Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The organizing team would like to send a massive thank you to everyone for attending WordCamp Calgary 2016.

This year’s WordCamp was a fantastic weekend of great content, networking and community building for the WordPress community in Calgary. With a sold out crowd, 15 sessions of great content, two days of activities and an amazing after party we hope everyone left last WordCamp with some more great knowledge and ideas.

And as the organizing committee transitions into the decompression and wrap up phase, we have a few tidbits of information to pass a long.

Wordcamp Calgary 2016

Photos, Photos, Photos

Our photographer Reg Tiangha has posted all of his photos from WordCamp Calgary on to his Flick account. So have a look and relive all the great events from WordCamp 2016. Also show him some love by giving him a retweet and liking his photos on Flickr.

Wordcamp Calgary 2016

Continue The Learning

If you want to continue learning about WordPress, please make sure you support The Calgary WordPress Meet-up Group.

Also make sure you follow the other great tech communities in Calgary – such as our good friends at Pixels and Pints and YYC js.

Thank you to our volunteers

Wordcamp Calgary 2016

A massive, massive thank you to all our volunteers for their hard work and dedication for making WordCamp happen. Without our team of dedicated volunteers working the registration table, recording the sessions and running lunch this conference wouldn’t have been what it was.

So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Thank You to Our Speakers!

We also want to thank our speakers for not only giving up their time to prepare and give their presentations, but for also providing the top notch content to make WordCamp Calgary so great. Without our Speakers we wouldn’t have had the content to make the weekend possible.

Take a minute and show them some love by following them on twitter and/or visiting their websites.

Thank You To Our Sponsors!

Wordcamp Calgary 2016

And of course a massive thank you to all our sponsors, without your support the conference wouldn’t be possible.

… And last but not least, we want to thank you once again for attending, participating and supporting WordCamp Calgary 2016. You are all brilliant, amazing and spectacular.

We look forward to seeing everyone at WordCamp Calgary 2017!

Wordcamp Calgary 2016

Sponsor Profile – SAIT


We are so pleased and grateful to have such a prominent sponsor as SAIT behind us! As you may know, we actually held the last two WordCamps at SAIT, though due to some scheduling challenges, we had to relocate for this year. But we’re glad that they’ve still got our back by way of sponsorship.

If you’re reading this soon after it gets posts, you should know that next autumn’s New Media Production and Design class is taking applications until June 1.

What is NMPD? In their own words:

New Media Production and Design provides comprehensive training in multimedia skills. Students learn the tools and techniques used in web design and development, corporate presentations and communications, audio and music production, educational design, animation, simulation, game design, and many other specialties. The program emphasizes project-based, hands-on training, with students working in teams for assigned clients to produce comprehensive and useful media products.

Your Career
Graduates find employment in specialty new media production houses, agencies, corporate, educational or government organizations. Some develop their own freelance and small business opportunities. Work ranges from web design, corporate communication and digital signage to educational media, animation, simulation or game design.

New Media is all about the modern age and the ways in which people communicate digitally. And, as we are all about WordPress, we get it. And here’s a video that will tell you much more about the program. (Heads up! It features 2016 WordCamp Calgary speaker Dan Stephenson.)

If you’re about current tech, SAIT New Media Production and Design is all about you.

24 Hours to WordCamp YYC at Fort Calgary

With less than 24 hours until WordCamp Calgary kicks off, we figured we would post a few things to do to get you excited and ready.

  1. Familiarize yourself with our schedule and plan out your day.
  2. Explore the archives of WordCamp.TV to get a feel for all the great content you’ll be exposed to on Saturday.
  3. Make plans to enjoy a tasty beverage at the after party at 500 Cucina.
  4. Start warming up those tweeting fingers and get to know the Wordcamp Hashtag – #WCYYC.
  5. Review our Code of Conduct so everyone has a wonderful time at WordCamp.
  6. Show some love to our wonderful sponsors who make WordCamp Calgary happen.
  7. Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter, so we can send you any last minute changes.
  8. … and of course rest up. It’s going to be a fantastic day.

