This past weekend, thousands attended the biggest WordPress event of the year, WordCamp US. We were there too. Here's our recap.
This past weekend, thousands attended the biggest WordPress event of the year, WordCamp US, that took place in St. Louis, Missouri.
As we announced before, nine of us had packed our bags and headed to man the booth at St. Louis. We were asked, numerous times during the event, why we decided to attend and sponsor this event. Giving back to the community has always been essential to us, although it wasn’t the only reason.
WordCamp US gave us many valuable takeaways, and I thought it would be interesting to share some of those takeaways with you.
WCUS Takeaway #1: Community Love is MUCH Greater in Person Than Through Support Questions
Saar Kedem – Education Manager: “It is thrilling to meet real live Elementor users. The number of compliments we received seemed to be never-ending. Our users are used to frequently following our content, and encounters like this, between the Elementor team and our followers, create real connections within our ecosystem. For someone like me, who constantly creates and edits content, this is vital validation for my work.
We always try to be data-driven and analyze the performance of everything we do, but getting qualitative information like this is just as important, if not more so.”
Donna Cavalier – Elementor Education Expert: “Having spent a fair amount of time fielding support questions — via Facebook group, wordpress.org support, and tech support — I was expecting a bit more negativity since that is what support hears more often. ‘Why doesn’t this work?’ ‘Why did you break my site?’ etc…
Instead, the amount of overwhelming love and praise for the product with virtually no complaints was very encouraging for me. I even tried fairly hard to get the community to tell me what they didn’t like about the product or where we could improve, and they had pretty much nothing to suggest in that regard.“
WCUS Takeaway #2: Many Plugin Developers and Site Developers Are Eager to Work with Elementor
Verdi Heinz – Global Community Leader: “Meeting developers and seeing what amazing work they are doing is reminiscent of the times when the first App Store came to life on your smartphone. Or when wordpress.org started filling up with plugins and themes. Now very creative people are working to expand the possibilities of Elementor. To fill niches and to satisfy even the most demanding users’ needs. Many of those addons not only add creativity to our sites but save you tons of time or let you connect to other platforms. For them to come to us, truly is humbling.”
Saar Kedem, Education Manager: “Conversations we had with Elementor advanced users were very illuminating. Usually, we get to talk to freelancers who use Elementor, as the bigger agencies interact less on social media and with support. Being able to talk to an agency that handles the creation of over 100 large websites a year gave us new insights that were not obvious or commonly known.
A great example of this was the topic of dynamic content. There seems to be a growing crowd of developers who experiment with the most advanced features of Elementor, and that audience is eager to get sophisticated tutorials and related inspirational content.
These users are the ones that have already consumed most of our (hundreds) of videos and articles, and want even more.”
Ben Pines, Elementor Evangelist: “I had the fortune to be present throughout Elementor’s journey. When we started, we quickly gained the love of designers, marketers and many other professionals. Developers, however, were a tough cookie to crack.
It was amazing to discover, during WCUS, that developers have not only started appreciating Elementor, but for many, it has already become one of their most important tools. Being able to deliver advanced websites, and utilizing advanced features, gives developers the ability to save time and effort, and manage the whole process in a much more stable manner. I believe that changes to the industry, along with the development of Gutenberg, have helped developers to trust our product and adopt it in areas where, until then, only code was used. This is a great trend we have noticed, and plan to encourage it further.”
WCUS Takeaway #3: Design-First Approach Helped Us Get Noticed At WordCamp
Zvi Shapira, Business Development Manager: “Unlike tech conferences and roadshows, an outsider may find WordCamps a little old fashioned, modest and humble in terms of visibility.
Given the fact that the vast majority of WordPress businesses are small to medium-size agencies, and that WordCamps are 100% volunteer organized, this is understandable.
However, I have started to notice a shift taking place. Booths are getting larger, bigger companies are attending and showcasing, and swag is improving dramatically (lucky for my kids…).
If you walked by our Elementor booth, for example, you could not avoid noticing how much it stood out amongst the other booths. Huge LED screens caught the attention of attendees and its streamlined simplicity was evident. This could also be said about Google’s booth and some other big hosting companies.
There is no coincidence here. The WordPress ecosystem is evolving and ‘upping its game’. Bigger and more resourceful companies are showing more and more interest in the WordPress market and presenting their products at WordCamps. This is very clear when reading WordPress news about huge investments and acquisitions among WordPress companies, and the effect of this evolution will not and is not skipping WordCamps.”
WCUS Takeaway #4: Nothing Beats a Handshake or a Hug
Ben & Verdi, after talking about it the very next day: “Elementor is a company, it’s a product and above all, it’s a mindset. It’s about many different people wanting the same thing; for web creators to succeed at what they need, preferably in less time and with more fun, and for those Creators to want the same for their customers.
Sometimes it’s a customer buying a website or service, sometimes ‘just’ a student wanting to learn web design, marketing or start their own small business. This becomes very real when actually shaking hands , or even hugging, with those that you would do it all for.
One moment I was very impressed by, was when the professor used Elementor as a classroom tool at his university. I was equally impressed to see what magical people like Adam Preiser and Sujay Pawar do with it. Then it was a self-proclaimed housewife/web entrepreneur who started learning in our community and on YouTube only a few months ago and is now a small business owner. Then… well, the list goes on and on.
It’s very important to not only maintain but even increase personal contact between the people from Elementor and our users. Without it, many very valuable insights would never have been gained.”
WCUS Final Thoughts: The Future of Elementor Is Bright
Ben & Verdi: During the first few hours at the booth, I expected mainly to share thoughts with people familiar with Elementor. To my delight and surprise, there were many people who hadn’t even heard of Elementor. Which is very good news as this means potential for growth. Something that becomes even more abundantly clear when you see the look on someone’s face after they first see what Elementor can do. I could not have been more proud right then and there.
Now factor in the many, MANY feature requests that people shared with us, the ever-growing ecosystem of addons, boosters, supporting themes, hosting companies, and educators. The future of Elementor and what it enables people to do with it is bright indeed.