WordCamp Minneapolis simply put, had a wonderful balance of new technological learning and old school party time. It’s one thing to have a city that is headquarters to one of the largest chain franchises in the world, Target. It’s another thing to walk about 4 minutes, in any direction from downtown and feel like you’re completely in a different period of time. These are some of the things I experienced while attending this years 2015 WordCamp Minneapolis.
The current local time in Minneapolis is……5:45am
I always expect that, when traveling, I’m going to be a few minutes late getting to my destination. I’m ok with that. The fact that I’m able to soar through the sky like a greek myth is amazing. So I’ll give them a break on the arrival time. I don’t know why people expect things to always work out. Giving people a break usually results in upgrades and free stuff.
My plane left Las Vegas at 1:00am. We were scheduled to land in Minneapolis at 6:30am. The pilot comes on and says “We’re starting our descent into Minneapolis, current local time is 5:15am. We have about 30 minutes until we land”. Really? We are 45 minutes early? I love that and I hate that at the same time. Here’s why. I love getting in early. It gives me the extra time to do something I may hadn’t had the chance to do. At the same time, I’m 45 minutes early into a city that’s not a 24 hour 7 days a week town. I was already scared of being in a city early, but 45 minutes earlier is even crazier.
Rolling with the local homies
If you don’t know Michelle and Dan, two amazing organizers of WordCamp Minneapolis, you’re again missing out. They are simply awesome. They had a pre-speakers event at their house that consisted of Tacos and Margaritas. We used the hashtag of #WCMPLSTACOS. Head over and see some of the pics. They’re really cool. I arrived about 3:00pm local time. The event went until 6:00pm. When my UBER pulled up, it was raining like a mother. I get out and race to the door. There is a sign on the door that says “Door’s open, come in”. I try to open the door and it’s locked. After the door becomes unlocked, I notice a sea of people. Mostly because the house is on the adorably smaller side. They pre-warned us so it’s cool. Everyone who spoke showed up and it was awesome. I hung out with the amazing Shayda Torabi of WPENGINE and her awesome WPEngine team for most of the evening.
WordCamp Minneapolis Speakers Dinner @ 612 Brew
612 brew is this amazing bar in Minneapolis. A perfect pre-WordCamp Minneapolis venue. They have these awesome pieces of art on the walls each beer is better than the previous one. Maybe I was a bit hammered by this point and that’s my own opinion. I’ll figure it out later. We arrive at the speakers party and you can read more about this on my previous post called WPEngine friends are the best friends to have. Here’s the inside scoop that I left out. We all got these amazing scarfs with the WordCamp logo embroidered on them. Super fancy. As I’m hanging out with the party people, I get a tap on the shoulder that we’re all going out for ice cream. We end up at IZZY’s ice cream and it was amazing. I take an uber and I’m home by 11:00pm.
Speaking at WordCamp Minneapolis
I was able to speak this year at WordCamp Minneapolis. First of all, I’m very thankful to all of the organizers. Second, my presentation was called “Where does my code go? Plugin or Theme?” I really didn’t know how this presentation was going to end up. I’ve practiced it for two months. I worked out kinks and edited slides until the early hours of every morning. I watched videos from previous WordCamp Minneapolis events to get a sense of the audience. The truth is, until you get there, you never know how it’s going to turn out. Lucky for me, I’m pretty good at making educated guesses. My turnout was great and I had a bunch of people asking questions. I love answering questions. The other presentations were simply incredible. I learned some awesome stuff about Vagrant and VVV, not to mention VV from Brad Parbs. I’m pretty sure he gave me VVV. There’s a pill for that. I’m pretty sure there is anyway.
I was able to hang out at the Happiness Bar and help people with their problems. Being the answer to one’s problems is a true joy. Having someone light up and say “THANK YOU”, and truly mean it makes all of this WordPress stuff worth it. It defiantly makes speaking / attending WordCamp Minneapolis worth going to, over and over again.
Pig Ate My Pizza
If you’ve never heard of this place, you may assume that I got the name wrong. I didn’t by the way. That’s how you say it. Shayda from WPENGINE found it and asked a bunch of people to fly out there and get a few slices of pizza. This was after the WordCamp Minneapolis day one events came to a close. Speakers ended their sessions and bam. We’re off for pizza. This place was nuts. Crazy busy, smelled like a great place to eat. A few WordCamp Minneapolis speakers shared some pizza while I got my own just because I was super hungry. Oh yeah, this was before we went to the after party for WordCamp Minneapolis. They had food there.
WestWerk: WordCamp Minneapolis After Party
WordCamp Vegas usually throws the after party at a bar. Why? It’s Vegas. Other WordCamps head out to a restaurant or a banquette hall. Not WordCamp Minneapolis. We headed down to this place called WestWerk. They had pool tables, foosball and video games all in the same location. They recently created all of the marketing for a beer brand. So it’s safe to say that all of the beer on hand was courtesy of them. How cool is that? Do some work and have some people sponsor your own after party event. They truly made WordCamp Minneapolis a hit.
Thanks for reading and here are a few selected photos. By a few, I mean all of them!