WordCamp Nashville 2016 – Guide to Camp

You’re registered for and attending Wordcamp Nashville 2016. Now what? Your WCN2016 organizers have created this handy guide to help you make the most of your experience with us.

First, for a big picture view of where you’ll be, check out our customized Google Map that our team created to help you navigate your camp weekend. It’s got all the goodies. For details, read on.

Where to park:

On Saturday, there is both a free lot and a pay lot next door to Deavor / redpepper on the east side of the building across 3rd avenue and a pay lot behind the buildings on the South side. On Sunday, parking in these lots will be restricted. For more information, see our post about parking.

On Saturday and Sunday, attendees may park for free in the state employee parking lot located at the corner of 6th Avenue and Harrison Street. Parking may also be found in the state parking lots located around the State Capitol.

ADA parking is available on a first-come first-served basis at the corner of 5th Avenue North and Harrison Street for persons with state issued license plate, placard or decal.

Where to Go:

Deavor / Redpepper
305 Jefferson Street
Nashville, TN 37208
Google map

What to Expect on Saturday:

  • Registration will be inside redpepper to the right of the atrium. Stop there to check in and get your nametag, pay if you haven’t already bought a ticket, and get a venue guide. When you’re done with registration, you’ll head to the left of the atrium to check out sponsor displays and upstairs for coffee and the keynote.
  • What you get? Swag is provided this year by these awesome companies: Bluehost, JetPack, WooCommerce, WP Engine, WP Ninjas, iThemes, BoldGrid, Content Connects, Pantheon, UpThemes, Kurate.it, ClickHost, GreenGeeks, Kanban, Forward Push, Berry Interesting Productions, WordFence, Resounding Echoes, and the Nashville Scene
  • What you’ll eat? Lunch options If you purchased a ticket ahead of time, you’ll be dining on delicious sandwiches from Mitchell Deli. Options include grilled chicken salad, grilled veggie, roast beef and cheddar, tennessee tuna melt or turkey brie – all include chips, fruit and snacks.
  • Coffee provided from Frothy Monkey
  • If you’re planning on venturing off site for lunch, Germantown Nashville has quite a few options for food. Nearby is 312 Pizza (located at 4th and Monroe) and Jack Brown’s Burgers (on 3rd Avenue)

What to Expect on Sunday:

  • Location – Sunday activities will happen entirely at Deavor, so you’ll need to go around to the front door of Deavor (facing Jefferson).
  • What’s happening? Sunday will be a combination of an full day of contributing back to WordPress core and community, as well as 3 in-depth workshops, 9am-3pm. 
  • What you’ll eat? You’ll need to take care of yourself for lunch on Sunday. We recommend Jack Brown’s Burgers (on 3rd Avenue). If you mention you’re from WordCamp, you’ll get a free fried oreo with your purchase! For other options, check out the google map.
  • Coffee provided from Frothy Monkey

How to connect with the Nashville WordPress Community?

You can find out more and connect with the Nashville WordPress community at







How to attend / get to the WCN2016 After Party?

About the After Party

The Family Wash / Garage Coffee
626A Main Street, Nashville, Tn 37206

LIFT: is offering new users a free ride up to $20 using the code WCN16


Directions: Head east on Jefferson Street toward 3rd Ave North / Continue onto Spring Street / Turn left onto Main Street and your destination will be on the right

Parking: Street & small lot accessible via alley off 7th Street and at Center 615 lot across Main Street.


Geeks Unite!

We’re proud to share the news that local WordPress developer and community organizer, Kenneth White, has joined forces with Nashville Geek, expanding the company’s expertise in theme, plugin and application development via the new WP REST API.

“I’m excited to have an opportunity to sharpen my skills as a developer,” Kenneth White, now lead developer at Nashville Geek, says about melding his company, sprclldr, into the geek team. “Running my own business was a great experience, but now I get the chance to focus on application problem solving and the quality of finished product.”

Nashville Geek is growing, building a team of experienced design and development professionals who are dedicated to staying on the forefront of WordPress as it matures from single-site publishing to more complex business needs. The addition of Kenneth to the team brings another level to our ability to create better-organized & accessible content management for our clients.

With a fifteen-year history as a graphic designer before diving headlong into web development, Kenneth has a unique perspective on coding. “I’ve always been adamant about using design thinking to make information engaging and clear, so that technology isn’t a barrier. From application planning to conversion of the brand experience into a positive user-experience, we develop tailored solutions for each of our clients. My greatest joy is hearing from our clients that their site is easy to manage or that we’ve simplified some previously clunky process, giving them time for more important things like managing their business or helping their clients.

“WP REST API is exciting because it allows us to customize those solutions even further with custom admins, front-ends and network data distribution. We’re only seeing the beginning of what it will allow us to do.”