Sponsor Profile – Helcim

Helcim - A WordCamp Calgary sponsor

Organizer John typing here. I’m going to be very frank. Payment processing is all very confusing to me. Or rather, was very confusing to me. I suppose only because I had never really looked into how it all works before. But since I’m going to write a sponsor profile about Helcim–one of our awesome sponsors, obvs–I figured I’d do a better job if I looked into it a little bit.

Here’s what I, as a civilian, know. Someone hands me a machine into which I insert a credit or debit card. It asks me to confirm the amount I’m spending. I enter my PIN. Something magical happens and I get to walk away with merchandise even though I didn’t give anyone money! Amazing!

But of course, I did give them money. But how??

Well, there’s a company called a payment processor. There are lots that are that, actually, and Helcim is one of them. These companies give (or maybe rent or sell, I don’t know) machines (which are called payment gateways) to merchants who want to sell me stuff. They charge a monthly fee for the unit, though whether that’s for the unit, or for the unit to access a system I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t matter. When I want to buy something using my plastic, the merchant hands me that machine that they got from the payment processor.

After I’ve done my bit where I insert and acknowledge and PIN-punch, the payment processor takes the information I just entered and submits it to my bank or my credit card company. The bank or credit card company checks to see if I have the liquidity to manage a transaction of that size. They also carry out a number of anti-fraud checks. In this example, they know it’s me because I’m just buying a couple of pints or a pizza again. They then communicate back to the payment processor and then to the gateway that all is copacetic.

And then, somebody else gets involved, and they’re also called a payment processor, but they’re called back-end payment processors. They don’t have payment gateways like Helcim does; instead, they handle the settlement systems for companies like Helcim (which are called…wait for it… front-end payment processors).

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, a small piece of the action is charged by the payment processor.

Now THIS is where choosing a payment processor becomes important. Not only are you, as owner of Suzie Joe’s Pizza & Beer, paying the monthly fee for the payment gateway, but you’re also paying a percentage fee of your transactions for this money to magically end up in your account. It’s nifty, and certainly worth it for the almost-cashless society in which we now live. But you definitely want to know what you’re paying, and be able to rely on that.

And here’s where Helcim becomes a great choice. I went to the website of several different payment processors. On some, I couldn’t even find prices. Helcim has clear pricing right on their website.

I also went and googled around to see what people complain about when they’re complaining about their payment processor. Those complaints are primarily unexpected fees and locked-in contracts.  Helcim themselves point out in a handy video some of the most common payment processor “tricks” and they say that they don’t play those games.

Normally, I like to write kind of light and cheery sponsor profiles. But just because I didn’t even really understand their business very well, I figured this one deserved a different treatment. If you’re like me and really didn’t know what the heck a payment processor does and why you would care, hopefully you’ve come away with a bit more knowledge.

Thanks for your sponsorship, Helcim!

Special Thanks to PetroTech Printing

For 3 years now, PetroTech printing have been helping the ‘digital-focused’ organizing team here at WordCamp with all the printed materials we need for the conference, including:

  • Standing Banners
  • Directional Signs
  • Lanyard Badges
  • Printed Conference Schedule

So to our attendees & sponsors. If you are ever looking for a great printer who gets things done. Check them out:

Sponsor Profile – Orange Ambition Web Design

Orange Ambition Web Design

Isn’t this just a super fun logo? I dig this zebra so much. I had to get that out of the way before I could talk more about Orange Ambition and what they do.

Orange Ambition is a design company that specializes specifically in WordPress driven websites. Owner Sherry Wasdal describes herself as a “non-traditional mother of three grown boys (non-traditional meaning a girl who got married in a hockey jersey and shorts while the Justice of the Peace wore a referee jersey!) Fun, right?

