Those, like myself, who live outside the San Diego metropolitan area and purchased 2018 WordCamp San Diego tickets for the April 14-15, 2018 event need to plan ahead. Prior to WordCamp, attendees should consider factors such as travel time, traffic, weather, the cost of admission, lodging, and meals. Tickets (now sold out) are only $40, and for this price attendees can participate in both days’ events. I anticipate spending both days at the event.
Furthermore, WordCamp attendees should think about what to bring and what to wear. I plan on wearing casual attire and having promotional materials (business cards, caps, etc.) on hand. And yes – I have figured out how to get to the WordCamp event location, San Diego City College. I will keep in mind that the event is located close to where the I-15 and the CA-163 freeways intersect, and is about an hour-long drive from where I live. On the first day of the event, prior to the 7:45 a.m. registration time, I plan to drive myself to San Diego. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the traffic and weather will be good.
Travel and Lodging for WordCamp San Diego 2018
Based on what I have heard and read about lodging in Downtown San Diego, the rates for the city’s hotel and motel rooms range in price from $70 to $528 per night. For budget-conscious travelers, there is Motel 6 and the Ramada San Diego North Hotel, as well as the Ramada San Diego Airport hotel. Those who can afford to splurge can choose between the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, the Westin Gaslamp Quarter, and the luxurious Marriott Marquis San Diego – just to name a few. For practical reasons, I might stay the night in Downtown San Diego with a relative rather than rent a hotel (or motel) room in the area.
There will be ample parking at the venue, good news for those planning on driving their own vehicles to WordCamp. For those who prefer other means of transportation, there are nearby trolley and bus stops, the San Diego airport, and a train station.
Speakers, Presentations, and More
Upon arrival at WordCamp San Diego on April 14, 2018, an attendee can choose to attend presentations from any of three tracks. For Saturday, I would describe these as a “technical” or developer track, a design track, and a Gutenberg track. This track features Gutenberg, the much-anticipated block-based editor to be included in the upcoming release of WordPress 5.0.
Three presentations will begin in three separate rooms at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Of those three, I plan to attend Christopher Tuttle‘s Experimenting with Design presentation. He will talk about the advantages of using A/B testing to aid in website conversion. Afterwards, at 10 a.m., I will likely stay seated for speaker Amber Hewitt‘s How to Level Up Your Web Design Skills presentation, which is for attendees who want to take their web design skills to the next level.
Using Each Project to Make the Next Better and Faster, led by speaker Jason Adams, is another presentation I am interested in. Mr. Adams will focus on reusing elements from past projects to improve efficiency over the inefficient process of creating projects from scratch. His presentation, part of the technical track, is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 14th.
Even More to Look Forward To
There are quite a few other Saturday WordCamp presentations that are worth attending, some of which have WordPress experts as their target audience. Admittedly, I am new to WordPress and prefer to attend WordCamp presentations that are relevant to what I am learning now. Topics such as Mika Epstein‘s The Curious Case of the Comatose Cloud may be a bit “over my head” (pun intended). Mika will be talking about how using a CDN increases website speed. Since I’m not even quite sure what CDN technology is, I probably won’t get a lot out of that one. Experienced WordPress developers would likely benefit more than from Mika’s presentation.
For those new to WordCamp, it’s important to understand that not all presentations are appropriate for all attendees. In order to get the most out of my experience, I have carefully reviewed the WordCamp schedule in advance to identify the presentations that will likely be most helpful to me.
For More Advanced WordPress Users
Speaker Tessa Kriesel‘s presentation entitled Developing a Culture of Mentorship is also aimed at experienced industry professionals. She will address developers in a position to mentor newer developers and explain the benefits of doing so. As an intern myself, I am not currently mentoring anyone. I don’t question that I would benefit from this presentation. Being relatively new to WordPress, however, I’ve decided to focus on the design track. It seems that the presentations in the design track are most suited to someone in my situation.
I do hope to have an opportunity to talk with Tessa Kriesel, Mika Epstein and some of the other presenters at some point on Saturday. After all, interaction with others in the WordPress community is one of the most valuable aspects of any WordCamp. There will be eighteen presentations on the first day of WordCamp, likely providing something of interest for everybody. Lunch will be provided as well.
The Second Day of WordCamp San Diego 2018
Day two of WordCamp, Sunday, April 15, will feature another good selection of speakers. Among them is keynote speaker Dre Armeda, a resident of Menifee, CA. His Keynote: How Transition Can Empower Your Business presentation will focus on how his military background brought him success. Mr. Armeda’s presentation will start at 11 a.m. Speaker Michelle Ames‘ The “Hidden” Features of WordPress will be among the other presentations on Sunday. The start time for her presentation is 12 p.m. It will provide tips and tricks based on some of the less well known—but still extremely useful—aspects of WordPress.
Altogether, there will be sixteen presentations on April 15th, one of which will explore Custom Roles and Capabilities in WordPress. That presentation—a part of the technical track—will be led by speaker Pete Nelson. There will also be a design-track presentation entitled SEO in an Hour for WordPress, which could help me improve my optimization skills. That one will be led by speaker Lindsay Halsey. From what I can tell, the second day of WordCamp San Diego is on track to be a successful one.
More to Come
According to accuweather.com, there will be plenty of sunshine in the San Diego area throughout the two-day event. The sunny weather should give people one more excuse to get out of the house and go to WordCamp. Of course, there is also the after party to look forward to. On Saturday, from 7 to 11 p.m., the after party will be held at the San Diego Museum of Man. To gain entry to the after party, one must show a WordCamp San Diego badge. Light refreshments will be available. Readers, you can join in on the fun—or stay home. I am choosing the former.