Scott Farr, co-owner and senior developer at Nashville Geek says, “Kenneth has been a friend and colleague for many years. He’s the perfect fit for our small Geek family, and we’re proud to have him aboard. His diverse experience in all aspects of the web development game helps to raise the bar for the whole team. I look forward to seeing how our team evolves from here.”


Learn more about Nashville Geek and their WordPress capabilities at www.nashvillegeek.com.


Podcast: Dustin Meza of WP Engine

Dustin Meza relocated to Nashville in 2015 from Austin and quickly joined the local WordPress community. Dustin is the Director of Customer Experience Operations at WP Engine and shares his memories of WP Engine’s early days and what brought him to Nashville. Dustin also discusses what it was like to get involved early on with Nashville’s WordCamp, what visitors to the camp can expect, and how he sees Nashville’s WordPress community growing along with the city.

Randy Hicks Talks Nashville WordCamp

Randy Hicks, this year’s Workshops Lead and former WordCamp Nashville Lead Organizer, sits down at the Entrepreneur Center with Clark Buckner of Relationary Marketing to talk about all things WordCamp!

1. The origins of WordCamp Nashville; the original goal

In 2012 WordCamps were spreading like fire and John Housholder and I were essentially running most of the meetup events. At that point John had been to a handful of camps and was determined that Nashville was going to have a camp and we could do it in less than 4 months.

Over night we had assembled a team and we were off to the races. The first year was all about getting it done and just having a camp. Looking back I still think we did a great job for our first camp.

The next year we stepped it up a bit, paid for a venue, included lunch and added a third track. The 2013 camp became a template for 2014 & 2015 as the community was slowly growing. The goal was to provide a safe space for the community to connect and meet on all things WordPress. That’s pretty normal for a WordCamp, but for most it’s one of the only days in the year they get out and really give it their all!

2. What’s changing about it this year: new location, two days of programming, intensive workshops.

2016 is the next step in the natural evolution of any WordCamp. It may sound easy, but it is a huge undertaking to coordinate the event! Starting off as a one-day camp gave us exponential room to grow, and this year we took a cue from other camps and moved to the Germantown location of redpepper and Deavor.

We’ve added a fourth track that is focused on higher education and have dedicated the second day to hands-on training workshops. The higher education track is being curated by college professors around Nashville and neighboring cities. With MTSU at the helm, we expect it to be a great addition to the camp.

The Sunday trainings are my personal bonus. Sessions are great, but there is no comparison to getting your hands dirty with actual WordPress publishing. We have the following:

– WordPress 101: The Basics of Content Management
– Future Proof SEO for WordPress
– Using Forms in WordPress
– How To MeetUp
– Contributing to WordPress Core

3. Why we’ve made these changes

Anyone who has been in Nashville for 6 months will understand what is happening in our fair city. The pros and cons of change are debatable, and as far as the WordPress community is concerned, it’s been a huge pro!

We now have 1,415 total members in our MeetUp, and the statistics on growth of new members has been a tell of the growth Nashville is experiencing.

– Nov-2010 to 2011: 141
– 2012: 175 = 124.11%
– 2013: 258 = 147.43%
– 2014: 246 = 94.65%
– 2015: 442 = 179.67%
– 2016: 302 (aug-27th 325 in 2015)
– Stats sheet: http://bit.ly/2bYki8h

4. What we’re hoping for people to get out of this year

For all the reasons mentioned above we moved to larger, more open floor plan. However we also felt that moving the event into the city, proper, would give attendees that feel of Nashville pride that is harder to get from the 100 Oaks fringe.

The large part of the change is a direct reflection of a quickly growing, diverse professional community who all share the connection that the WordPress Open Source community creates. The global awareness of the WordPress community really is amazing, and we believe that Nashville has the potential to be at the forefront. On a topic for another day, we are pushing for Nashville to be the WordCamp US location, but we won’t find out for a few more weeks or months if that will be happening.

Where Can I Park?

No event in Nashville is complete these days without a discussion about parking. WordCamp Nashville is no exception and we’ve got a few spots as suggestions:

Saturday parking

There is one free parking lot in close proximity to a redpepper Deavor:

  1. the lot across 3rd Avenue to the East (at 1015 2nd Ave N).

There are two pay to park lots in close proximity to a redpepper Deavor:

  1. the lot directly behind (South of) the building (at 1009 3rd Ave. N)
  2. the lot across 3rd Avenue to the East (at 1014 3rd Ave. N). If you wish to use this lot, you may use the parking code 0527 (WordPress’s birthday!) to get free parking in this lot only.

