Rob Cairns talks to Vito Peleg about the Atarim Summit.
- What is the Atarim Summit ?
- What types of talks are at the summit?
- Two big names coming.
- Some surprise breaking announcements.
Hey everybody, Rob Cairns hereand today my guest is a bit of a rock star and one way or the other and that’s the one the only Vito Peleg for a return engagement.
Very good. It’s good to be back, Rob. For having me.
Ohh, it was a pleasure. So we’re just gonna jump in today. I thought we talked about the Adam Summit, and this is one you’ve run every year and we’re back at it again. So what are the basic details around the summit that people need to know?
Well, the South is actually the largest event in our space in web agency space as well. The WordPress space that we bring back every year, this is going to be the fourth round and looks like it’s going to be the largest. And and and the most exciting one even for us, because we have some really cool things planned out for. This coming year.
Yeah, and it will. Be I’ve had the pleasure again. We were saying in the pre show that again I’ve become a media partner which I love because they get to support you in the summit and everything you do. And I’m also speaking on one of the panels. So I’m. And this year, so I’m looking forward to that. I’ve and I love panels because you get such a a diverse opinion depending on who the panelists are, right?
I agree, and this is actually the first time where there has been a couple of panels throughout the years. Literally two of them over the past three years across different events, but this time we’re really doubling down on this. We want to create some, some or bring an additional format that is a little more engaging than. You know the PowerPoint type of. Patients and panels are amazing for that, and it also gives us the ability. To bring in. Extremely busy people into events that usually they don’t really engage with. If you will, and they’re not, they’re not gonna do all the work of putting up putting together like a presentation. But bringing people into a panel is a lot easier to bring high profile folks that will share their knowledge and their thoughts of the future with the community.
You know, it’s funny we we talk. Talk about PowerPoint presentations and I think you can make a PowerPoint presentation in person engaging depending on how the speaker runs their presentation. But online, that’s really hard to do sometimes. So I think it’s just because of the nature of the medium we’re using, it’s a little harder, wouldn’t you agree?
Yes, definitely. We need a little more skills or it’s a little bit of a different skill set to make sure that. It is engaging. In that sense. But to kind of negate that or bridge this gap we have. Our beloved hosts that. Are with us for now, the third year in a row that jump in and. They get some some more lively action from the chats and from the people that are engaging in the other networking areas of the summit so that the session itself is not just one person speaking. It’s more of a discussion in our cases.
Yeah, and those? Two lovely hosts are the one the only Andrew Palmer and Stephanie, right? And the other. Thing I’ve heard you’ve done this year because a little birdie told me. I do have my spies out there is you have a bigger team putting together the Adam Summit this year. Don’t you?
That’s true. So the company has grown since the since last year. We and the team has more than doubled its in size since the last event and and. We’re kind of. Taking that responsibility of bringing a high quality. Well organized, and Even so, even well funded event. Into our space. And with that, we’re trying to unlock a new level of scale. It’s already, you know, three times larger than the next runner up. But still, there’s a long way to go in my mind. That was something that I also talked to a lot of folks. On the work in the work perspective. Specifically, I believe the word camps or specifically word camp Europe or word camp us, they should be like 10, twenty 30,000 people events, especially with workers powering. Half of the. Internet, but it’s very hard to do when the people that are doing this, they’re doing an amazing job, but they’re still volunteers. And so the knowledge doesn’t always carry from one year to the next and. It’s very hard to. Create sustainable growth overtime and consistency and growth overtime is really what makes things. Tick for those larger events that you see. And so now for the 4th year, we. Find ourselves in. The position to actually make that happen for the community. Through the web agency summit.
Yeah, I I agree. And you know anybody who’s attended. I’ve attended every one last year was the first time I got involved into the talk. And as typically goes. Me, I get a talk and what happens, I lose my Internet connection just as I talk. And I have to tell you, it’s happened before and Andrew and our mutual friend Todd Jones did a good job on recovering for a couple of minutes and dealing with my my issues. But just my luck and.
Well, I think. It’s one of the exciting things about the about the event. Since most online events nowadays, they’re basically like a set of recorded sessions, one after the next. Yeah, but we made it a principle from from the first event that we wanted everything to be live. And so with it you get the benefits, which is a lot more engagement and. Really sense of closeness to the speakers and the panelists. But on the other hand, yes, you do. Some you do get some of this. Things now and then. Fortunately, most of the speakers bounce back really fast the same. As you did well.
