October 17 at the Virginia Beach Tidewater Community College Advanced Technology Center marked a significant first for the area – the first official WordCamp in the Hampton Roads. With the guidance of the local WordPress Meetup group and InMotion Hosting’s Tim Sisson, the event was efficiently planned with a variety of speakers and topics. The one day event included 19 speakers, with many sessions within 3 different rooms of the Advanced Technology Center (ATC). Topics varied from beginner level “I have my WordPress site, now what?” to developer interests such as the WordPress REST API which stands for Representational State Transfer Application Program Interface. Easier to say REST API, right? The organizers worked to provide a wide array of topics in order to meet the different type of WordPress users who would be attending.
The event started early on that Saturday morning with volunteers scrambling to get the name tags in place and in order for the registration table. Coffee was brewed and provided next to the vendor tables.
The InMotion Hosting table was setup and filled with swag that was quickly gobbled by arriving WordCamp attendees. The event sold 160 tickets but in addition to the volunteers and speakers close to 200 people were involved in the event. A popular Mediterranean restaurant named Azars provided a great lunch for the attendees adding to the almost festive atmosphere.
The ATC rooms were beautiful and functional for the WordCamp providing lots of space and ample presentation options for the speakers. The typical “Happiness Bar” was manned by both InMotion Hosting employees and local expert users to help answer WordPress questions. One tough question with Woo Commerce was resolved by our experts within InMotion’s Website Design services.
The day passed quickly but with new friends made and new things learned. When the WordCamp ended, an after party was held at the Eagle’s Nest in Virginia Beach complete with a mechanical bull, line dancing, open bar, and a great food spread. We look forward to making this an annual event where we can continue to promote the understanding and use of WordPress. We want to keep WordCamp HamptonRoads as a great destination and educational event where can show a little bit of our area, our people, and our company.