The WordPress Community has been waiting such a long time to get together in the US after the success of WordCamp Europe in Porto, and this finally became a reality at WordCamp US in San Diego.

WordCamp US in San Diego was truly a fantastic camp! The camp was held from September 9th through the 11th (the last day was Contributor Day) at the beautiful Town and Country Resort.

It is a significant landmark in the area since 1953 with brand-new amenities, facilities, and a great location for the event.

Arriving in San Diego

This was my second WordCamp US (at least in person), as with everyone else. In the last few years, I attended many virtual camps as a sponsor and as an attendee.

Since I live only two hours from San Diego, I drove in on Thursday afternoon to help with setup and to meet the team. Words cannot describe the feeling of seeing ErickaMarco, and Phil again after such a long time!

We hugged, we cried, we hugged again, we just could not control the excitement of being together again.

After a few hours of catching up, we headed over to the registration area where we ran into Topher DeRosia and Cate DeRosia. Both were working on the awesome WordCamp US Organizing Team, which led to even more hugs.

After the setup was complete, we met in the lobby for drinks. The area was hustling and bustling and at the bar, we met a new friend, Anna McPhee from Jetpack.

We asked her to join us and share a few drinks, which she did gladly.

In the lobby, we also ran into our old friend and organizer of WordCamp Minneapolis who was just arriving from Minnesota, Jessi Gurr.

From left to right – Philip Crout, Anna Gargioni, Anna McPhee, Marco Berrocal and Ericka Barboza

The Thank You Social

It was a hot and humid night in San Diego, but that did not stop anyone from attending the Thank You Social Event with all the speakers, sponsors, media partners, organizers, and volunteers.

The event was held outside at Look Out Point, which is the patio adjacent to the Sponsor Hall.

We met a lot of old and new friends at the social, including Brian Graf from Amazon Lightsail, Kat Zarabanda who was there volunteering and is originally from Colombia, James Tyron from Easily Amused who designed all of our Wapuus, and Bob Dunn with Do The Woo.

After the social, we decided to try one of the resort’s restaurants, Lapper Kitchen & Tap. We were joined (just for company) by Laura Bryan and her husband David, from Minnesota.

Thank You Social
From left to right – Anna Gargioni, Ericka Barboza and Kat Zarabanda at the WordCamp US Thank You Social

Day One of WordCamp US 2022 in San Diego

Day One at the Booth
The Team is ready for WordCamp US

After a quick breakfast, day one of WordCamp US started and right away we started talking to people coming to visit us. Although it was really busy for us, it was also busy for all the other sponsor booths!

I took a little time to go visit the Volunteer’s table and thanked them for all that they do. We all know how important they are to the success of a camp.

WordCamp US Volunteers
WordCamp US Volunteers

I also said hi to some of the other sponsors with whom I shared many other camps in the past. This included Adam Warner and Sandy Edwards with GoDaddyPro and Dave Ryan with Bluehost.

I also met new friends from other sponsor tables, such as Radvile Jankeviciene from Hostinger (she came all the way from Lithuania) and Jessica Frick with Pressable.

Meeting More People at WordCamp US 2022

Once I could take a break from the busy table, I was able to catch up with William Jackson and his wife Aida whom I had met for the first time at WordCamp US 2019 in St. Louis.

We talked about a new project they are working on about the Metaverse. That sounded very interesting, and I will follow up with them to learn more!

I came across a lot of people whom I had met at other camps or worked on projects with, such as Maddy Osman, Matt Kopala, Lindsay Halsey, Michelle Frechette, Angela Bowman, Nathan Ingram, and the list goes on and on!

Joe Simpson came to the table to say hi and we gave each other a gigantic hug. Joe is the WordCamp Santa Clarita Organizer and the WordPress Santa Clarita Valley Meetup Organizer.

In fact, the following morning, we had our first Santa Clarita Valley Meetup in person, which was very appreciated since all of us Meetup members had only seen each other in Zoom for the last three years.

We had some catching up to do in person.

Joe and Anna
From left to right – Anna Gargioni and Joe Simpson

One of the many great things about WordCamp US is meeting new people but also catching up with friends from many other camps you attended. And every time, there is something new to share.

Unfortunately, I could not meet with everyone to say hi because we were very busy at the table. Also, I could not attend any of the presentations on day one, but I will make sure to watch them all as soon as I am done writing this recap.

A Fun Night of Parties!

At the end of day one, a fun night of parties started. We headed over to a Happy Hour hosted by Elementor at the Lapper Kitchen & Tap. Here we met with many more people including Adam Bell and Afshana Diya. This event was followed by many parties of which we could only attend the ones organized by Bluehost and GoDaddy Pro. Sorry to have missed Cloudways, Codeable and Nexcess and StellarWP parties!

The four of us took an Uber along with Kat Zarabanda and a new friend, also volunteering at the camp, Filipa Correia. We managed to attend both parties.

The Bluehost party was a beach party and was held at the Coaster Room and Terrace at Belmont Park. Because of the rain that night (I know, it really does not typically rain in San Diego and it had been raining all day) we did not go down to the actual beach.

Although, it was an option for guests to do so.

The GoDaddy Pro party was at San Diego Air & Space Museum. Marco and I actually got to walk around the museum and see all of it, which was really cool.

I have been to many attractions in San Diego but never to this Museum!

After the parties, we were exhausted and decided to turn in for the night. We had to get up early the next day for the Santa Clarita Meetup.

Day Two of WordCamp US 2022 in San Diego

Like the day before, day two of WordCamp US was very busy.

A Busy San Diego WordCamp

Ericka and I were able to take a break and attend one of the sessions, Designing for Accessibility by Sara Cannon.

The subject of web accessibility is of great interest to me, and I truly enjoyed Sara’s presentation. She talked about creating a more inclusive web and shared design best practices including tips on:

  • Typography
  • Forms
  • Colors and Contrast
  • Content
  • Alt Text
  • Video and Audio
  • Motion
  • Dyslexia
  • Handoff/Annotation.

Time to Head Home

After Sara’s sessions, it was time for me to head back to LA (trying to beat the Southern California traffic). I wanted to say goodbye to all the organizers, and I spotted Kim White who was the Sponsor Team Captain and had helped us greatly during the camp.

Kim and I chatted a little bit about what is going to happen next year with WordCamps.

Then it was time to say goodbye to my team…wow that was really hard and some tears were shed (I am not going to say from whom). Phil walked with me to the garage and gave me another hug before I started my drive back home.

WordCamp US in San Diego was a blast. I really want to personally thank the organizers, the volunteers, all the other sponsors and everyone who made WordCamp US 2022 a success.

Till next time…


Anna Gargioni

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