Yeah, and and it’s funny. And it’s funny because we we both have a mutual friend, Nathan Wigley, who does this week in WordPress on Monday mornings live. We both been on with him multiple times over the years and and you know I’ve never had a problem with my connection with Nathan. So there you go. So let’s jump into a big announcement you made this morning. I was reading Twitter about an hour before, and I commented to you. I guess we have now more stuff to talk about and you sort of tweeted out that you’ve managed to get some big players involved. Who are they? And how are they getting involved?
So one of the one of the core principles. Of this year is to. Expand beyond the group of folks that we know and love from our space that often appear in many of those events, myself included. You included Rob and. There’s a there’s a. There’s a few other high quality folks. That they joined these events and we’re very. Grateful for them for their. But I did want to make sure that this year we’re expanding a little bit. Beyond, and also to try and bring that concept of web agencies as a whole trying to look at not only the worker space, but the web building space generally and seeing. Who are are are. The other companies and players that should be included in these discussions. Instead of it being an internal discussion, it should be a very much broader, more inclusive discussion across the entire creators of the web. And so with this we have a couple of really exciting panels this year. The the announcement that I made this morning is that we have folks joining from both Google and Microsoft to to join a couple of panels. And I can even give you a bit of a. Scoop here as to who? Which panels they’re going to? Be on that. I didn’t mention over there. And so we’re building up. We’re building up two really cool panels. One is around AI, where we managed to find the person that is that was in charge of the implementation of AI within Bing within the second largest search engine in the world. By Microsoft, of course, and, and we all know that or a lot of us know. That open AI. Was received a massive investment by Microsoft, and then they quickly implemented this technology into the search. And so there’s a lot of implications here for web shops. One is from the search perspective because what they did is soon to be followed by Google. I think it’s it’s already in beta. I see. I I was even. I even saw prompt just the other day to start. Playing with the Google. Version of of this AI implementation inside the search.
So how will?
That work for SEO for the way that we build for actually using the copy that we write on the website, feeding it back to the AI the why is that a smart thing for us? You really is that going to replace us to some degree. So we’re going to try and tackle a lot of these questions with the panelists from Microsoft that is joined with other folks in our space that have created AI applications or or advocate for AI over the past. Year or two years or. So and then the other panel, which is also, I’m really excited about is something that has happened in the workplace space mostly over the past couple of years, which is you see companies from the broader circle of WordPress starting to take. Notice and starting to to join the conversations there. Really, in a in a in a pretty. Let’s let’s say they’re just like, dipping their toes in the water right now. But I wanna. I wanna explore this concept and why this is happening so that as web agencies we can really start and understand what is going to be the future for WordPress in the grand scheme of things. And for that, we have panelists from Google that are taking a really active role in WordPress recently. Still, pretty minute even according to the panelists, but they’re they’re trying to explore more ways of doing things with the platform and especially understanding the powers. Almost half of the Internet, right. And then, uh, with him, we have folks from HubSpot that literally has a workers department within them that that are doing some beautiful things within the workplace space. So we have the person who is in charge of the WordPress implementation joining from appspot and we have folks from Cloud Fest. Which is the largest? Event in the in the cloud space I just came back from it in Germany. Just the other day. And we have the person that founded the. He’s gonna talk about anything. And they had the first WordPress day at Cloud Fest, which is the largest event for hosts. And you know like. Cloud related applications and infrastructure and all. Those kind of. Things they literally had a dedicated day. For WordPress and we’re going. To explore that a little bit. And then we brought in some folks from the space itself, people that are involved in core in creation of a WordPress core as well as people that are involved in creation or launched word camps. So we’ll see that from every angle possible. And this is. One of the panels that I’m most excited about. Even with the so we’re going back to the first one around the AI, we have many implementations for web designers and web developers around this, including how does it affect accessibility? And for that we have a ramp from it’s another ramp from Master WP you know.
Rob Howard. Sure do, of course.
Exactly. So he’s. Really leading a lot of those AI related or accessibility related relating to AI activities in the space, and that’s that’s that’s going to be really interesting to hear from. Then we have weglot who are leading translation through AI. For the past few years already and they raised ridiculous and they raised about $50 million just this past year. So we’ve heard from them before in previous events, but we can see that they are really taking this to the next level, especially with this latest phrase. So we want to hear from them how is AI affecting their day-to-day? How can we leverage AI translations for our web builds for creating additional revenue for our businesses? And so on.
And I I think what people need to realize, first of all, let let’s start here. You’re a partner in Bertha dot AI with Andrew Palmer.
