…Calling All Storytellers!

WordCamp Wilmington 2017 is now accepting speaker applications for our September WordCamp conference.

Speakers from 2016 WordCamp Wilmington
Helen Rittersporn and Brian Rotsztein, two amazing speakers from WordCamp Wilmington 2016.

Sign up to become a speaker today!

As we often hear, small local businesses are the backbone of our economy. Yet, many small businesses owners are unsure how Internet Marketing and WordPress can benefit their business. For that reason, this year’s focus is all about WordPress for small business!

We are now accepting speaker applications for the following talk tracks. If more than one topic is compelling you, feel free to apply multiple times – however, we’ll only choose one of your proposed talks.

Ready to apply as a speaker?  Apply by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

Track 1: Beginners

Spread the word with rookies about how awesome WordPress is! Talks for this track will focus on the WordPress beginner. Remember, when you first started using WordPress? Where did you turn for help and information? What were the things you were trying to accomplish? What pitfalls do you wish a mentor steered you away from? Remember, this track is for the very beginner.  By speaking in this track, you get the opportunity to make a positive first impression with novice WordPressers!

Track 2: Business Marketing

Help your local business community! The target audience for talks in this track are small business owners and key marketing employees of small businesses. Talks for this track should have a focus on local small businesses. Remember how you said your favorite restaurant, your yoga studio and that new micro-brew down the street needed to get it together with their Internet marketing? This is your chance to show your favorite ‘Main Street’ business how to be successful on the Internet with WordPress! Even if the owner of your yoga studio can’t make it, she’ll be able watch your WordPress.tv URL after the event.

Track 3: Designers and Power Users

There’s a large group of WordPress users that have wide and varying levels of WordPress proficiency. The audience for this track are those who may be using WordPress daily for building out websites or blogging and want to expand their WordPress skill-set.  What tips, hacks and success stories do you want to share with these users?

Track 4: Developers

Are you looking to share ideas and experiences with others who are technically inclined like yourself? The audience for this track will be those who write code for themes, plugins and other advanced applications.

The deadline to submit your Speaker Application is 11:59pm, July 1st, 2017.  Applications received after that time/date will NOT be considered.

Talk Guidelines to Help You Out

Some Ideas To Help You Get Started:

First.  If you haven’t yet done so, go watch some videos of past talks on WordPress.tv. Notice how the talks are given by knowledge people without self-promotion.

Recent feedback and polls have allowed us to share some possible topics that might help you guide your consideration. Here are some suggestions for topics:

– Content Creation (Writing, Strategy)
– Journalism / Podcasting Topics
– Security
– Building Themes
– Freelancing / Business Topics (Dealing w/ Clients, Best Practices, Hiring Developers, etc.)
– Web Design / Theme Design / UI / UX
– Learning About PHP Not Directly Related To WordPress (PHP 7, etc.)
– Advanced WordPress Development Topics (Coding Themes, Plugins)
– Case Studies (“What We Did Right!  …And What to Avoid.”)
– E-Commerce Topics (Building E-Commerce w/ WordPress)

A few things to keep in mind about presenting at WordCamp Wilmington:

  • We look for speakers that are experienced BUT we also look for young or new speakers as well.
  • Being a professional speaker is NOT required HOWEVER you must know what you are talking about. In your speaker submission, let us know how your talk can relate to WordPress or the WordCamp Wilmington audience.
  • Your session is not primarily to promote your own theme, plugin or business. If your session is to detail how you used WordPress code to build some really great aspect of your theme, plugin or business, and you’d like to present that as a sort of case study, go ahead and submit your session.  However, know that we’re not going to allow for a sales pitch at any point.
  • You have to know how to spell WordPress. And respect the WordPress logo/trademarks.
  • You can submit multiple speaker submissions for different talks.
  • Please be prepared to submit speaker slides or review your presentation with a WCILM organizer PRIOR to the event if asked.

Talk Lengths:

You should anticipate 25 to 50 minutes for your talk, plus some time for Q&A . Upon acceptance, you’ll be notified of the tracks and lengths of each individual session.

We may also incorporate “lightning talks” in between sessions which are short, fast-paced talks on a topic.

Selection Process:

As a general rule, we are looking for a variety of original topics, experiences and speaking styles.

All selections and submissions are reviewed by the board of organizers.

As a result of an overwhelming number of speaker applicants for last year’s WordCamp, we were unable to accept all speaker submissions.  Although we expanded the number of talk opportunities this year by adding a fourth track, it is possible we may not be able to accept everyone’s application.

Factors we look for in presentations are the degree of uniqueness and popularity of the topic, the speaker qualifications and experience (past speaking experience is NOT required though), hometown of speaker (we want a percentage of speakers to be from the Cape Fear region), and other factors. We will notify you whether your talk is or is not accepted.

Finally, there’s been a lot of talk about variety of speakers at technology conferences. Our general policy is that we don’t consider the race, sex, religion, or any other factor of the speaker to play a part in our selection process. That being said we encourage women and people of color to submit session proposals.

EVERYONE has a story and you can reach out to us privately at wilmington@wordcamp.org if you have any questions – please consider submitting a proposal!