Thank You to Our Speakers

by joyMarie Adamonis- Friedman

KON Asian Bistro

Did you know that every speaker at a WordCamp volunteers their time to do so? That’s right! Each and every speaker we have had the privilege of hosting at WordCamp RI has done so on their own time. Without these amazing speakers, WordCamps all over the world would not be as successful as they are. We thank each speaker for submitting talks and ultimately choosing to volunteer their efforts to help make WordCamp RI such a success.
Each year, we invite the speakers to a private party to thank them for all they have contributed to WordCamp RI. This year we are hosting a dinner party at KON where they will eat, drink and surely talk WordPress!  Speakers can network amongst themselves and also meet the organizing team! It’s always a great night and it’s something we at WordCamp RI love to do for our talented group of speakers.
Along with the organizing team, each speaker is dedicated to helping the WordPress community grow & flourish. If you think speaking at a WordCamp sounds like something you are interested in, please consider submitting a talk. We hope you are as excited about this year’s WordCamp RI as we are! Hope to see you there!

The After-Party

by JoyMarie Adamonis-Friedman

The WordCamp RI 2016 After-Party is the perfect chance to relax, unwind and network with other WordPress enthusiasts like yourself.  It is also a great chance to speak one-on-one with the organizers, speakers and volunteers, whereas they might have been unavailable during the conference.  Many people have made great connections at these previous events. If the networking doesn’t draw you in, then the food, drinks & fun times surely should!

Finn's Harbourside

Finn’s Harbourside

We are  “making waves” with this years After-Party! We have secured a waterfront spot in East Greenwich at Finn’s Harborside. We will be partying the night away in our very own private tent right on the docks overlooking Greenwich Bay.  The menu will be an ode to all that Little Rhody has to offer. Rest assured, the infamous clamcake will make an appearance!  The menu alone will delight the foodies of the group. The night also features a private open bar, music and some fun surprises along the way.

We take every aspect of WordCamp to heart and aim to plan an amazing conference from start to finish. The After-Party is a continuation of the WordCamp RI experience, one that shouldn’t be missed! Your WordCamp RI badge is your ticket in! That’s right; the food, drinks & fun are all included in your ticket price!  So don’t forget your badge and I hope to see you at Finn’s Saturday October 1st at 6pm!

Finn’s Harborside
38 Water St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
October 1st 6-10pm
Ticket: your WordCamp RI Badge

Our Fifth Year of WordCamp RI

This year marks the fifth annual WordCamp RI.  Can you believe it?  Here are some #Throw Back and #Flash Back highlights.


2012 WordCamp Providence logo

2012 WordCamp Providence logo

Our first WordCamp was held in 2012 at the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media in downtown Providence.  The lead organizer was Luke Gedeon. Jesse Friedman was on the WordCamp organizing committee.

The first year we held a one-day WordCamp, on a Saturday at the end of October.  There were three seminar tracks: beginner, developer, and education.

Some of the sessions and speakers were:

  • “Plugin Development – Stirred not Shaken” by Jon Desrosiers
  • “From Employee, to Freelancer, to Business Owner (An Unnatural Progression)” by Aaron Ware
  • A “Panel: The use of WordPress at The Harrington School of Communication and Media, URI” led by Jonathan Friesem.

The After-Party was held at Congress Tavern.


WordCamp 2013 was expanded to a 2-day weekend of learning all things WordPress.  The co-lead-organizers were  Luke Gedeon and Jesse Friedman.  There were four tracks in 2013: beginner, intermediate, advanced and marketer.

The all-day Friday in-depth sessions focused on mobile strategy, WordPress templates, and starting a WordPress website for beginners.  Saturday sessions offered topics such as:

  • “How We Built the Harrington School Website with WordPress” by Renee Hobbs
  • “Real-Time Site Personalization” by Jesse Friedman
  • “Plugin Development” by Jon Desrosiers.

In 2013 the After-Party was held at Local 121’s Speakeasy.