That is so you’re already in that space, and I’m hoping some of these panels get around the fear that AI is going to cost jobs. And the reason I say that. Is every time we get into. This AI conversation or this business moving people say, what about jobs? Well folks, the printing press, which modernized book publishing didn’t cost jobs, it just shifted them. And that’s all we’re doing is shifting jobs around, and people need to realize that and and keep up with the times, because if you’re in a technology business like you and I are. And understand it the way you and I do, then we don’t need to worry about jobs percent.
Right. I was actually talking to a friend just last night around exactly this concept and. And he’s he’s from outside the space. But he had the same concerns about like, you know, we’re dumbing down humanity even, you know, with the way that we’re used, we we don’t think as much. We just go on and and launch. Toyota and or ChatGPT and we get the answer straight away and really that’s my it’s been my experience over the past few months that I I I go to Bertha before I even go to Google. And whenever I need to create some bit of content or need to learn something new, instead of digging in and. Doing the research, I ask. The AI 1st and if I don’t get the relevant answer then I dig in further, but really the conversation was like don’t don’t you feel that this is? Making our brain redundant in that sense, or that we don’t need to think as much or act. As much as we did before, but. I see that as as the beauty of it. The the new levels. Of productivity that we can unlock within our days. And I just gave the analogy yesterday. That it was. You know, we just, we were drinking coffee and I was pointing at at at, you know, we had a glass of water on the table. And I was pointing at the glass and told him, you know, back in the. Day we had no. Glasses you had you had to go and go. Go to the to the well. In the in the village. Next, next the door and and actually draw some water from there and carry it with you or even even before that you just like, wait for it. To rain, you know. And so we we evolve, we evolve in every single even from. From that small invention of a glass, you. Know all the way to to. AI that is now. Allowing us to unlock new levels of productivity and convenience for all of us. And I see a lot of. Good things about this, of course. There’s there are. Some risks, which is what I’m hoping to. Learn from the panelists that ideally would have a lot more experience than it. In it than me.
So let’s get. Into the format of the conference for a bit a bit or this. Is it going to run? It’s online, it’s live. You can sign up for free. I would encourage you to sign up now and put the dates on your calendar. Is it a 24 by 7 or how we running it in terms of?
So there’s 10 hours a day for it’s Tuesday. To Friday for 10 hours every. Day and that usually kind of overlaps between lunch time UK all the way to when we. Go to sleep. And and then it matches mostly with the US time zone. In that sense. Then every session that is being broadcast has some. 28 components to it then really within an hour, an hour and a half we upload the the sessions into another section of the platform that we created for the event. That has replace from the past 24 hours, so if people come in while we’re asleep, there’s still action going on. There’s still people hanging around, walking around the different sections of the of the platform, even into the networking lounge and hanging out with other folks that are in different time zones, so. The platform is open 24/7. Or 24 four really during the. Rent, but the sessions are going to. Be 10 hours of those 24 hours.
And what I what I would suggest to people if you’ve ever done one of these summits before, is don’t just go watch the sessions, but get involved in the networking lounges, the people you meet. I think the last Adam Summit which I spoke at, I pulled not one but five podcast interviews just from people I met in the network. Just so you know, that’s the awesome part about it is you can go and hang out with your peers, get to know some people have those off the cuff conversations. They’re great, aren’t they, Vito?
I love that and this is one of those things that when I go to events and I probably catch like one or two sessions throughout the entire event, most of my time is spent out in the hall, right, speaking to people, shaking hands, getting to know folks, creating partnerships, learning from other people, just asking questions. And that is the experience that we tried to replicate in the online space through the networking area. And this year, for the second year in a row last year, they did a great job with it. But this year we’re even implementing some of the lessons that we learned from last. Here we have post status you heard. If you heard of these guys as well.
I’m a member of post status. Sure do.
And everyone should be really this is an awesome community for for the WordPress space, for agencies, for product makers, and it’s been going, it’s it’s essentially the largest online year round community that that exists in our space and they do some magical stuff in there. And so them being a community, we allow them to we we’re we’re. Honored to have them. Take over the the networking area. And create those parties, which is how we call them. It’s like it’s like the the the platform itself is essentially a venue for hire and then you have leaders from our space that are taking over 2 hours here, one hour there and there’s more than 30 leaders. Within the space that I’ve already applied to take to create those mini parties or mini Hangouts or mini meet ups that are happening inside that networking area during the four days of. So there’s there’s on top of the 40 sessions that we’ll have. There’s also 30 plus hours of of Hangouts with people that you publish on Twitter, or you engage with them, or you watch them, or you heard them on robs podcasts. A lot of them are going to be leading these. These hang out areas in the in the networking spot that is run by post status and this is really cool to join in and. Learn from others, really.
