WordCamp Grand Rapids

2012. The year in which our little WordPress group brought WordCamp to Grand Rapids. And it rocked. Due in large part to the energies of Brian Richards, a few co-coordinators, and a bunch of volunteers – WordCamp Grand Rapids was born. It a pretty big inaugural event.

Day 1 went really well, as speakers gave talks in 4 tracks (User, Community, Themer, and Dev). Speakers traveled to Grand Rapids from all over the country, and over 130 tickets sold by the time the event started.

Day 2 was really cool though I missed the morning session. Mark Jaquith and John James Jacoby led a really cool session on contributing to the WordPress core, and several patches were submitted! I also helped three different WordPress users learn about the platform during the “WordPress Study Hall,” and found out makes them tick.

The planning…

A strong subset of the WPGR monthly meetup got together to make a plan of attach for Saturday and Sunday. A lot of time went in, and it showed in how smoothly the event ran. I am also thankful to my employer, Steelcase, who supported the WordPress community by sponsoring the event.

The WordCamp Volunteer Crew
The WordCamp Volunteer Crew

And so it begins…

Grand Valley was a great venue, perfect for the number of people we had involved.

Welcome to WordCamp Grand Rapids, Hosted at GVSU
WordCamp Grand Rapids, Hosted at GVSU

The speakers…

What a lineup! Mark Jaquith, John James Jacoby, Brad Parbs, Benjamin Lotter, Kimanzi Constable, David Scott Tufts, Paul Kortman, and so on. I hopped from session to session capturing photos and tweeting on behalf of @WCGrandRapids, so I had the benefit of catching a lot of topics and yet I was unable to sit through any one talk. I look forward to catching up on the talks as they get posted to WordPress.tv.

Reid Peifer, of Modern Tribe, talks design patterns
Reid Peifer, of Modern Tribe, talks design patterns

The talk of the town…

Everyone really seemed to enjoy the event and the out-of-towners raved about Grand Rapids.

All the slides and speakers were covered in a more thorough recap over on WPCandy, so I won’t dive too deep. It always feels good to be a part of something new and truly helpful to a lot of people. It’s officially time to take down my “attending” badge, so I’ll immortalize it below. 🙂

I'm attending WordCamp Grand Rapids 2012!
**I attended!

Until WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013 then…

Announcing WordCamp Grand Rapids 2012!

WordCamp Grand Rapids 2012

For those in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area (yep, I’m looking at you Holland, Traverse City, Detroit, Chicago, Indy, Dayton, etc), the WordPress Grand Rapids crew is proud to announce that we are bringing WordCamp to Grand Rapids on August 18-19. This will be a packed weekend of learning, networking, and idea sharing as speakers give talks on how to use and build upon WordPress.

WordPress is what powers this blog, but it can also be a powerful content management system, capable of running complex business websites.

Bringing a new event to Grand Rapids generates a lot of opportunities to help build something from the ground up. It brings energy to an already thriving community. Here are some things you can do:


Whether you are a blogger, a web designer, or a hard-core PHP ninja, there will be good content to grow your WordPress knowledge. There will be 4 tracks: beginner, experienced user/entrepreneur, developer, and designer.


We need quality speakers to make this event a success. If you are a WordPress plugin developer, consultant, theme designer, or uber-blogger, your knowledge will benefit the WordPress community. Do it!


Many many many hands make light bearable work, and a great event! Administrative tasks, fundraising, A/V, party and travel planning, and the list goes on…all needed to pull this off.


Last, but not least! If your business does WordPress consulting/developing, provides WordPress-based products or services, or saves money by using WordPress, please consider giving back to the WordPress community by sponsoring the event. There are different levels of sponsorship, and all come with the great feeling of doing something good for local entrepreneurs, bloggers, and techies.

I will be doing at least two of the four, if not all four. How about you?