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Collage of three screenshots of the CloudFest Hackathon website, the WordCamp Europe 2024 website and the WordCamp Asia 2024 website.

The secret to speaking at WordCamp Asia and leading a CloudFest Hackathon digital accessibility project

Two things I would not have applied for without great backup!

I’m speaking at WordCamp Asia (Taipei, Taiwan, March 7-9) and I will be leading an accessibility project for developers at the CloudFest Hackathon (Rust, Germany, March 16-18). March is a big month for me.

A year ago, I would not have dreamed to apply for either, nor for my role as Team Lead of the WordCamp Europe 2024 Sponsor Team. Not because I am afraid of these roles, but because participating in either means a massive investment on my part in non-billable hours.

The secret? A great sponsor!

A word of gratitude

There are a few rising stars in the WordPress Eco-system, and one of them is GREYD, a software company based in Munich, Germany, that evolved from being an enterprise focused WordPress web agency into a software maker.

It’s this wonderful team I want to thank for backing me up so fiercely in my accessibility endeavors and my volunteering gigs in the WordPress community. And I thank them profusely for backing me up!

We first met in 2022, and in 2023 I was contracted by them to coach them in making their product, Greyd.Suite, accessibility-ready. There’s a dedicated article about that called: The journey of making GREYD theme accessibility-ready.

Disclosing what I did not put in that article

I described in the aforementioned article how we spoke about accessibility on our first encounter. But another question I posed was: “How is it possible I have not heard about you before? With a product of this magnitude, how are you not at every big WordCamp?”. At that time, they had only just gotten started with dipping a toe into the German WordPress community.

NB I will elaborate about their product further down in this article.

They went off like a rocket!

They quickly picked up the pace on their integration into the more active part of the WordPress Community. They came to WordCamp Europe 2022 in Porto, where we had some great conversations. And they took things further. They decided to visit and also sponsor several WordCamps. Vienna, Netherlands, and… WordCamp Europe 2023 in Athens!

I was about to announce not coming back a third time

Athens was my second round as a member of the Sponsors Team. It had been a heck of a ride for all of us in the organizing team. In my case, that was not because of the work or the team. But because of the duress that I was under due to the number of non-billable hours that went into that. It was too tough, juggling both paid and volunteering jobs.

At a dinner with the team from GREYD the question came up if I was going to apply again to be on the organizing team for the 2024 edition. I literally said: “Anyone who hears me say that I am going to volunteer again, is invited to render me unconscious until I regain my sanity!”

Then Mark Weisbrod, the CEO of GREYD, said he had come to know me as a person who does not walk away from a good challenge, and wanted to know what motivated me to not apply again. I straight up told him that if I were to apply a third round, I would want to apply as team lead as I wanted to give it my best with the team to introduce some changes. And if I would be granted that role, it would entail more time than the editions before. More non-billable hours I could not afford to spend.

That’s when he offered to sponsor a good portion of my time. For my work as Team Lead in WordCamp Europe 2024, but also on my other endeavors. Like the CloudFest Hackathon Project and speaking at WordCamp Asia next month. They were nor only Gold Sponsor, but also sponsored two members of their team to co-organize WordCamp Germany and Thomas Koschwitz, co-founder of GREYD, created the Wapuu for WordCamp Germany: Baupuu.

And at the CloudFest Hackathon and WordCamp Europe 2024 they are also official sponsors of the events as such!

A note about GREYD and the Greyd.Suite

This ambitious company created Greyd.Suite, a Suite of tools that supports you in growing your WordPress agency efficiently and at high speed.

With their Suite, you can quickly set up tens to hundreds of sites and landing pages in WordPress and manage content, layout and design both locally and centrally (globally) through their dynamic templating system. And you can do all of that without expensive headless systems or custom development Their Suite literally replaces a dozen of third-party premium plugins, for example extensive forms, advanced search, user management, custom fields and taxonomies, and many more.

There’s more. Time-consuming headaches like retrieving and restoring backups, site migration and staging, even between different hosting servers, are done with a few mouse clicks. You never have to leave the dashboard for any of that. The sheer time this saves you is something that helps you cut back on your overhead!

All of that has been developed, staying as close to WordPress core as possible. It’s fully block-based.

If you want to know more, I will gladly hop on a call with you. You can book a meeting with me here.