Sunday Parking

On Sunday, the lot at 1015 2nd Ave N and 1014 3rd Ave. N are both reserved for attendees of CrossPoint church. You will need to pay to park in the lot at the 1009 3rd Ave. N, or use one of the options below

Other free parking?

Yes, it does exist! On Saturday and Sunday, attendees may park for free in the state employee parking lot located at the corner of 6th Avenue and Harrison Street. Additional parking may also be found in the state parking lots located around the State Capitol.

ADA parking is available on a first-come first-served basis at the corner of 5th Avenue North and Harrison Street for persons with state issued license plate, placard or decal.

If you don’t mind a walk, there is also a paid lot on the corner of 5th and Madison in the Germantown neighborhood north of the event site. Additionally, there is street parking in the neighborhood as well if you’re up for exploring and don’t mind parking a greater distance (i.e. a quarter to a half mile) from the WordCamp venue at redpepper Deavor.


Carel Bekker, Owner of ClickHOST on WordPress hosting in the South

A Q&A with Carel Bekker, the owner of ClickHOST.com, a Bronze Sponsor of  Nashville WordCamp 2016.

We’ve seen ClickHOST sponsor many WordPress events in the south. Is there something special about the southern WordPress community you interact with at WordCamps and at the office?

Yes! We’ve sponsored WordCamp in Atlanta since 2011 and we also sponsor a number of Meetups in the Atlanta metro area. When the WordCamp Nashville organizers asked us to sponsor WC Nashville, we jumped to take advantage of the opportunity to sponsor another WordPress event in the South. We love being involved in the local community, especially in the South. WordPress people in the South are very friendly, caring and love to help each other. We host thousands of WordPress websites and this is our way of giving back to the community.

You’ve lived in the “South” most of your life, right? What is your connection with Nashville and why did you decide to sponsor WordCamp Nashville?

Eh, yes :). I was born on South Africa (the deep South), and moved to Atlanta in 1998 to start the US operations of a South African IT company. It’s now over 18 years later and we still live in the Atlanta area. Beautiful part of the country. My family and I are now US citizens and we plan to stay.

Fast forward a few years and in 2010 I bought ClickHOST.com. I quickly focused the company on WordPress services and hosting.  ClickHOST.com obviously runs WordPress. My connection with Nashville? Before ClickHOST, I spent many years working with companies in Nashville. I know a number of people in Nashville and enjoy visiting from time to time.

What’s the biggest challenge for WordPress in the coming years? And for the WordPress community? Will it continue to grow?

It will continue to grow. I believe we have two major challenges with WordPress.

1. Security

2. Complexity.

Security remains one of the major challenges. The WordPress community has done a tremendous amount of work to make WordPress a safe choice. However it is such a high profile CMS and so many people still neglect security that it remains an easy target for hackers. We offer a number of free and inexpensive services to make WordPress as safe as possible.

The second challenge is complexity. My personal passion is simplicity. It is very easy to make things complex. It is not so easy to make complex things, simple and easy to use. WordPress is a very complex system. I think it is time to rethink how WordPress is developed, delivered and managed.

Are you planning any race car driving events or Super Bowl commercials… if you know what I mean?

Like GoDaddy? Heck yea! We have a local dirt track in Woodstock. I think I’ll slap a few ClickHOST stickers on some of the cars. OK, no. We would rather spend our money on making our services easy-to-use (simple), and secure.

Rumor has it that you leverage technology beyond servers and datacenters… Is it true that you use a standing station?

I do! And I love it. I invested in a standing desk for my home office about a year ago. I enjoy the flexibility it provides. My next more is to invest in a tread mill desk to feed my 5K race addiction.

Carel Bekker is the owner and passionate president of ClickHOST.com. ClickHOST is based in Kennesaw, GA, and provides simple, honest, and safe WordPress hosting services. Follow us @ClickHOST and Carel Bekker, @carelbekker.

Use WordCamp Nashville’s special code CH-WCN16-20 to get 20% off ClickHOST’s BASIC & BETTER hosting plans. Limited offer. http://www.clickhost.com/web-hosting/hosting-packages/

Faces of WordPress: John Stevenson

john-goliath-2Name John Stevenson

Employment Digital Content Coordinator

Primary website http://www.coaster101.com/

Twitter handle @johnrstevenson

How were you first introduced to WordPress? I was first introduced to WordPress in 2008. After using it for a personal blog, I switched my then Joomla-powered Coaster101 website to WP in 2009. And since then, I haven’t looked back.

What do you like about it? WP can be almost anything you want it to be, and you (as the creator) have total control. It can be as simple as a personal blog or as complex as a multifaceted website and e-commerce operation. The possibilities are near endless, and that’s not something I’ve found with other platforms.

