We had a pleasure to talk to Kyle Maurer from WordCamp Jackson 2019. Enjoy!
Please, introduce us shortly with the WordCamp Jackson 2019!?
WordCamp Jackson is a fun, intimate WordPress event in south-central Michigan. This weekend will be the third straight year it has taken place and it is always packed with great content and exciting activities. Jackson is a small town but full of charm and convenience. Our venues are always right downtown and perfectly sized for the event.
Tell us more about yourself and also about your WC team!?
I’m a WordPress and open-source fan and have been for many years. Formerly I was building websites for clients of mine with WordPress but for the past few years, I’ve been doing marketing and operations for Sandhills Development; a WordPress plugin company.
The rest of our organizing team includes my WordPress meetup co-organizer and beer brewing expert, Peter Shackelford as well as local agency owner Steve Bennett, freelance developer Evan Farmer, tech startup developer John Wright, and some of our friends from the Ann Arbor WordPress community, especially Ross Johnson and Cheryl Gong.
How many visitors do you expect this year!?
We’re expecting 75 attendees this year.
Sponsorships… Good response from global and local companies and brands!?
Our response from sponsors this year has been a little less than it has been in previous years but it was just enough for us to meet our budget goals.
Is there anything you will like to highlight as the especially interesting part of this year’s program?
There are many things I love about our WordCamp but some of my favorite things are: 1) Our venue is extremely intimate. Everything takes place in a small area so it’s easy to be a part of the fun and meet with all the other attendees. 2) We provide lunch vouchers to all attendees which are good at any of the restaurants in downtown. This gets everyone outside both afternoons and helps support the amazing eateries we have in this beautiful city. 3) We have a free high-end coffee service for the entire event from Fortress Cafe (a new establishment). They’re making lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, etc. all to order and WordCamp attendees get whatever they want at no extra cost above their ticket price.
Tell us more about Jackson!? What kind of place it is!?
Jackson is a modest little town that was once much larger but in recent decades has declined as the auto and manufacturing industries suffered in the region. The past few years though have been extremely exciting for all local residents because the city is experiencing a resurgence of investment and growth.
Lots of new developments have taken place or are in progress downtown and the entire city has been given a bright new look with the introduction of dozens of brilliant murals on the historic buildings. It’s a super cool place to be these days!
What would be your message (or advice) to the organizers of WordCamps all over the world?
There are so many WordCamps in the world right now. It can be hard at times to set yours apart. I believe that putting the spotlight on your city and emphasizing its unique qualities is the best way to really make a WordCamp you can be proud of and that brings your local community together.