Wearing two hats: giving it all at WordCamp Orange County

WordCamp Orange County Volunteers
Volunteer Organizer Priscilla Christian, Dave Mosso, and Mike Judah Baker (left to right)

Day 1: Good guys wear black speaker hats

Presenting “90 Days to Live” for the second time to open WordCamp Orange County’s Beach Room but I did have nerves. After all, in Chicago two months earlier, no one knew me. Here in Southern California, a new layer of jitters was added by the new speech length (50 mins vs 25 mins in Chicago), over 500 tickets were sold for weekend, familiar faces from the office where I work in Downtown Los Angeles, fellow WordPress Community members I’d met over the past eight months at area meetups, and this was the largest room. As the introduction was read, I took a deep breath, rose to my feet and took the handoff. Day one for me was an initial adrenaline rush followed quickly by lots of sessions to get in on, a perk of speakers and attendees alike. Speakers at this WordCamp sported black t-shirts and mesh baseball caps (which were highly coveted by sponsors and attendees alike), volunteers purple with a red dragon rising from between the white letters spelling out the event. Here is some of the feedback I received from my presentation via Twitter:
As Camps go, this swag was epic from a branding standpoint:
  • D&D themed badges with a spot to add a sticker stating which character you identify with (barbarian, bard, cleric, fighter, paladin, ranger, rogue, and wizard) in-game;
  • Large glasses with the WordCamp Orange County for a pint of ale; and
  • Dice with a #WCOC pouch for gameplay

Day 2: Purple speakers hat

WordCamps take an enormous amount of time and efforts by lots of talented people to make happen. I encourage you, if you haven’t volunteered, to do so as you’ll get a different level of access to the Community and a sense of satisfaction. The second day at #WCOC found me pounding the pavement, helping attendees find the venue, monitoring rooms, indulging in incredible food trucks like Phoking Awesome, Ninjas with Appetites, and manning the swag table till close. Many speakers, sponsors, and attendees would wander by sharing stories about their connection to WordPress. Although it ended a little over a month ago, I’m already thinking about next year…

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