I’m going to say, with emphasis, what I think everyone is probably thinking…
LoopConf is what you wish most WordCamps were
Here’s my gist:
- Live streaming quality was excellent, because a professional crew was on-tap to handle all of it
- The logistical planning of the entire conference felt very smooth – almost invisible, really
- Vendor tables were in a single isle, making them impossible to miss and easily approachable because they needed to be constantly staffed
- Speaker quality was excellent, and I predict we will see a few presentations remixed and repackaged by others for WordCamps this year and next
- I never want to follow John O’Nolan (of Ghost fame) in a speaker lineup ever again – he is a well-prepared stage performer with relatable personality and charisma, and will easily make you second guess your own experience & abilities
- Andy Nacin’s talk was revealing, and even still, is only really half of the story
- Jeremy Felt is much more comfortable on stage than he used to be, and his Multisite presentation was spot on
- So many mentions of the REST API, but not a lot of truly practical usages yet – everyone is building WordPress minus WordPress instead of replacing existing piecemeal AJAX calls or iteratively improving WordPress itself
Full disclosure: after O’Nolan’s talk, the reality of being the last session of an intense 3 day conference became very apparent, so I trimmed 10 slides from my presentation talking about code and stuck to the high-level overview of my perspective of what building (and maintaining) big plugins is like and means to me.
It didn’t help either that vendors started breaking down their tables & displays in the middle of the talk before mine. It confirmed my suspicions that at least some people were ready to be done with the event, and demotivated me enough to cut my talk a few minutes short so everyone could call LoopConf done-done and move on to reflecting rather than ingesting. I know some events penalize vendors for this, and I’m not exactly endorsing that, but I can say in my experience that it certainly influenced my mood on stage.
Going back to the WordCamp vs. LoopConf angle, I like that WordCamps are casual and inviting, and I like that conferences like LoopConf and the WordPress.com VIP Workshop strive to achieve something more professional. I think there will be some WordCamps that try to upgrade themselves to compete, and others that will purposely stay intimate and niche. And I love that event planners have the freedom to choose what they think is best for their audiences, and that attendees are able to tweak their own experiences within the WordPress specific conference space.
LoopConf in general was super great event. It felt well executed, with plenty to do, learn, and accomplish afterwards. I hope I’m invited back next year to go more in-depth about something niche and interesting happening in the WordPress community, and if so, that I don’t end up following that O’Nolan chap again.
P.S. – here’s the recording of my talk, if you’re interested