The WP Summit , a virtual conference aimed at educating WordPress users on how to build impactful sites, kicks off on Monday, March 16!
The 10-day conference, hosted by online entrepreneur and WordPress developer Jan Koch, features interviews with 28 WordPress experts and online entrepreneurs on a range of different topics from WordPress fundamentals, to inbound marketing:
Day 1: WordPress Fundamentals
Day 2: Design and WordPress Themes
Day 3: Online Business with WordPress
Day 4: List Building
Day 5: Content Marketing
Day 6: Social Marketing / SEO
Day 7: Podcasting / Summits
Day 8: Copywriting / Conversion Optimization
Day 9: Backups and Security
Day 10: Inbound Marketing (Closing Keynote)
The interviews are grouped together by topic, and released day-by-day in the order shown above. They will then be available for free for 48 hours after publishing—affording viewers from all over the world the opportunity to watch (and learn) at their leisure. Alternatively, there’s an All Access Pass available for $97, which provides unlimited access to interviews, as well as some extras.
In an interview with Torque, Koch indicated that the WP Summit already has around 380 subscribers from 91 different countries. Koch also pointed out how truly global this event will be:
“It is going to be translated to Portuguese and will be promoted, especially in Brazil (brazil.thewpsummit.com), as I’ve partnered up with a great guy over there who’s managing the promotion,” Koch told Torque. “It truly is a global movement. Most visitors come from the US, Germany, and Brazil.”
The WP Summit comes as virtual events gain popularity. For example, WordSesh 3, a 24-hour virtual event brought in 3000 viewers from 89 different countries. For perspective, WP Tavern points out that that is three times the number of attendees at WordCamp Europe 2014.
In addition to catering to WordPress’ global community, virtual conferences make it possible for people with awesome ideas to host events without investing as much time, money, and sanity as a physical event. Organizing a virtual event for 400 people can require fewer moving pieces than organizing a face-to-face event for 400 people.
The entire process of organizing the WP Summit, from planning, to reaching out to speakers, to recording the interviews, to building the website, took three months, according to Koch.
“The biggest challenge was the dynamic the event created itself,” Koch said. “The feedback was quite overwhelming. It lead to more and much bigger speakers than I planned, opportunities for guest posts and interviews like this one, and more work overall.
Another big challenge was to get so many speakers on the WP Summit who normally don’t do these interviews. It was a great opportunity to interview experts like Jason Cohen [Founder of WP Engine), Tony Perez [CEO and Co-Founder of Sucuri], or Oli Gardner [Co-Founder of Ubounce].”
According to Koch, both virtual and physical events, like WordCamps, provide value. Where physical events help foster face-to-face connections and networking among attendees, and virtual events remove the geographic limitations of attending physical events.
“I see them going hand-in-hand,” Koch said. “WordCamps are great to build “real-world” connections with people in the field, yet their problem is being location-independent. For example, I’d have to drive 250-plus km to attend the next WordCamp.
Virtual summits instead are great to learn lessons from well-established experts in the field, people who you normally can’t get in touch with.
They also form communities around the audience, some of them offer FaceBook groups, and most summits have live chat functionalities for the attendees to engage. Especially live interviews are great opportunities to learn and ask your own questions.”
Virutal conferences, like the WP Summit, are a perfect example of just how global WordPress has become. It’s likely that as WordPress continues to expand we will see more virtual conferences popping up.
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