WooConf 2014: The Best WooConf Ever
WooThemes may have peaked too early… We have no idea how they are going to top their first WooConf, held November 3rd and 4th in San Francisco.
The Prospress team were thrilled to be a part of it, and all agree that the event totally exceeded our expectations!
The first #wooconf was an outrageous success. Classy and uplifting. Congratulations to the whole @woothemes team! pic.twitter.com/6g3l45Wtn4
— Brent Shepherd (@thenbrent) November 4, 2014
For anyone that missed out, we’ve pulled together all the links we could find in a recap so that you can try to recreate the experience in your own home.
Be warned though, the teams at WooThemes and A2E did an amazing job decking out The Village with purple hues and creative touches (WooThemes jenga, nerdy terreriums), which would be hard to replicate.
But perhaps you can dust off your purple lava lamp (or stick some purple cellophane over a light), mix yourself a Bloody Mary, and begin to recreate the vibe…
State of the Woo
The event kicked off with Co-Founder of WooThemes Mark Forrester presenting the State of the Woo.
In a stroke of good timing, WooCommerce passed five million downloads right before the conference kicked off! Some other numbers:
- WooCommerce has 380,000 site installations
- 17.91% of all eCommerce websites are on WooCommerce
- WooThemes now has 45 team members from 16 different countries
- There were 294 contributors to version 2.2 of WooCommerce
- 40 developers (of WooCommerce extensions) are now on the WooThemes payroll
- ThemeForest has 1,379 themes supporting WooCommerce
- CodeCanyon has 442 WooCommerce plugins
Mark announced that WooCommerce 2.3—the Handsome Hippo—will help WooCommerce move towards its future goals of becoming more scaleable, implementing Unit Testing, and providing more documentation and educational resources.
Day 1 – All the Learning
Day 1 was jam-packed with eCommerce learning and great presenters.
- Brennan Dunn showed us how Quick Wins to Make Your Store More Valuable.
- Cyndie Shaffstall taught us how to encourage our customers to Buy More! Buy Now! Buy Again!
- Joshua Eichorn of Pagely went through the technical details of Scaling WooCommerce.
- David de Boer demonstrated 10 things you can do to Improve Your WooCommerce Sales Without UX Testing.
- Kandace Brigleb of Needmore Designs gave what was probably my favourite presentation of WooConf on How Participant Observation Makes for Killer Web Design. (I’m hoping to line up an interview with Kandace, so keep an eye out for that!).
- Thijs de Valk of Yoast showed us why Data Is Your Friend and Psychology is Your Mentor.
- Robert Elliott of Graphflow on Matching People and Products.
- Rahul Deshpande of MasterCard Labs took us through the technical details of Security with Payments.
- Sam Hotchkiss of BruteProtect (recently acquired by Automattic) gave an excellent presentation on Security with WordPress and WooCommerce.
- Chris Lema of chrislema.com and CTO and Chief Strategist of Crowd Favorite gave a rousing presentation on Building Your Platform with WooCommerce and Sensei. (You can read Chris’s summary blog post here).
- Nathan Barry author of Authority, and Founder and Designer of ConvertKit, inspired our Peopleware Engineer Ali with his advice on how to Build a Profitable Audience.
Build an audience by Teaching, Telling a story, Building a list. Simple advice. Artful implementation. via @nathanbarry #wooconf
— Jaki Levy (@jackomo) November 4, 2014
Day 2 – Developer and Shop Manager Tracks
Sessions split into Developer and Shop Manager tracks on Day 2 (following a presentation from Deepak Nadig, Head of API Platform Engineering at PayPal).
The rest of the Prospress team were excited to see our Founder Brent join with Max Rice and Justin Stern of SkyVerge to run a workshop on WooJutsu: WooCommerce Extension Development. The guys took us through all the ins and outs of extension development for WooCommerce, and Brent really enjoyed the chance to collaborate with the SkyVerge team.
Question time with @thenbrent, @maxrice and @jstern81 at #WooConf pic.twitter.com/EjsqE0xhM6
— Prospress (@Prospress) November 4, 2014
At the same time, upstairs in the Shop Manager room, Bob Dunn and Matty Cohen ran a workshop on How to Properly Set Up Your WooCommerce Shop, which looks like it was hugely popular.
Full house for @mattyza and @bobWP! Lots of questions already, WooCommerce setting tips from 2 x true pro’s: http://t.co/1ZnPVEam5d #WooConf
— WooThemes (@woothemes) November 4, 2014
Last but certainly not least, Brian Richards ran a developer session on how to Do More With WooCommerce, while upstairs Ned Dwyer took shop managers through how to Grow Your WooCommerce Business While Growing Your Clients’ Businesses.
One of the highlights from WooConf (apart from the awesome presentations) was being entertained by the MCs Nic Smal and Gareth Allison, from the comedy duo Derick Watts and the Sunday Blues. Nic and Gareth injected some uniquely South African humour into the event.
It was also great to meet so many fellow Woo enthusiasts, including the whole WooThemes team, our SkyVerge friends, and many others. I was particularly excited to meet Beka Rice from Sell With WP (and SkyVerge), whose content I’ve admired ever since getting started with Prospress!
A huge congratulations to the whole team at WooThemes for putting on such a successful event.
We loved having an opportunity to meet the whole team, to connect with shop managers and other extension developers, and are so excited to see the WooCommerce ecosystem growing and thriving.
WooConf 2014 wildly exceeded our expectations, and we’ve already begun looking forward to next year’s event.
Rumour has it that it might be in Berlin… That sounds good to me!
@kirby_oi @BFTrick @Mamaduka Berlin sounds good! 🙂 #WooConf
— WooThemes (@woothemes) November 3, 2014
Nice recap, thanks guys!
It was a great event! And great to meet up with the Prospress team!
Great meeting you Daniel!
Thanks for the glowing feedback Kirby.
We had a blast and look forward to taking our learnings from all the discussions with attendees and making our platform, and the next WooConf even better!
Thanks Mark, as you can tell we’re already looking forward to it 🙂
You are far too kind 🙂 . This is a *fantastic* recap of the events! Was great to see the Prospress team and to grab the hottest tee shirt of 2014 😉 Loving mine already! Thanks all for a fantastic time.
Thanks Beka. Hope you had a good trip home and that we run into each other again sometime soon.
Hey Kirby, you are right, it was an amazing conference. And I was so glad to have had the chance to get to know you and Brent more at the speakers party.
I do have to admit in my post that I shared for the life of me I could not remember your name. But Brent left a comment, reminding me, and of course leading me here. Great post… and cheers!
No worries Bob, it was lovely meeting you!
Great recap Kirby! Was great catching up with you and the team at both #WooConf and #wcsf
Thanks Anthony, it was great hanging with you too! Hope you had a good trip home and are enjoying being back in Melbourne 🙂
[…] a professional storyteller, I totally dig this approach. That’s why I was thrilled to meet Kandace at WooConf, and then follow that up with a delightful telephone interview, where Kandace shared her thoughts […]