WPTavern: Seattle to Host WooConf 2017 in October, Conference to Focus on Developers
WooConf, the official WooCommerce developer’s conference, is returning for its third edition October 19-20, 2017. In line with previous years’ events that were hosted in major U.S. tech hubs (San Francisco and Austin), WooConf 2017 will be held in Seattle. The organizing team, which is made up of almost a dozen people from around the world of WooCommerce, is planning for 500 attendees.
WooCommerce downloads have doubled from 12 million in 2016 to 24 million today. The plugin is active on more than 3 million websites and has a strong third-party plugin and theme ecosystem contributing to its growth.
This year’s speaker lineup will feature more than 30 sessions aimed at developers, along with hands-on workshops. Organizers announced the event with a note that this edition of WooConf will cater specifically to developers:
Anyone who runs their business with WooCommerce will enjoy WooConf. However, we’re building out this year’s speaker list and workshops to appeal mainly to freelancers, agencies, WooExperts, and other developers working with WooCommerce on a daily basis.
This includes anyone writing code, designing websites, or working with clients as a project manager or business owner. It also includes those of you who design, customize, and write code for your own store (or lend your services to a friend now and then).
Last year’s conference in Austin included content for both store owners and developers, and attendees were a mixture of experts and casual WooCommerce fans. The organizing team decided that the event could benefit from a more narrow focus.
“Basically, we realized that we need to focus on either developers or store owners,” WooConf co-organizer Patrick Rauland said. “The content at last year’s WooConf was great. But you can’t have two priorities.
“We want to have a conference that’s remarkable, meaning people talk about it. There are a lot of great WordPress events and a lot of great e-commerce events. We want people to talk about WooConf in both of those circles. And by focusing on one target we hope to achieve that.”
Speaker submissions are already open and the suggested topics reflect this year’s developer focus:
- Running an Agency / Client Relations – Scoping projects, fostering repeat business, keeping projects on track, finding and hiring developers, productizing client functionality and so on.
- Scaling – Anything from server-side, backend, frontend or case studies
- eCommerce Fundamentals – Creating a cohesive experience (between multiple sites, apps, mobile sites, Amazon, etc), personalization, conversion rate optimization
Early bird tickets for WooConf are on sale for $499 until July 1 when the price will go up $200.
Organizers will also be hosting the Golden Ticket competition this year, which offers prospective attendees the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the event in Seattle, including travel, accommodation, and admission to the conference. Developers who want to be considered are asked to create a video showing how they use WooCommerce and post it to Instagram. The call for submissions will kick off later this month and the competition has historically been fairly stiff. In 2014, Sinisa from OVER Clothing won out over 2,000 other entrants.
WooConf 2017 will take place at Bell Harbor International Conference Center, within walking distance of Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and many hotels. For the thousands of WooCommerce developers and enthusiasts around the world who are not able to attend, a live streaming option will be available and recorded talks will be published after the event.