2014 found WordCamp back at the Harrington School of Communication with Jesse Friedman as the lead organizer.   During the last weekend in September, WordCamp started with three all-day sessions on Friday: WordPress Basics, Plugin Development, and Security.

Saturday had sessions on a variety of topics: beginner, advanced user, developer, business, education, and design.  They included:

  • “WordPress Security: Fundamentals for Professionals” by Joseph Herbrandson
  • “You Will Never Be Good Enough” by Aaron Ware
  • “Flexibility of WooCommerce ” by Danny Santoro.

This year the After-Party was at Trinity Brewhouse.


In 2015 we stayed with the two-day format, but changed locations to the New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich.  The organizing committee wondered if WordCampers would be happy with a change in venue from downtown Providence.  We need not have worried.  The new location was an instant hit.  WordCamp RI was held the last weekend in September.  Jennifer Kusiak and Aaron Ware were the lead organizers.

The Friday boot-camp sessions were WordPress Basics, Getting to Know SASS, and Contributing to WordPress Core.

Some of the Saturday sessions included:

  • “Child Themes” by Ajay Coletta
  • “The World Of WordPress: Roles, Tasks, and Skills in WordPress Development” by Colin Murphy
  • “Content is King, but You Don’t Have to be its Slave” by Aileen McDonough.

The After-Party was held at Chelo’s Waterfront Bar & Grille.



What’s in store for our fifth WordCamp in Rhode Island?  Stay tuned to this space for developments.  WordCamp RI 2016 will once again be at New England Technical Institute in East Greenwich.  The dates are Friday and Saturday September 30 and October 1.

What are some of your best memories of WordCamp here in the Ocean State?

Let us know in the comments section!

Also tweet us @WordCampRI and like us on Facebook

“Food is the most important meal of the day*”

The person in charge of ordering all the food for WordCamp RI 2016, and that includes accommodating food allergies, is Joy Adamonis.  She gives us a behind-the-scenes look at her job.

Joy, once again this year you’ve taken on the job of organizing all the food for WordCamp RI 2016. That’s a lot of work! You work to feed the attendees, the speakers, and volunteers breakfast and lunch and snacks for two days as well as organize the grand After-Party at the end. Plus, you need to make sure the food venues are accessible and the food served meets the varying food needs of all concerned. Whew! What’s your Master Plan?

My Master Plan is simple: I aim to please. I listen to the other organizers, volunteers, last year’s attendees and also attend WordCamps on my own to get ideas. Although I know I cannot please everyone (for a bunch of different reasons), if you start planning with the idea that you are going to try to make everyone happy, then chances are you end up coming real close to reaching your goal.

What are the main food-type groups (e.g. vegan) that you try to provide? How do you know what ratio of food groups to order?

We try to have attendees mark their preferences ahead of time when they order their ticket. I have found that some events I’ve been to do not do this. The food is chosen and that is all they have. They do not ask about allergies, preferences etc. I try to include all food preferences: a veggie option, a vegan option and then two types of carnivore options. I also try to handle each food allergy request the best I can. If the vendor I am using cannot accommodate, I will find one that will and bring that specific meal in. No-one will go hungry. After the tickets have been purchased, I use those numbers to order the right amount, always adding extra for each food type! I would rather have extra food (that we donate to a homeless shelter) than have a paying attendee go hungry.

How is it to work with New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich with regards to food?

I cannot say enough positive remarks about NEIT. They were so accommodating for each special request/food allergy we had last year.
As a food allergy mom myself, I truly find when someone goes out of their way to make sure something is safe for you, they really have your best interest in mind. There was one meal they couldn’t accommodate last year. They told us they didn’t feel comfortable offering this meal to the attendee because they were not sure of some of the ingredients. I find that to be so refreshing. Sometimes it is hard to say, “NO” to a customer, but like I said they truly have the best interest of others in mind.

You’ve done this before. Are there any tips and tricks you’ve learned for organizing food preparation and serving for a large group?

