“Like anything, this isn’t a new idea, people have probably talked about it,” Joshua Strebel explained to me in a phone call. “I’ve been talking about it for about a year and half but a couple of months ago I’m like what’s stopping us, let’s just do it.”
His company Page.ly, along with a group of sponsors and partially announced list of speakers, have announced a new WordPress conference this morning called PressNomics. PressNomics is an event focused on the WordPress economy and professionals running businesses within the community.
PressNomics will take place November 8–10, 2012 in Chandler, Arizona. The event will include a single track of sessions for two days, followed by special events organized for the attendees. PressNomics is, of course, not affiliated with or endorsed by the WordPress Foundation. It’s not a WordCamp; it will be the first major unofficial WordPress event in the USA.
- Joe Stump
- Ward Andrews
- Frederick Townes
- Mikkel Svane
- Alex King
- Cory Miller
- Marcus Nelson
- Micah Baldwin
- Carl Hancock
- Andrew Hyde
- Mark Jaquith
The target audience for PressNomics include WordPress theme and plugin shop owners, hosting companies, freelancers and agencies, and any WordPress companies doing annual sales above one million dollars. As the PressNomics website explains:
PressNomics aims to be a once year gathering of global WordPress professionals to learn, foster collaboration, and build new strategies for commercial success in the growing WordPress ecosystem.
Only a partial list of confirmed speakers is available so far, but even now it includes WordPress heavyweights like Alex King, Cory Miller, Carl Hancock, and Mark Jaquith. The exact sessions are still coming together, but Strebel did spit ball a bit about what they’re thinking about. One session, he said, could be a debate-style panel where a diversified product line (selling themes and plugins) could be argued against sticking to a single, pure service or product.
Rather than offer multiple tracks the way a WordCamp event would (typically something like beginning user, advanced user, and developer) PressNomics will be a single-track event, with everyone attending every session in one big room.
“An event I would want to attend”
PressNomics organizer Joshua Strebel is the co-founder of Page.ly, a managed WordPress hosting company, and assisted with WordCamp Phoenix in 2011. You remember, the event with the ice luge? The way he talks about PressNomics, you get the sense he’s really just building the type of event that he wants to experience himself.
“I want a place where I can learn something,” he said. “I want a conference where I’m there to learn, where I’m there get something out of it. As a business owner, how can I improve my business? What are the strategies that people are using that are successful in this space? What collaboration and partnership opportunities are out there? That’s sort of the aim of PressNomics in a nutshell: to be a conference for all these WordCamp speakers, where they can get something out of it.”
While he doesn’t want the conference to operate at a loss, he said that he is organizing the event because he likes the idea, and not strictly to profit from it. Strebel describes PressNomics as a “not-just-for-profit” event, and plans to set aside proceeds earned (beyond expenses) for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Attendance for PressNomics will be capped at 150, with around half of those specifically invited before general tickets are available to the public. (See a sample of the invitations above.)
“Old fashioned, paper invitations in the mail. Hand addressed. We want to give it an air of exclusivity.”
“Old fashioned, paper invitations in the mail,” Strebel explained. “Hand addressed. We want to give it an air of exclusivity, that this is targeted at a very specific group of people.”
General ticket sales will begin on June 1st at $200/each. Until then the only tickets sold will be to those selected during the invite-only period (which pretty much begins now). Approximately 75 special invites will be sent to a list of individual that Strebel believes would be particularly interested in this type of event.
Regarding sponsors, Strebel said they are seeking primary sponsors from outside of the WordPress community. Smaller community-level sponsorships are being accepted from interested WordPress businesses, but the intent is to bring in outside companies that would be of interest to the event attendees. Primary event sponsors currently include New Relic, Firehost, and Zendesk.
The first non-WordCamp WordPress event
Many have discussed the plausibility of a non-WordCamp WordPress event, how it might play out within the community, and just what its niche might be. Now we have something a bit more tangible to talk about.
As a niche WordPress event, in this case focused on the economics of businesses built up around WordPress, how does PressNomics look to you? Are you interested in attending? And do you think an event like this one will open up the possibility of other, non-official, WordPress events in the future?