We asked Sherry to tell us what she thinks sets Orange Ambition apart from others in its industry, and she had a great answer:

We have Dancing Zebras and Starfish, so you know we are going to be creative and help you have fun with your web design project. We have experience with marketing, social media, project management and business management in a corporate environment as well as human resources and classroom training skills. This, coupled with more than six years experience working daily in WordPress makes Orange Ambition well rounded and full of ideas to make the online world better. We love helping people connect in fun and meaningful ways with their customers.

We’re so pleased to have Orange Ambition as a first-time WordCamp Calgary sponsor in 2016.

Sponsor Profile – Lighthouse Labs

Lighthouse Labs


We’re so grateful to have Lighthouse Labs as a sponsor of this year’s WordCamp Calgary! Who are Lighthouse Labs? I know that you know the answer to that question. But just in case you’re going to play coy about this, I’m going to tell you anyway.

Lighthouse Labs is a place to learn. I first heard of them when they ran one of their signature The HTML500 events in Calgary. I was registered to attend, but sadly, had to be out of the city on the day it actually happened. A buddy of mine went, though, and thought it was great.

Lighthouse Labs was started by a group of coders in 2013 and has its main campuses in Vancouver and Toronto. But of course, they also have satellite campuses in other cities around the country–Calgary being one of them. Here’s how they describe themselves:

We train passionate people in Web and iOS development. Our core programs are intensive, immersive bootcamps that transform people into outstanding developers. Our part-time Intro to Web and iOS Development courses are perfect to get your feet wet when learning to code.

And that’s what they do. But like I said, you already knew that.

Sponsor Profile – Live Composer

Live Composer logo

We’re very grateful to have Live Composer as a sponsor for this year’s WordCamp. What is Live Composer, you ask? Well I’m glad that you asked.

Live Composer is a free plugin for WordPress that allows you to create a website using drag-and-drop components to create just the look you’re after. What this plugin lets you do is put the stuff on your page in the place you want it to live without having to know all of the code to make that happen.

You know what, they’ve already got a sweet video that shows you what Live Composer does.  That’s probably much more effective than me trying to explain it. Here you go:

Thanks Live Composer for helping to make WordCamp Calgary a thing. It’s kind of like we drag-and-dropped your support right into our WordCamp weekend!

Sponsor profile – Build Studio

Build Studio

When we announced that WordCamp was coming back for 2016, the very first people to pipe up and declare their sponsorship for our little conference was Build Studio. Three awesome guys work at Build. They are Kevin Brennan (a speaker at last year’s ‘Camp!), Russ Fee (a speaker at this year’s and last year’s ‘Camp!) and Tim Hamilton (a speaker at last year’s ‘Camp!). As you can see by their appearance history, we’re big fans.

We asked them what they thought set them apart from others in their industry. Kevin’s reply was that they can communicate with each other entirely in gifs.


The three things they value most at their shop are working hard, being nice, and not taking themselves too seriously.

When asked what their favorite 20 second video is, we got this back. I admit that despite it being filmed over 20 years ago, I’ve never seen it. And it’s amazing! Bill Gates may enjoy all of the trappings that being unimaginably wealthy can bring, but at least I’m a better dancer.


Sponsor Profile – WinningWP

WinningWP - A WordCamp Calgary sponsor

Run by Brin Wilson (a self-proclaimed WordPress fanatic), WinningWP is an increasingly-popular website offering an excellent selection of helpful tips, tricks and resources — such as an insightful beginner’s ‘Guide to Choosing the Best WordPress Hosting’, an extensive (and beautifully designed) ‘Where To Buy Top-Quality WordPress Themes’ directory, and a heap of WordPress-related deals and discounts on a range of different industry-leading brands and services.

Brin keeps his finger on the pulse of all things WordPress, with frequent roundup posts that will help you to find other great content, and a whole host of posts that rank different services and plugins so that you can get your website doing precisely what  you want it to do. I’m signed up for his newsletter, and you should go sign up too.