Patience. There is a ton that goes into this. Cost/budget, quality of food, quantity of food, food options. I tackle each with patience. If I get overwhelmed on one aspect, it will just trickle into the others.

What’s your biggest challenge in organizing all this?

Pleasing everyone. People are picky with their food for a number of reasons. And I respect that. Although I start my planning process aiming to please everyone, I know it is not feasible. I have found that we truly go above and beyond here at WordCamp RI as far as food goes. I have been to many WordCamps and the lunch is pizza and salad. No snacks. No coffee. I just want attendees to be cognizant to the fact that we as a team at WordCamp RI are working hard to provide you with “a little more” than necessary to hopefully stand out and make the attendees happy they chose us!

During WordCamp, the food is served right at New England Tech. However, for the After Party we move off-campus. What do you look for in an After-Party location?

I look for a venue that is down-to-earth. Although, RI has some gorgeous country clubs and venues, I find low-key, out-of-the-box venues work best for the After-Party.

Is weather a concern?

Unfortunately, Mother Nature can be an issue. However, I always have a backup plan. If we are in a tent, the tent needs to accommodate everyone and not just house the food and drinks. It needs to be on a hard surface for fear of mud and puddles if it rains. I will always cross my fingers and hope for a clear night, but be rest assured you will have a dry place to network and make memories after the WordCamp!

What do you try for with the After-Party location in terms of proximity to the WordCamp RI location, accessibility, and food choices?

I find that the majority of attendees come to the After-Party when it is NO MORE THAN 15 minutes away from the WordCamp RI location. So, while that limits us since our event is getting bigger and bigger each year, we truly want the After-Party to be just as successful as the workshops themselves. Networking is a huge part of WordCamps and we understand that. Accessibility is a must. Period. We have had to turn down a few places because they were not. As far as food choices, they need to be able to accommodate the majority of our guests’ food requests. If they do not, I inform them that if they want to keep us as a client I need to be able to bring in some outside food to accommodate a few special requests. So far, I have never had a venue give me an issue. Most are delighted that I spoke up.

You came back for more this year, so you enjoyed the work you did last year?

This is my third year as an organizer, second as the Food & Events Wrangler. It was such hard work last year, but so rewarding. I truly enjoyed it, especially those special food requests. I had many people come to me thank me for taking their allergy or request seriously. I never want anyone to feel left out or feel like a burden when it comes to the food they can and cannot eat. Food should bring people together, not tear them apart.

Are you changing anything up this year?

Yes! We are trying some new lunch options this year, based on feedback. We listen! Switching up the snacks a bit- LOTS MORE COFFEE- After-Party will be very FUN with an ode to Little Rhody foods- and the Speakers Dinner will be very different this year as well!

You’re so busy during the days of WordCamp, do you have a chance to attend any of the sessions? If so, to what types do you gravitate?

I usually do not get to attend, but always watch the sessions after (on I am sure I could step away for a few moments, but my mind is solely focused on making sure everything is moving smoothly. The snack table needs to stay filled, lunches placed out and labeled, head counts confirmed for the After-Party and I also fill in wherever else I’m needed. I did get to make it to the keynote speaker last year (as it was my husband Jesse Friedman) and find making time for the keynotes is easier since most everyone is there also!

What insights have you gained organizing the meals for WordCamp RI?

I truly think that people will respect you for trying to accommodate or help them with their needs, regardless of the outcome. There were times when I couldn’t answer a few questions, but found someone who could. Those attendees thanked me for going out of my way and finding them the correct point person. I hate to say, “No” or “I don’t know” to someone and leave it at that. I will always offer up my help to track down the information they need. Think about how much of a better world this would be if we all just went a little above and beyond for each other! WordPress is a community and communities work together to get things done. Here at WordCamp RI, we follow that motto!

Joy Adamonis is a Freelance Writer and  Food & Events Wrangler

Contact her at:

* original quote source unknown