WordSesh 2022 kicks off Monday, May 16, with a lineup of world-class speakers and hands-on workshops – WP Tavern
WordSesh 2022, the live virtual conference for WordPress professionals, is fast approaching. The event runs from May 16-20, 2022. While previous WordSesh events have always been high quality, this particular edition is filled with a diverse selection of industry experts – many of whom have built projects at strong impact with WordPress for years.
This year’s WordSesh will include 20 sessions, 3 keynotes and two in-depth workshops. On May 19 at 8:00 PM EDT, frontend developer Ellen Bauer of Elma Studio will walk users through a workshop on how to “convert a classic theme to a block theme.” If you’re a theme developer who hasn’t taken the plunge into block themes, this workshop will help you get started:
Together, we’ll set up the header and footer in a block theme, learn how to work with templates and template parts, configure page content, and dive into how styles work.
Throughout the workshop, we’ll discuss which website projects can benefit the most from FSE’s new features, the limitations we still face, and the future of WordPress themes.
The second workshop will be given by Tiffany Bridge, Product Manager at Nexcess, on May 20. It will give attendees insight into how to prepare their web properties for a high traffic event.
One of the most exciting sessions on the program is the May 19 keynote. The team that rebuilt WhiteHouse.gov on WordPress in just six months will join the event to talk about the project. Other topics on the program include custom block development, headless WordPress, hacking, customer services, performance, accessibility, and user experience.
In 2021, Brian Richards, founder of WPSessions.com and organizer of WordSesh, transitioned the event to be more inclusive of time zones around the world. This year’s event will take place over four days, with time differences to suit a global audience. The first block of sessions is optimally scheduled for participants from across Asia and the Pacific. Day 2 is designed for participants from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Day 3 will be for participants from the Americas, Iceland and Greenland.
“In 2019 and 2020 I ran entirely separate events for each region, but in 2021 I’ve combined them into one event,” Richards said. “I found it much easier to get people excited and paying attention to a big WordSesh event.
“It feels more inclusive this way, although the separate events were also open to attendees from around the world. I think it’s mainly because there are Something which is conveniently programmed for someone no matter where they live. And with just one event, watching the recordings is more like catching up on the bits you missed rather than trying to watch talks for an event that was made for someone else.
The schedule changes seem to be working, as the last event in 2021 had 3,600 attendees, making WordSesh the second largest WordPress community event behind WCEU 2020.
Richards continues to curate a list of high-quality speakers year after year, with the help of attendee surveys, which reveal where people spend their time, attention and money. WordSesh pays its speakers and Richards also invests time in personal outreach. Thanks to this combination, he said the schedule was filling up quickly.
“I think paying speakers certainly helps bring in such amazing presenters, but I guess that’s more the icing on the cake for most speakers,” Richards said. “The biggest draw is probably the WordSesh story (it’s the 9th year and 12th event, officially), aided by the ever-growing reach of my own personal network.”
Until 2021, Richards ran events entirely by himself. Last year, he hired a part-time assistant and also started outsourcing video editing, which helped him run the event more efficiently. It’s quite an achievement to have hosted WordSesh for so many consecutive years when many comparable virtual WordCamps of this caliber often rely on a large team of volunteers and organizers.
Registration for WordSesh is still open and it is free for anyone to attend. The event will be captioned live by real people and all sessions will be recorded for later purchase on WPSessions.