Thank You!

The inaugural WordCamp D.C. is now in the books, and we want to thank everyone—sponsors, speakers, volunteers, and attendees—for making it everything we could have hoped for and more. It is unconfirmed still, but we’re pretty sure that WordCamp D.C. 2017 was the second largest first-time WordCamp in a city ever (only behind WordCamp San Francisco, the precursor to WordCamp U.S.).

The organizing team has already been taking notes on how to improve things for next year, but we need to hear from you. Let us know what worked, what didn’t, what we should definitely do again, and what we should probably drop. We’ll take all that feedback into consideration as we begin preparing for WordCamp D.C. 2018.

Send us your feedback by leaving comments on this post; tweeting to @WordCampDC; posting on our Facebook page; emailing us at WordCampDC@gmail.com; or submitting through our feedback formWe want to hear from you!

Thanks again for attending, and we’re looking forward to seeing you next year!

With love & gratitude,
The WordCamp D.C. Organizing Team

Meet the Wapuus!

Greetings, WordCampers!

Every WordCamp needs its Wapuu, and WordCamp D.C. is no exception. Thanks to the talents of one of WordPress D.C.’s dedicated members—Tara Claeys—we actually have three patriotic Wapuus to serve as our exclusive mascots!

Meet Capitol Wapuu

Capitol (with an “o”, please!) Wapuu is hugging the famous dome, which recently completed a multi-year restoration project. Atop the Capitol dome is the Statue of Freedom, and it is the tallest structure in the District of Columbia.

Meet Honest Abe Wapuu

Lincoln Wapuu pays homage to our nation’s sixteenth president, with his trademark beard and top hat.

Meet D.C. Flag Wapuu

Last, but certainly not least, is D.C. Flag Wapuu, hugging the District’s colors! Officially adopted in 1938, the District of Columbia’s flag is derived from the coat of arms of George Washington and consists of three red stars above two red bars on a white field.

Of course you’ll be receiving sticker sheets at WordCamp D.C. so you can bring all of our Wapuus home with you!


But, What’s a Wapuu?

Want to know more about Wapuu and his history with WordCamps around the world? Head over to wapuu: origins.

Let’s Do Dinner

On Saturday evening we will be transforming the Carnegie from our palace of WordPress learning to our lit after-party space. So please take this time to go out and grab a bite for dinner in one of the best food cities in the United States!

Walk a few blocks south on 7th Street and you’ll come to the Gallery Place/Chinatown neighborhood of D.C., which is one of the hottest dining destinations in town.

I asked our organizing team for some of their recommendations for good places to eat, and got back a wide variety of choices. No matter your taste and budget, you’ll find a great dinner spot just a few minutes’ walk from our venue.

Cheap Eats

Saving money for something other than dinner? No need to skip a meal. We’ve got plenty of local and national low-cost eateries all around the neighborhood, including a few holes-in-the-wall favored by locals:

Mid-Priced Meals

Looking for a little more variety for not a lot more cost? Head over to one of these moderately-priced restaurants:

Time for a Splurge

Willing to spend a little more for some local flavor? Try one of these hometown favorites:

Just Desserts

If sweet treats are your thing, you could check out one of these tasty establishments:

Bon appétit!

Speaker Guidelines

Are you speaking at WordCamp DC? Great! We appreciate you offering to share your WordPress knowledge with the DC WordPress community. Here are some things to keep in mind about our speaking policy.

Speaking Policies

  • Speakers must know the subject matter they are talking about.
  • Speakers must embrace the WordPress license. This means that if they are distributing WordPress-derivative works (themes, plugins, WP distros), any person (or their business) should give their users the same freedoms that WordPress itself provides. Note: this is one step above simple compliance, which requires PHP code to be GPL/compatible but allows proprietary licenses for JavaScript, CSS, and images. 100% GPL or compatible is required for product promotion at meetups when WordPress-derivative works are involved, the same guidelines we follow on WordPress.org and our sister WordCamp events.
  • Speakers must respect the WordPress trademarks. This means they do not operate websites with the word “WordPress” in a top-level domain, they do not use the logo in a way that violates the usage policy, they do not use the trademark in AdSense/AdWords, and they do not promote people/businesses/entities that do. Speakers must ensure that WordPress is spelled correctly in presentation material, with a capital ‘P’.
  • Share > pitch. WordCamps are educational events, not marketing opportunities, so a product pitch or anything really salesy will not get you very far with the speaker selection team. If you’d like to mention your product or service in your talk that is OK, however, please keep it to a minimum of 1 slide per presentation, and no longer than 3 minutes.
  • No “pay for play.” WordCamp DC never offers speaking opportunities in exchange for sponsorship or anything else.

