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2016 VIP Workshop

May 9th – 12th, 2016

The Event for Enterprise WordPress

As the leading provider of enterprise WordPress solutions, we provide the premier event focused on the needs of enterprise WordPress users. New for 2016, the VIP Intensive Developer Workshop is now the VIP Workshop. We’ve updated the format to focus on both VIP product owners as well as developers, plus a new best of VIP showcase (stay tuned for when we open the request for entries).



The VIP Workshop is an immersive three-day retreat for WordPress developers and product owners. It’s an opportunity to learn, share, and contribute with the largest users and contributors to the platform behind 25.8% of the web.

View the full schedule with venues and times.


Monday, May 9th

Arrival Day. Check-in, special guest keynote presentation and welcome dinner.

Suggested flight landing time: at/around 2pm at SFO, to allow for baggage retrieval and transfer to the location in time for the beginning of the event. We won’t be starting the program until late afternoon. If you plan to arrive at SFO earlier or later than this, don’t worry we’ll still have a transfer available for you at that time. 

Tuesday, May 10th and Wednesday, May 11th

Two days of business and developer focused sessions capped off with an awards session showcasing the best of WordPress in 2015 from our clients and partners. Wednesday will include hack sessions to work on some of our most-popular plugins.

Business Sessions

Net Neutrality with Marvin Ammori
Marvin led the 2014-2015 net neutrality campaign for technology CEOs and general counsels and was a key leader in SOPA copyright debate and Google antitrust investigation. Marvin will take us through some history as well as a look ahead on this interesting subject.

Making the Most of Your Data with Carly Stambaugh
As a part of Automattic’s Data Science team, Carly is going to walk through how you can use anonymous user data to keep people on your site now and in the future.

The Convergence of Content, Design, and Technology with Michael Eisenreich
Marketing requires a mix of high quality content, design and technology to be compelling and ultimately effective. Mike, who leads Bloomberg LP’s content, creative and digital marketing department (known as the Bloomberg Studio), will discuss the evolution from a channel-based approach to one that aligns and connects multiple capabilities to achieve its core objectives and enable innovation.

The Product Game with Dan Maccarone and Austin Smith
Professionals involved in designing, building and running large websites routinely get to sharpen their technical and creative skills, but rarely have the opportunity to practice soft skills. The Product Game is designed to drill teamwork, decision-making, and change management.

Exponential Results with Small Teams with Alex Rudloff
Time is our most precious resource. We should constantly spend resources to recapture it so we can put it back to work elsewhere. Alex, with his experience as TEDx Chief Digital Strategist and early Blogsmith employee, will walk through simple processes that you can use for every project at every organization to enforce the necessary discipline.

Emerging Market Internet with Erik Hersman
Emerging market internet is the last blue ocean of users, but how do you optimize for their slow speeds and small screens? We’ll go through it with Erik, the co-founder of Ushahidi and BRCK.

Developer Sessions

The Future of Syndication in WordPress with Josh Betz and Derrick Tennant
We’ll discuss Syndication including the history, interesting implementations, and where to go from here. The conversation we have in this session will inform the Syndication-focused hack day that follows.

WP-API, VIP, and You with James Nylen and Jack Lenox
Understanding the WP REST API, building endpoints, and using them on the front-end.

Managing Large Networks with Chris Hardie, Steph Yiu, and Spencer Cameron-Morin
We’ve helped companies grow from a handful of blogs to a network of more than a hundred WordPress sites. In this session, we’ll tackle the technical and product challenges Enterprise teams face as they build out their themes, plugins, and features.

TDD in WordPress with Dan Walmsley and Stéphane Boisvert
In this hands-on workshop we’ll focus on building a new WordPress feature in Javascript and PHP based on the TDD methodology.

Managing Outages and Incidents: Case Studies and Prevention Strategies with Matt Perry and Mo Jangda
One of VIP’s main goals is to reduce your site’s downtime to as close to zero as possible. If , however, an outage or disruption should occur our team is organized to respond quickly to minimize any disruption to your business. Matt and Mo will review several illustrative examples of real-life incidents to which we’ve responded on the team over the last year. We’ll also discuss strategies for minimizing the likelihood of ever encountering an outage, and how to collaborate with us should one occur. We’ll leave plenty of time for questions and discussion regarding incident response, urgent requests and outage prevention at VIP, so bring your questions and ideas!

Closing Session

Best of VIP Year in Review

Thursday, May 12th

Departure Day

Suggested departure time: We’re going to stay flexible with the curriculum as we know many participants need to get back to work – please book a flight according to your own needs that morning; breakfast is optional.


  • Early bird $3,500 per person until March 15th
  • After March 11th $4,000 per person

Pricing includes airport transfers to/from the SFO airport, meals, and lodging (May 9th – 12th). Airfare to/from the location is not included. The last day for ticket sales is April 12.


We are celebrating 5 years of the VIP Workshop at The Carneros Inn in Napa, CA. The Inn provides the perfect setting to focus on learning and collaborating with the community.

Images by CM Howard from the 2015 Automattic WordPress developer summit at the Carneros Inn in Napa, CA

Maps, directions, contact information can be found directly on The Carneros Inn’s website. For all other inquiries feel free to contact the VIP team directly.
Images by CM Howard from the 2015 Automattic WordPress developer summit at The Carneros Inn in Napa, CA

Ready to become a VIP? Apply Now