left coding behind many, many years ago, but still with my work here I need to be aware of current trends and technologies, but thankfully not the intricacies of how to implement them. Therefore I found WordCamp excellent that I could move around the different talks and not be lost in a plethora of techno talk that was over my head. The mix of talks covered a huge variety of topics including business, community, technical and design. Hence why from mso we had a mix of skillsets attending from techs, design and marketing and all found the conference useful.
The highlight talk for me was the panel discussion on Sunday, “Applying Design to Complex Problems” which certainly highlighted that all companies have problems with clients at times in justifying costs and why we are worth what we charge! How we can change that perception is a challenge all agencies face, and there is no simple answer to this one!
It was also great to attend the talk by @ajwalker to find out more about his vision of 48 sites in 48 hours and how he is trying to get the digital industry to give back to charities by collaboratively developing 48 websites for 48 charities in 48 hours! And interestingly one of the biggest challenges they face is actually finding 48 charities that want the assistance. This is one area we at mso will be keeping an eye on to see if we can help in the future.
The final talk of the conference I attended was an overview of Blockchain by David Lockie of Pragmatic fame (@divydovy) and was very interesting, although for a lapsed tech was rather hard to follow. David believes strongly that Blockchain will be a massive disruptor in the tech space over the coming year, time will tell if his vision is right or wrong, but it certainly highlighted the power of Blockchain technologies, the challenge now is how other areas of tech can embrace it and will the general public understand and adopt it.
Many thanks to all the organisers and mountain of blue t-shirted volunteers that helped put this great event together. We will certainly be attending more of these WordCamps in the future, I believe WordCamp Brighton is planned for August, so a few days by the sea could be calling!