Preparing Your Talk

You were accepted to speak? Exciting! Keep these things in mind when putting together your presentation:

  • Our events are open to everyone. That means your audience is liable to include people of all ages, backgrounds, and inclinations. Please keep your presentation G-rated in both images and content. Your content should not alienate anyone in your audience, this includes but is not limited to, political, religious or stereotypical threads.
  • WordCamps are about WordPress. Even if your talk doesn’t center on WordPress development or design, your audience is there to learn about working with WordPress. The expectation is that speakers whose topics are not WordPress-centric will use examples from WordPress websites/admin/codebase to illustrate their points.
  • Prepare. Know your topic, have your presentation prepared ahead of time, and practice your talk to ensure a quality delivery!

Thank you to WordCamp Tampa for the awesome text.

Time to get your Gravatar on!

What’s a Gravatar?

You may have heard of an avatar before, but just in case, it’s an image that represents a person in the virtual world. Well, a GRAVATAR is a “Globally Recognized Avatar” used in the WordPress world.

If you have ever seen an image next to someone’s name who wrote a blog or comment or been to a WordCamp where participants had a photo or avatar on their nametag, that was a Gravatar!

Nice! How do I get one?
Gravatar has easy to follow instructions on their website. We have also posted a cheet-sheet below. 🙂

Really Abbreviated Gravatar Instructions
Gravatar uses your WordPress.com account. If you don’t have an account already, you can set it up while creating your Gravatar.

  1. Go to the Gravatar home page and click Sign In. Fill in your WordPress.com account information.
  2. If you don’t already have a WordPress.com account, click Need an account? to register for a new account. Create your WordPress.com account. You will need to activate the new account by following the instructions in the activation email you will receive.
  3. You are now ready to add an image (avatar), a bio, and anything else you want the WordPress world to know about you!

P.S. If you are having trouble picking an image for your Gravatar and you don’t want to use a photo of yourself, might we recommend a Wapuu?

WordCamp Is for Everyone!

“I don’t know anything about code! What’s there in a WordCamp for me?”

We’re glad you asked!

It’s certainly true that WordCamp D.C. will have amazing developer talks from some of the top minds in the WordPress world, but it will also have tons of great presentations on content, design, business, and strategy that are such a vital part of the WordPress community.

We have a number of case studies planned from the government and nonprofit sectors such as “Decentralized Content Strategy for the National Park Service” and “The Andy Warhol Museum Website Redesign.” We have talks from thought leaders on search engine optimization, social media, and “How to Build a Popular Blog and Master WordPress Even If You’re a Liberal Arts Major.”

And if you want to try something a bit more technical like “How to Understand & Use HTTP Without a CS Degree,” well, we got you covered there too!

“Will I have time to talk to people outside of the sessions?”

We call this the Hallway Track. Whether it is between sessions or during a time block where you are “free,” the opportunity to network with other designers, social media experts, business owners is stellar. Strike up a conversation with someone at lunch; you may find you  have more in common outside of WordPress than you imagined!

“I’m not a developer yet, but I’m looking to learn. Is that possible?”

We’re all about that. All day Sunday we’re holding workshops for people looking to break into the developer (and business) space with introductions to HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more. We’ll also have talks throughout the conference from novice to expert and everything in between.

WordCamp D.C. aims to cover the breadth of the WordPress universe, so come join us. Even if you don’t know your loop from your template tag, there’s still going to be lots of great content for you!

Tips for First-Time WordCampers

Are you attending your first WordCamp? What a coincidence, we’re throwing our first WordCamp! Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your WordCamp D.C. experience:

Tip 1:
There’s more going on than you think. Sure, we’ve got great talks going on during each of our speaker tracks, but don’t forget the Hallway Track, otherwise known as the interactions that go on in the public area. Network with peers or get an answer to a question you just thought of. You’ll find other attendees and speakers alike are very approachable!

Tip 2:
Say “thank you”. WordCamps would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and the help of our volunteers. So stop by the sponsor tables and thank them for their support and shake a volunteer’s hand.

Tip 3:
Bring a sweater or hoodie.

(Wat?!?)

Trust us, even if it’s 90+° outside (which is likely), Carnegie Library has ample air conditioning, as do many of the hotels, restaurants, museums, and other buildings you’re likely to visit during your time here.

Tip 4:
Bring a “swag bag.” We’re going to be giving you a tee shirt, and so will a sponsor or two. Maybe some Legos. And pens. And stickers. Sponsors are always creative in the swag they bring to WordCamps, so make sure you have a handy way to carry all those goodies.

Tip 5:
Get out and about in D.C. If you’re from out of town, make sure you schedule some time to see the sights. Check out the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall (all of which are free admission); say “Hi” to our pandas at the National Zoo (also free admission); ride one of the sightseeing buses; hop on the Metro and stroll around Arlington National Cemetery. There’s a ton of non-WordCamp activities to check out. We promise a post or two about DC coming soon!

Are you a seasoned WordCamp veteran? Share your top tips in the comments!

Where to Stay

We know some of you will be coming from out of town, and we’re excited to show you our lovely city.

WordCamp D.C. does not have an official partner hotel. As a major tourist and business destination, there are a number of hotels near the venue from which to choose. Here are just a few within easy walking distance:

Need more options? Head over to Destination D.C. with a huge list of hotels for every price point and travel preference.