We are proud to announce that 34SP.com will be sponsoring the forthcoming WordCamp Manchester 2016 as a Platinum Sponsor. The event takes place on 22rd & 23rd October 2016 at Manchester Metropolitan University’s new Business School building. We’re really looking forward to sponsoring our home town WordCamp for the third year running.
Our enthusiastic and friendly WordPress team will be making the short trip across town, where they will be manning our stand and handing out some awesome freebies. The day will begin at 8:30 am with registration and opening remarks to follow at 9:00 am. The speakers will be featured throughout the rest of the day until about 5:00 pm at which time the after conference social will be held at the nearby Black Dog NWS.
In addition to the team, the giant Wapuu first seen at WordCamp London is expected to make an appearance. Don’t miss out on having your photo taken with Wapuu! We’re delighted that our very own WordPress experts Kayleigh Thorpe & Keith Hyde will be giving their first WordCamp talk, entitled “Battling The White Screen of Death: A Tech Support Tale“. Both Kayleigh and Keith have years of experience supporting WordPress users and we can’t wait for them to share their knowledge with the Manchester WordPress community.
Day 2 will consist of a Contributor Day. For those not familiar – WordPress Contributor Days are a way for anyone of any experience level to give back to the WordPress community by contributing their experience and time to assist in tasks such as helping on WordPress support questions, generating documentation, reviewing themes, or helping with accessibility or translations. These are just a few of the many types of activities that a Contributor Day can offer. This year’s contributor day is free to attend and lunch is included as well. The location will be the Auto Trader offices in the city centre.
If you haven’t picked up your ticket yet, we’re sorry to say that tickets for the event have already sold out. However you can always catch members of our team at monthly user group meetups, such as Manchester’s MWUG or Leeds’ WPLeeds. If you are planning on attending, don’t forget drop by the 34SP.com stand or grab one of the team for a chat and some free swag. See you there!
34SP.com caught up with the show organisers: Rhys Wynne (@rhyswynne) – Lead Developer of Winwar Media and WP Email Capture, Claire Worthington (@WorthyOnTheWeb) from Worthy On The Web and Hugo Finley (@hflf) with www.hflf.co.uk. Here are their thoughts on this year’s event.
What is new for WordCamp Manchester this year?
Hugo: New speakers, and some old favourites too. I think we are feeling a bit more grounded so although this WordCamp is not groundbreaking in any way – it is feeling stable.
Rhys: I think this year’s WordCamp builds on last years. We’ve tried to listen to feedback and improve on what was a great WordCamp last year. I cannot give anything anyway, but one thing is new is the swag. We’re not giving away T-Shirts, but this year we have a nice swag item that we have been told is unique!
What do you think will be the most interesting or exciting aspect of WordCamp Manchester 2016?
Hugo: Personally I am looking forward to a number of the speakers, meeting new people and seeing and speaking to many of the sponsors, you always forget how important it is to have plenty of networking time at these events.
Rhys: I am quite looking forward to some of the talks. Usually as a lead organiser you don’t see many talks as you’re running around all day. I don’t want to single out any of the talks as ones I’m particularly looking forward to as they are all great, but personally I always quite enjoy the business themed talks. It’s something I’m personally looking to grow in 2016.
The tickets for the main conference have been sold out for a while now. Are there any thoughts of increasing the size of WordCamp Manchester 2017 to accommodate demand?
Claire: It’s amazing that WordCamp Manchester has been so popular, we were selling tickets before we had even confirmed our speakers. We are definitely open to the idea of offering more tickets next year but it would depend on a number of different things. As WordCamp is a community event it’s important to keep the cost of the tickets down so a lot would depend on being able to guarantee enough sponsorship to support a bigger event.
Hugo: In short yes I think next year we can consider growing, I think our partnership with MMU is important so it depends on whether we can reach an agreement with them about adding new spaces to our event. I am generally pleased with the idea of growth, I think we would also have to revisit our budgeting and possibly look at a wider sponsorship along with lowering other costs.
Rhys: It has already been discussed this year. Sadly we have budgeted for a 150 person conference this year, but thankfully we have a great partner with MMU, and expansion is definitely on the cards. As to how many? I’m not sure, but 50, maybe 100, may be possible.
If someone is truly interested in getting into WordCamp Manchester 2016 – is there anything they can do? Are there any extra tickets laying around?
Claire: They could join us on Sunday for our WordPress Contributor Day. It’s free of charge and we’re providing lunch. If anybody notifies us that they won’t be able to use their ticket for conference day, we will make sure that they are put back on sale. Unfortunately we don’t have any extra tickets laying around, but the team have been chasing people to make sure that any unclaimed sponsor tickets are released.
Rhys: As of right now we haven’t got any spares, but all talks are being filmed and will be placed on WordPress.tv after the event.
Given that the demand is so high – what do you see as the driving force for the increased interest in WordPress in Manchester?
Claire: There has always been a big interest in WordPress here in Manchester and we have a really active WordPress community. We all met through MWUG, the Manchester WordPress User Group, which is a free monthly meetup run by Mike Little, Co-Founder of WordPress. MWUG is an opportunity for anybody that uses WordPress to turn up and find out more. There are usually two presentations which helps keep us all up to date on WordPress related news and gives us the opportunity to learn new things. They also run a clinic where you can ask for help if you are stuck on something. You literally just turn up with your laptop and somebody in the room will help you.
Hugo: I think that much of the demand comes from the growth of WordPress and its use. Plus WordCamps are a very good value.
Rhys: I think it’s slowly reaching out more. When I was starting at WordPress it was purely a blogging platform and WordCamps were purely bloggers or developers. Now more and more you see crossover, which I’m seeing in the attendees list and WordCamps around the UK. I’m seeing more and more people who are not traditional developers or bloggers at WordCamps, which is great. We hope we can provide value!