Category Archives: Speakers

What is a Lightning Talk and Why Should I be Excited about Them?

Spark – Create – Collaborate

Every year at WordCamp, we feature innovative and experienced people from the WordPress community who share their knowledge with us in 45-minute talks across different tracks. WordCamp attendees can choose to follow a track through the whole weekend or can jump from track to track based on speakers and topics. Either way, you’ll get a wealth of WordPress knowledge.

We Are Proud to Announce this Year’s Addition of Lightning Talks

This year at WordCamp, we’re adding an exciting new series of 15-minute lightning talks, featuring new and returning speakers. These shorter talks take place across tracks and allow attendees to hear about a wider variety of topics each day. Some of our lightning talks are on topics that can be easily digested in a short period of time. Others are introductions to larger concepts that attendees may choose to dive into at later WordCamps and WordPress meetups.

On Saturday afternoon, Business track attendees will hear three short talks. Asheville’s own Boomer Sassmann (owner of Big Boom Design) will talk about using Asana for team collaboration. Adam Walker will explain what he learned from building 48 websites in 48 hours. And Leah Quintal (Director of SEO at JB Media Group) will address the important question “Do Keywords Still Matter?” The Developer track will feature lightning talks on WP CLI, server profiles, and post types.

On Sunday, all four tracks get a set of lightning talks. The Business track features talks on integrating social media, using Pinterest, and podcasting. Developers will hear speakers on plugin development, using WordPress as the backend of mobile apps, and MU Plugins. Later in the afternoon, the All Users track will include talks on email marketing, bad web habits, and one called “how the internet works,” while the Front-end/Designer track features talks on Page Builders, Flexbox, and Child Themes.

No matter which track you choose, these new 15-minute lightning talks are a great way to get a lot of information on a lot of different subjects in a short time. We hope you enjoy this new format as much as we do.

You can see our complete schedule of events on the schedule page. Check out the lightning bolt icon for our shorter lightning talks.

Jack Lenox

Jack Lenox to Deliver Keynote at WordCamp Asheville 2016

We are thrilled to welcome Automattician Jack Lenox as our 2016 WordCamp Asheville keynote speaker! Jack is a design engineer and a frequent WordCamp speaker. He lives in Keswick, in the English Lake District, and he’s also a world traveler, vegan, humanist, and a co-organizer of last year’s ThemeConf, a conference in the UK for themers, designers, and front-end developers. 

For the past few years, Jack has been experimenting with new approaches to theme development, specifically with how to use the REST API to create seamless, super fast loading  single-page applications.

For his keynote, Jack will adopt a broader, less technical vantage point and talk about the power of the open-source community, in which WordPress is proudly entrenched. Jack describes his talk, “The Power of Open,” as such:

“On September 27, 1983, Richard Stallman announced to the world his intention to create a complete operating system from the ground up. He called it GNU, which stands for GNU’s Not Unix. This also marked the launch of the free software movement. Now, more than 30 years later, we gather at one of many hundreds of WordCamps, that occur throughout the world, every year. And we represent just one small segment of a much grander pie.

“When I made my first steps into this community in 2008, I took a lot of the freedoms we have for granted. Since then, I have learnt a lot about freedom (both with an upper and lower case F), and I can’t help but find the ubiquity of open source software (and hardware) awe-inspiring. This talk will include a number of the most inspiring things I have learned about during my time in our industry, and will hopefully underline the importance of this year’s theme: Spark. Create. Collaborate.”

Jack will also deliver a developer track talk to relay his experiences working with the REST API and what the future holds for theme development. 

You can find Jack on Twitter and at, you’ll find some of his travel logs and general musings on life.

#WCAVL 2016 Speakers Deadline = Sunday April 10 at 11:59 PM

Speakers Deadline for WordCamp Asheville 2016 Fast Approaches

Presenters and WordPress lovers have until 11:59 PM on Sunday April 10, 2016 to submit their ideas for talks at this year’s WordCamp Asheville. Anyone interested in being considered must complete our form and provide detailed information about the presentation topic, name, takeaways, and value to the attendees. People can apply from anywhere in the country, or even the world, so if you are looking for a reason to visit the mountains –

Apply now and tell us what you want to talk about!

Speakers can choose to present on topics related to website  website development, web design, business, marketing, content, plugins, and much more. To find out more details about what is involved CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO BECOME A SPEAKER. We are always looking for unique topics that allow participants to learn applicable WordPress skills

Get Inspired and Share Your Spark

Group Of Friends Lighting Sparklers At Outdoor Party

This year’s theme is “the spark”. WordCamp is the perfect place to have that ah-ha moment when you learn something new or to come up with that next great idea for your business, to connect with someone and experience true synchronicity or to finally begin developing an essential team collaboration that takes you further than you ever could go on your own. It’s not required to have the theme as part of your presentation, but we’d love to challenge you to consider including it.

Apply to Give a Full Talk and a Lightning Talk

This year we have given potential speakers two options: present on a topic for 45 minutes and answer attendee questions, or consider also presenting a 15 minute lightning talk and inspire everyone with a simple, yet brilliant idea.  If you have more than one idea to pitch then simple let us know when you complete your speaker submission form.

Thanks for Being a Part of #WCAVL – We Can’t Wait to See You in June

Thanks to everyone who has already submitted ideas for WordCamp Asheville 2016. There would be no WordCamp without you, your expertise, and your generous desire to give back to the community.  We look forward to seeing all of you in June!