What do you do with WP now? I own and write for Coaster101.com, a roller coaster and amusement industry website that I started in 2005. With the help of a very talented team of coaster-riding writers, C101 has become a leading source of roller coaster news, photography, insight and more in the coaster website universe (which surprisingly exists).

How has the WP community (local and beyond) helped you? I’ve found the WP community as a whole to be very helpful. From determining the cause of the dreaded “white screen of death” to tweaking a theme, I’ve been helped by countless members of the community. Locally, I was excited to see such an active WP community in Nashville after moving here last year. I look forward to becoming more involved with the community in the future.

Did learning WP lead to any significant professional, personal, creative changes in your life? Tell us how! I’ve been fortunate to use WordPress for freelance and community-related projects. And the coding knowledge that I’ve amassed over my years using WP has translated to other jobs and projects that didn’t directly involve WordPress.

What would you tell a brand new user? Even out of the box, WordPress is an amazing, powerful and flexible publishing platform. There is a learning curve, but because it is so widely used, there are plenty of resources online to guide you through the learning process. And as mentioned earlier, there are plenty of people to help you along the way.

Anything else we should we know? Because I’m often asked: my favorite coaster is (currently) Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion in Virginia.

Faces of WordPress: Renee Dubeau

reneeName Renee Dubeau

Employment Author

Primary website www.reneedubeau.com

Twitter handle @reneedubeau

How were you first introduced to WordPress? I started my first blog on WordPress about eight years ago. A friend introduced me to it.

What do you like about it? It’s super easy to use, and allows me to instantly share my work. Linking my WP site and social media has helped me build readership, and confidence as an artist.

What do you do with WP now? I write creative non-fiction and self help for three sites! 🙂


How has the WP community (local and beyond) helped you? It’s given me a foundation to build my writing career on.

Did learning WP lead to any significant professional, personal, creative changes in your life? Tell us how! Yes. Using WP, sharing my work with the WP community has helped me gain confidence with my writing. It helped me find my voice, and become the author I am today.

What would you tell a brand new user? Be brave! 🙂

Faces of WordPress: Simon Carr

simon-carr-designups-founderName Simon Carr

Employment owner of DesignUps – Digital Design Agency

Primary website http://designups.com/

Twitter handle @simoncarr

How were you first introduced to WordPress? Circa 2007 when I started using WordPress as a personal blog. By 2009 it was my default content management system.

What do you like about it? The total freedom and flexibility. WordPress can be simple and lean or extremely robust and customized. It seems to work for 98% of the interactive projects we work on.

What do you do with WP now? We build custom themes and modify pre-made themes to be tailored to our needs. The most common customizations involve Advanced Custom Fields and Events Calendar Pro.

How has the WP community (local and beyond) helped you? Have met great friends through the local WordPress community. I would callout Kenneth White in particular for all he has done for the local WordPress community.

Did learning WP lead to any significant professional, personal, creative changes in your life? Tell us how! WordPress is a core part of our business offerings and it has allowed us to work with large scale clients across the globe.

What would you tell a brand new user?

  • Don’t install all the plugins.
  • Start with a simple theme and deconstruct it.
  • If content is your thing, then keep writing – and be sure to use pretty pictures to keep us engaged.

Anything else we should we know? WordPress will probably eventually evolve to power AI – so might as well get familiar with it now!

Nashville Scene’s Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair

Nashville Scene’s Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair

Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair is an exhibition and sale of handmade goods from independent artists that originated 13 years ago in Washington, D.C., presented by our sister publication, the Washington City Paper. Nashville Scene launched a version of the event in November 2014 as Crafts and Drafts, integrating a curated selection of beer for sale along with the handcrafted items, activities, entertainment and food truck fare. Following three successful iterations of Crafts and Drafts, Nashville Scene is relaunching the event in our market as Crafty Bastards, with artist submissions from a national level and relocating this outdoor event to The Gulch neighborhood on Saturday, November 5, 2016 from 10 AM – 4 PM. This is a FREE event!

Why are we doing it?

As Nashville’s premier alternative newsweekly, the Nashville Scene promotes underground art and strives to connect the voice and vision of independent artists with our readers. The festival creates an experience where consumers can discover unconventional, hard-to-find arts and crafts, meet the artists, and even make something themselves.  

What kinds of crafts will I find?

You will find talented artists handpicked by a select jury for their DIY chops and singular vision. There’ll be surprises at every booth including unique homegoods, clothing, punk-rock baby clothes, handcrafted jewelry, plush toys, DIY kits, screen-printing, original art, locally produced food, and much more!

Follow the Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair Event Page on Facebook for the latest updates and info. The vendor gallery is coming soon! https://www.facebook.com/events/1276495792375329/


The Nashville Scene is a Platinum Sponsor of WordCamp Nashville. Follow us!