Day One is In the Bag. Get Ready for Day Two!

I don’t know about all of you, but I had a blast yesterday!

Yes, it’s true, organizing a WordCamp is a ton of work. A TON! And in my experience, things just happen that you cannot prepare for. For me, yesterday was a lot of running around, making sure people knew where they had to go (sorry for posting the schedules outside of the rooms a bit late – won’t happen today), and doing my best to put out any fires that might come up throughout the day. Fortunately, there really weren’t many.

What I saw yesterday was three rooms, full of people, engaged audiences, and speakers covering interesting topics. A lot of smiles, and a lot of fun.

As far as the after party. . . Could we have asked for better weather or a cooler place? Nicole did a fantastic job putting it together (she also created those really cool record decorations). Great conversations were had, and I suspect there was some fun karaoke’ing going on after (I bowed out of that one).

Today, I expect the mood to be more subdued, as the Sunday of a WordCamp typically is. But having said that, I am super excited about the content that will be shared today. Whether it’s Jamie’s Immersion Track, JJJ talking about things that only JJJ can, or Erica Conway’s talk on how to package yourself for success (one I am particularly interested in), I know you’ll find today an invaluable learning experience that you’ll take with you.

As always, if you see me buzzing around the hallway, have any questions or concerns, or just want to say ‘hi’, don’t hesitate to stop me. The same is true for any of the fine folks in blue “Volunteer” WordCamp Milwaukee shirts. We’re all here to make sure that YOUR WordCamp experience is awesome!

So, with that all said, I’m packing my things and will see you all down there!

-marc

Things You Need to Know

WordCamp Milwaukee, 2016 is upon us! WOOOOHOOOOO!

Tonight it kicked off with a speaker/sponsor dinner which was a laid back affair with lots of good conversation. It was held at the Milwaukee Waterfront Deli, and from all accounts, a good time was had by all.

Saturday, registration will start at 8:00 AM with the first session starting at 9:30. This will give you all plenty of time to get that cup of coffee, socialize, and get to know each other. We expect it to be a nice, casual, intimate day with plenty of time to unwind throughout after having all of those knowledge bombs dropped on you. I’ve never been more excited about a speaker/topic lineup as I am this year, with very little redundancy and all sorts of diversity. And while we realize that we’re not covering EVERYTHING, we know we’re covering a lot of new and exciting things.

Here are some things you need to know for WordCamp:

Directions to the venue and parking information can be found here. Please bring your parking ticket in with you and have it validated for $6.00 parking (all day).

Lunch

This year lunch is on your own. We decided to do this for a couple of reasons. For one, frankly, it costs less. Adding a meal to the venue costs would have meant a price increase in your ticket. This would be well and good if the venue was in an area where there were no eateries. However, as many of us who live here know, Milwaukee is quite the foodie city, and the venue is smack-dab in the middle of downtown. Therefore, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from. We’ve created a short list here for you to choose from, but there are plenty of other options. And with two days, you’ll get the opportunity to try two different places (or more!). These are a few of our favorites, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try others and let us know what you found:
Mo’s Irish Pub
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Kiku Japanese Restaurant
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
George Webb Restaurant
Skyway Cafe
Brunch
John Hawks
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
BB’s (Build-a-Breakfast/Build-a-Burger)

WordCamp Milwaukee Photo Booth

One of our traditions is our photo booth. This year, our theme is 50s Television Shows and so our photo booth theme will have some 50s props. We’ll be shooting photos all day which can be printed, emailed, and tweeted to you. It’s loads of fun and these photos have become a favorite keepsake from our annual shindig!

Wordcamp Milwaukee BACON Bar!

We’ve already posted about it, but just as you can not have too much bacon, you also cannot have too many posts about our other big tradition: the bacon bar. At 2:40, the venue will bring out bacon and other deep-fried munchies which will remain out until it’s all gone. Get it while it’s hot and don’t hold back. The bacon bar has become one of the favorite “events” at WordCamp Milwaukee!

That’s it for now! Now let’s make WordCamp 2016 the BEST ever!

 

The After Party

pabst2

Photo by William Rieselbach, local Milwaukee Photographer (and friend). His turned out better than mine.

Let’s face it. WordCamps are great, but many times, it’s about the after party. Two years ago, we had a REALLY awesome speaker/sponsor dinner held at Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub in the old Pabst Brewery, located in Downtown Milwaukee. Personally, I think it was one of my favorites. This year, we figured, why should we only limit it to speakers and sponsors? We decided to make it the venue for the after party. We know you’re going to love it! Continue reading The After Party

The Hallway Track

The Hallway Track of WordCamp Milwaukee 2015

The Hallway Track of WordCamp Milwaukee 2015

I want to tell you about one of the most important lessons that I learned years ago. Marc Benzakein is probably the one who introduced me to the idea of the “Hallway Track” at WordCamp Milwaukee when I first attended in 2014. This is the phrase used for the most important and undocumented tracks in the WordCamp ecosystem. These are not scheduled, nor are they talks in the “presenter and audience” sense of the word. These are discussions, networking and impromptu meetings. They could last a few minutes or much longer and tend to consist of smaller groups; they can be one-on-one, they can be with one speaker and a couple of people, or it could be a couple of people who want to have a longer conversation with their laptops and turn it into the “Spare Room” track.

Continue reading The Hallway Track