WordCamp Asia 2023: A Week-long Fun, 3 Years in the Making

In the year 2019, an announcement was made and it was enough to start the chatter in the WordPress community. We knew it was coming and were eagerly waiting and here it was finally. The first flagship WordCamp in Asia. But it was rough sailing, giving us a glimmer of hope on several occasions and it went on like this for a few years.

Finally, after three long years, WordCamp Asia happened in 2023 and we were there, we witnessed it, and what an experience it was. From exploring a new country to meeting familiar faces off-screen for the first time, and making new friends, it was a week worth experiencing again.

The Initial Days and Heartbreak – WordCamp Asia 2020 Canceled

It all started with a “Hello World” post on Twitter and we knew exactly what was brewing. The long-awaited, first regional WordCamp in Asia was coming to life. Then the official confirmation went live.

 As soon as the confirmation went live, pinging each other started.

You are attending WordCamp Asia right?”.
Yes :), most probably. Let’s catch up there”.

From here on it was keeping close tabs on all the updates. Everything was going according to schedule, the official logo was unveiled, the Wapuu design was in progress and there were regular updates from the organizing team.

But then it happened. Everyone knew it was coming, but kept hoping for the best. On Feb 12, 2020, it was announced that WordCamp Asia won’t be taking place. It was the only option, thanks to the pandemic spreading across the globe. The refund process had started, but the organizing team was determined to make WordCamp Asia happen.

Wordcamp Asia, Take 2. It’s Happening, Hopefully.

A few days after WordCamp Asia 2020 cancellation was announced, the organizing team was back to work. This time the goal was to make it happen in 2021. The call for organizers started again, this time to add a few more members.

Heartbreak Again, the Wait Continues.

But the hopes that were reignited were extinguished fast. The attempt to make WordCamp happen in 2021 was short-lived. Hearts were broken again, and all hope seemed to be lost. The wait continued.

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again. Finally, After 3 Years, Wordcamp Asia is Happening. Fingers Crossed.

A great way to start a new year for everyone in the WordPress community. On Jan 5, 2022, it was announced that WordCamp Asia will take place in 2023 and the work had already begun. In the coming months, we saw the normal routine.

For everyone, it was déjà vu all over again. We’ve experienced this multiple times, and in the past, the end result was against us. But this time the pandemic had eased its grip, the world was recovering and everything was starting to look good.

Making Sure We Don’t Miss the First Regional WordCamp in Asia

We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, regularly checking for updates related to the tickets. Then the first batch of tickets went live and as expected it was selling fast. It was a race against time, we didn’t want to miss this opportunity and wait for the next batch of tickets.

So we dived right in, booked the tickets, and were ready for WordCamp Asia 2023. Hoping that this time, nothing derails it.

Bags Packed and Off We Go – One Week Early

A sigh of relief as we packed up our bags. It’s finally happening. From the moment we booked our tickets, we weren’t completely sure if it would turn out the way we want it to. But 2023 is the year, WordCamp Asia is almost here and off we go for a weekend of fun and adventure.

A Weekend Worth Reliving

Will we do it again if we get the opportunity? Absolutely, no two ways about it. An entire weekend of fun, laughter, and memories, who would say not to it?

We started off by exploring Phuket city. The street food, the market, the architecture, a quick shopping spree, and just when we thought we have explored everything, we were in for a treat.

As the night drew closer, the city started to come to life and the streets were more packed than what it was during the daytime.

The next day we headed off to the famous Phi Phi Island. We spent the entire day exploring the island, the beach, the viewpoint, the shops, and kayaking through the sea caves.

We also visited Khao Phing Kan or more famously known as the James Bond island. We wanted to recreate a scene from the movie but entirely forgot about it. The long tail boat ride, coupled with the canoe ride, was worth it.

The next stop on our list was Pattaya. We tried more street food, went to the beach, took a tuk-tuk ride, and called it a day. En route to Bangkok the next day, we made a quick stop at the floating market that we had heard so much about. After a small boat ride through the market, a quick photo session, and shopping, off we were to Bangkok.

