WordCamps are back and WOW does it feel good. The Beaver Builder team are all back home after attending and sponsoring WordCamp Phoenix 2023. WCPHX was basketball themed this year as it was taking place during the March Madness basketball tournament. It is one of our favorite camps due to the passionate community there, and because it’s the hometown of our amazing marketing director, Anthony Tran.
We have some photos and stories to share from the camp. We also brought back the notorious stuffed beaver swag and, just like the last time, a whole bag of them managed to scurry off and get lost. Read on to find out what happened…
Beaver Builder Sponsor Booth
Despite sponsoring many WordCamps over the years, this was the first time sponsoring at a level where we got to have a display area. Our previous approach to sponsorships was to choose a lower level because, many times, it was just me attending and I didn’t want to be stuck at a booth all day.
This year for WCPHX, we had 9 people from the Beaver Builder family available to help out. We invested in some signage, custom basketball-themed stickers, and handouts to give away. The experience was great!
We all took turns meeting people that came up to our table. We had a computer monitor set up so we could do demos, and we got to show folks the new community and template marketplace features we just launched at Assistant Pro.
Did we hang out at WordCamp Phoenix? Let us know by sharing this tweet:I had a tail-slapping good time hanging out with the @BeaverBuilder team at @WordCampPHX 2023! 🏀 #WCPHX Click To Tweet
Stuffed Beavers Giveaway
We brought back our most popular swag item ever, the stuffed beavers! We debuted these in Nashville at WordCamp US 2018 and have several pictures of them featured on our new about page. They were a huge hit!
Bizarrely, because we weren’t sponsoring that particular WordCamp, some of the organizers took offense to us handing them out and a big bag of beavers was taken from us without any communication. It seemed strange since we’ve never heard of anyone’s stickers, business cards, or other various gifts folks share at WordCamps disappearing. 🤔
Just a silly miscommunication, of course. To keep the tradition going, some of the WordCamp Phoenix organizers “borrowed” a bag of beavers while we were at lunch and hid them until later in the day. Those little critters sure have a knack for chewing their way out of where we put them.
Want a stuffed beaver of your own?
This question came up the last time around. We’re not planning to sell or distribute the stuffed beavers. Sorry! The only way to get one is to meet us at an upcoming WordCamp. We’re planning to be at WordCamp US in August and, hopefully, at WordCamp Seattle (date TBA).
You can discover which camps we’ll be at by following us on Facebook or Twitter, joining the Beaver Builder Facebook group, or signing up for our newsletter (in our footer).
WebCami Takes Over the Beaver Builder Booth
I’ve taken over the @BeaverBuilder booth. #WCPHX pic.twitter.com/a7WL0XcLA1— Cami MacNamara (@WebCami) March 25, 2023
The next day when we were at lunch, our good friend Cami MacNamara of WebCami noticed our table was empty. She very graciously decided to step in and field questions and hand out swag while we were away. Thank you so much, Cami! We really appreciate that.
Pagely Wins the SWAG Game
As well as the stuffed beavers were received, my vote for the best swag of WCPHX – and possibly ever – was from Pagely. They brought out custom tie-dye shirts, a screen printing press, and pressed various Pagely logos on the shirts live and in-person. I am a total sucker for tie-dyes, and these were gorgeous, custom-made shirts from Jammin On.
Our site has been hosted on Pagely for many years and they take great care of us. I’ll never forget how I, when I thought I was working on a staging site, accidentally deleted all of the pages on our live site. To make matters worse, it was Sunday and it was Mother’s day. Despite being a weekend and a holiday, Pagely’s support team was able to restore all the pages in a matter of minutes (my sincere apologies to all of their mothers).
Cobra Arcade Bar Party
We made it back to one of our favorite spots in Downtown Phoenix, the Cobra Arcade Bar. We discovered this bar several years ago and quickly fell in love. During the day, it’s a dive-y bar filled with vintage arcade consoles. A lot of us grew up playing video games, so it’s been a favorite spot to grab a drink and hang out.
This year, we invited a few friends from the camp to come to play some games with us before the official afterparty which was conveniently located just around the corner.
Buckle Up, Beavers! A Self-Driving Adventure
One of the more memorable moments of WordCamp Phoenix had nothing to do with WordCamp at all. It was sharing the first-time experience of riding in a driverless car! Waymo is Google’s driverless car subsidiary and they’re actively testing the service in Phoenix. Just like Uber or Lyft, you can download an app, enter a destination, and a car will show up, pick you up, then drop you off where you need to be. The only difference is there’s no driver!
Getting driverless rides around Phoenix is going to be one of the more memorable highlights of @WordCampPHX #WCPHX @Waymo pic.twitter.com/AA1ivZEG3T— Beaver Builder (@BeaverBuilder) March 25, 2023
It was a bizarre experience, but after the first or second ride, it felt totally natural. It was really nice being able to have a private conversation or talk on the phone without being self-conscious about it.
There were several somewhat complicated issues Waymo had to tackle, like a double-parked car and a cat running across the road. Each time, it navigated the traffic and obstacles elegantly and dropped us off where we needed to be. What a time to be alive.
We joked around that someday, we might all share stories with our grandchildren about how humans used to have to drive their own cars and how we’d regularly crash into each other causing injuries, deaths, and thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Next Stops for the Beaver Builder Family IRL and Online
The dates are still yet to be announced, but we’re hoping to visit Seattle in the next few months for WordCamp Seattle. In late August, on my birthday weekend, we are tentatively planning to be in Washington DC for WordCamp US. 🇺🇸 🎉
We’d love to know which WordCamps you’re attending and what other places you’re talking about WordPress online. Please leave us a comment on Twitter, our Facebook page, in the Beaver Builders Facebook group, on Slack, or on Reddit.
See you soon!
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