Stole that title from Josh Koenig. Thanks. WordCamp Los Angeles 2015 is over and done with, at least in one sense. There are still things to clean-up and close-out for the organizing team and get things ready for the next WordCamp.
My hope is that all of you who attended, attendees, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers—got something out of this and that you enjoyed your experience. For those of you attending the first time, welcome! I hope you received a glimpse into what we feel makes this community special. We love it and so do a great many others. I think that shows with so many people giving their time so generously.
WordCamps take many months of planning to pull off, regardless of their size. Our WordCamps wouldn’t be possible without generous donations from our amazing sponsors. So, if you would, go on and thank them on Twitter, Facebook or where ever it is they have a presence. To our sponsors, THANK YOU! We know that sponsoring isn’t an opportunity to advertise and may not seem like the most savvy business decision. However, it is an investment in the community and that is what matters most. Being present and connecting within the community. I’m glad to see so many sponsors who understand this and really take time to participate and engage. I know our attendees appreciate it.
To our awesome speakers. THANK YOU. Thanks for traveling from far and wide, on your own dime, to share your knowledge. I hope you came away feeling your time was worth it. We were thrilled to have each and every one of you as speakers. We had a lot of new voices to go along with some old favorites. We got to experience new ways of looking at old problems, from making a making a more accessible web to how we look at the concept of a digital-afterlife and so much more. It’s you lot that our attendees pay to see, so thanks for making us look amazing. =)
To our WCLAX volunteer militia, THANK YOU. It’s not easy sitting down in 95+ degree weather, putting a smile on your face, getting up super-duper early and doing a lot of hard work. It’s a thankless job, at times, but it’s appreciated. This has been the smoothest camp we’ve been a part of and that’s in large part to your dedication and love to and for the community. We’re not worth! We’re not worthy!
Our volunteer organizers also get a huge THANKS and our gratitude. These are folks who took up a particular task and saw it through, start to finish so we didn’t have to worry about it. A huge shout out to Se Reed for making the after party happen. We never have to worry about a thing; she just does it and more important hits under the budget ensuring the WordPress foundation doesn’t strangle us. I want to personally thank Beebe Lee for scouting out and selecting a most excellent spot for our speaker/sponsor dinner. I said, “I want to feed a lot of people and not have to stay until 3am to clean-up.” She delivered. ++++++A would buy from again. Thank you, Beebe, for making my life so much easier. Next, I want to thank Ryan Cowles, for constructing and putting up the WordCamp LA website. You’re a good kid, but shave your beard, hippy! Also, I would like to thank Kari Leigh Marucchi, of Found Art Photography. She flew clear across the country just to snap photos of our event. How awesome is that? Kari Leigh, you’re a star. Thank YOU! Lastly, Bridget Willard; undoubtedly you saw our social engagement was “on fleek.” Rather, it was on-point. We asked Bridget to help the day before tickets went on sale. She hit a home run for us and required little to no direction from us. She loves what she does and it shows, doesn’t it? THANK YOU!
I would like to give a big shout out to our super heroes at the WordPress Foundation, Michael Wiggington, Andrea Middleton, Brandon Dove, Cami (Cam Bam) Kaos, and Josepha Haden. Your guidance and help makes running these things so easy. Seriously. We couldn’t do this without your support! You all rock!
Finally, I want to thank my fellow organizers. Everyone has lives to juggle and thank you for adding WordCamp planning to the mix. I’ve said it multiple times: This has been the easiest camp to organize. Natalie MacLees (Awesome brand design and a lot of other heavy lifting), Adam Silver (Volunteer Wrangler), Greg Douglas (Speaker Wrangler), and Nathan Tyler (Sponsor Wrangler, Rental Truck Driver). Please help me in thanking them. If you see them online, please thank them. If you see them in person, buy them a beer, or a snow cone. They deserve it.
You all made it so easy because you all just handled what needed to be done. My sanity thanks you!
Next time, let’s try not to spill curry on the shirts or let Natalie’s cats sit in the shirt boxes. Oh and if any of your are allergic to cats, you can blame this guy:
What I’d like to leave you with are these thoughts… Community. It doesn’t just happen. It happens when people make a decision to get involved. I those of you who are just getting a taste of the community to keep coming back and to get involved. For those of you who do participate, ask yourself: “What else can I do to participate?” The answer is that there are lots of ways to give back to the community.
A great community really is a gift and it is only as good as what we, within the community, put back into it. Not everything within the community is sunshine and rainbows, of course, but it is what we make it and that’s something that we have the ability to affect positively. That only happens when we’re present and participate. Fortunately we’re pretty good about making sure our community rocks!
What you learned, who you met, how you were inspired will go on with you where ever you go. One thing that is a unifying theme at Camps is that it’s important to take all that knowledge and all those good vibes and put them back out into the world around you, however it is you do that just find the way that works for you. For some, they write books, or inspire women to write code. For others, they inspire people to design the type of businesses they can be proud of using their larger-than-life-persona, some create nifty podcasts that “pull back the curtain” behind what goes on behind the scenes of the world of WordPress, while others code up a storm and create products and deliver projects with amazing skill and dedication… I could go on and on, but we’re not writing a book here. (actually, I did, didn’t I?)
My point is that there are many ways to take what you’ve learned and absorbed and put that back into the world. How will you do it? What will be your story? For me, that’s probably the best part of a WordCamp; and that’s to see who the next awesome person is to share what they know and wow audiences. Any of us can do that. How will YOU accomplish that?
Thank you all! Let’s do it again soon!