When in Bangkok, the shopping spree continued. We knew the place to do the shopping from, but getting there was a bit troublesome. We decided to take the metro, and then reality hit. By the time we figure out the metro, it will be midnight. But lucky for us, a kind individual recognized the situation we were in and offered to help us. Thanks to him, we made it to our destination as planned.

We Are Here. Attending WordCamp Asia 2023

Day 1

We are not going to lie, our hearts were beating a bit faster as we approached the venue. When we did, we all paused for a while, to take in the sight in front of us, which was three years in the making.

A quick summary of WordCamp Asia 2023 is as follows:

Date: Feb 17-19,2023


Total Registered Members: 1,724

Total Attendees: 1,299

Total Contributors: 653

Number of people that streamed the event: 3,185

Total number of sessions: 55

Total Sponsors: 44

Total Speakers: 60

We took a quick walk through the venue exploring all the booths. Then headed off to attend the official inauguration of WordCamp Asia 2023, something that all of us have been eagerly waiting for the past three years.

The first session we attended was by Shlipa Shah on the topic, “Starting your WordPress blog – the first 6 months”. After this, we decided to visit the booths. Yep, there were a lot of attendees, so we had to walk past a few booths and visit them after an interval (hoping that the swags would still be available). We made sure to sign up for the raffle sponsored by Yoast and Bluehost (more about this in Day 2 section).

We caught up with a lot of people with whom we have been conversing on a regular basis, and for the first time, off-screen, we met a few of our WP Professionals of the Month, who were featured at WP-Content.

All the attendees were having the time of their life, which was evident as they were smiling ear to ear. The networking, meeting, and catching up with people went on and on.

The number of people with whom we caught up, well it’s a long list, so please bear with us.

We met Vikas Singhal the creator of InstaWP, who was also our WP Professional of the month, and R. Bhavesh who gave an excellent session on “ Creating result focused design solutions “.

Lesly Sim, the co-founder of Newsletter Glue and our WP Professional of the month

Michelle Frechette, another wonderful WP Professional of the month

Davinder Singh Kainth was our first WP Professional of the month and Anand Upadhyay founder of Webtechstreet and WPVibes.

Topher Derosia the curator behind HeroPress

Rayhan Arif from themeum

Ellen Bauer and Manuel Esposito from Elma Studio. Ellen Bauer was also our WP Professional of the month.

Vova Feldman Founder and CEO of Freemius, and Robert Nolte also from Freemius

That’s it for now, we need an entirely new blog post to include everyone we met there. We attended a few more sessions and by evening signed for the day and headed back to our hotel.

Day 2

The final day of WordCamp Asia, well it was a mix of emotions. Happy that the first regional camp in Asia happened, and brought the community together, and at the same time, sad that it was coming to an end.

So, this is it, the last day of WordCamp and our stay in Thailand – one last opportunity to make memories and collect more swag.

We all expected Matt Mullenweg to be here, but unfortunately, he couldn’t make it. But the interactive session with Matt continued and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and hear them straight from the man himself.

Then it was time to try our luck at the raffle organized by Yoast and Bluehost.  With over 1000 attendees, the probability of winning was close to nil. Just before the start of the raffle I had a conversation with Sarath AR, who is the head of the front end, that if anyone of us wins anything, it’s going to be a miracle. For a moment it seemed like luck was favoring Sarath, as he almost came close to winning a prize, but in the end, missed it by a small margin.

But every now and then, life surprises us. This was one such moment. It was to find the next winner, and somehow it ended up being me.

We wrapped the day a bit early and couldn’t stay for the After-party as our flight back home was at the same time.

Wrapping Up

Did WordCamp Asia 2023 live up to its hype? Yes, it did and the organizing team deserves all the credit for not giving up and being determined to make it happen. For us, it was an opportunity to spend time with fellow people who love WordPress as much as we do.