Our Islands, Our Future

A first-time event called WordCamp sold out with 175 people attending and participants giving “exceptionally positive” feedback for the two-day workshops held recently on the University of Hawaii Maui College campus. “The primary motivation for bringing WordCamp to Maui was to educate, elevate and inspire web and software development on Maui,” said Jon Brown, WordCamp Maui lead organizer. Mission accomplished, Brown said.

WordCamp Maui, which had a host of sponsors and supporters including Maui Economic Development Board, attracted a full spectrum of attendees from bloggers to photographers, online marketers to small businesses, educators and Web developers. Brown, a Maui resident and owner/partner of 9seeds LLC in Nevada, coordinated the event along with his fiancée, Elena Rego, and eight other people. Every WordCamp is unique, Brown said, and Maui’s was no different, offering business track training for WordPress and Web development professionals, and beginners lessons for those unfamiliar but interested in WordPress usage. “Putting together a nonprofit conference, entirely with volunteer organizers and speakers was a challenge,” Brown said. “Fueled solely by a love for WordPress community, the volunteers all rose to the occasion and helped deliver a great conference for Maui.”

WordCamps happen all over the world. Maui’s featured sessions on how to use WordPress more effectively, advance techniques and security issues. A talk on Facebook advertising and another on online marketing in general appeared to gain a lot of interest from the WordCamp attendees. “I think it’s a foregone conclusion how important a Web presence is,” Brown said, adding that customer interaction for businesses often begins and ends online. That’s why the information WordCamp provided on Maui drew a lot of interest. Brown said he’d like to see a WordCamp held in Hawaii every year with the next one possibly being held on Oahu. “If not, we’ll aim to organize another on Maui in 2016,” Brown said.