And I need to throw a couple big shout outs. One is to our our mutual good friend Corey Miller, who runs post office. Thanks Corey for doing that. And of course, it wouldn’t be worth not mentioning the the busiest lady in WordPress, who’s kind of coordinating all that and is our good friend Michelle Fourchette. So you know Michelle.
Yes, she’s she’s buying some metal happen in making that happen in that area. And last year as well, but this. Year again, we’re taking things. Like like with. Anything that we do, Rob, right, we always learn and bring things to the next level following year. And so that’s the that’s the beauty of doing things. Over time, and consistently, consistently. You can really. Learn from your mistakes and from this. Theses and doubled down on what worked and just what didn’t.
Yeah, and. And as I said earlier, you’re, you’re so lucky you got two really knowledgeable Co hosts. So there’s the three of you and in Andrew and in Stephanie, I mean. They both bring a lot to the table, from knowledge, from business, knowledge, humor, stuff, stuff. They can crack me up at the best of times so they’re and and so on. So I think we’re pretty lucky in the community that. And anybody that doesn’t know the two. Co hosts follow. Them on Twitter. Get to know them. Follow veto, get to know him. Because frankly, all three are worth even knowing his colleagues and his friends. And for that I thank you. UM is. Are you going to do anything like a pre summit kick off party or is any of? That on the works or.
Yes, so every. Year what we. Do just the day before the event is we’re running this live broadcast so all the sessions are running live inside the platform except for the pre event kick or the kick off event that happens across 40 plus. Facebook groups and Twitter channels all over the all over the community. We actually need to chain things up, you know, chain platforms up just to allow us to broadcast to so many sources at the same time. And this is one of the. Cool things of. Of the kick off. Event because through our network and through. The media partners that that. Also my team. Including yourself. Rob, my team has has has stepped up this year with folks from everywhere from Ibiza that you also know that has more than. 250,000. People across these different Facebook groups. And all the different sponsors and the master WP and post status and do the rule and the, you know, all of those good friends that come in year after year the the WP minute. And you know. Really, every, every. Every publication that you can think of in the space is joining in to make this. Party even grander. And so during the kickoff event, we’re going to try and broadcast to as many. Of these channels as possible. To make sure that all the events is know that this is happening and and and that they should join for the upcoming few days.
And the other, the other place will be promoting the event, which is. Shared with you is the large LinkedIn group that I Co moderated and Robertson. Anybody who doesn’t know that group is just shy of 10,000.
All right. Yes, that’s great idea.
So I suspect before we hit the summit, we’ll be over the 10,000 mark we’re in. We’re within.
About 25. The to the total, but we’ll get it out there as well. And and it’s just it’s funny because Lincoln’s a bit of a different omen is every time you post something there, there’ll be people that don’t sit on Twitter and don’t sit on Facebook. So some of us like you and I are kind of everywhere and. But a lot of people, they kind of niche down where they hang out. So that’s a that’s a good just to throw that at.
I love that.
So we’re gonna get there. Is there any beyond those couple panels? Is there any topic that really and AI? Because I know you’re big. Hey, is there any topic that really catches your imagination right now, Vito?
There’s a few, yes, one of them is another panel that that is going. To be very cool. Is the future of website building. And for that, we have the founder of Google Builder and the the product manager from Elemento and the the product manager from Duda. Then which is a little bit outside of our space and we have people that are in charge of the Gutenberg. Yet and and and and there’s a few others, and and even I think we have. We have the founder of stackable joining us to talk about this a little bit. So this is this is gonna. Be a very exciting panel as well. And another one that I’m looking. Forward to is the talk by Josepha, who she she is the the the lady behind workers. I think, right is that is that a good way of of representing her? I hope.
Yeah, she’s the executive director for the WordPress project. So yeah, there’s.
Exactly. She she’s. She’s essentially in charge of the entire WordPress project. And to hear from her about the future and about what? What is coming up, I think is going to be very interesting.
Who do you have coming on? From the Gutenberg project, can I? Ask or is that secret?
I don’t. I don’t remember all the names but but you know, it’s one of the leaders there. There were a few that we were. Speaking to try. To find who can match the the times, so I don’t. Really remember who the team ended up going with. But it’s definitely one of the key persons there.
That’s that’s great. I I think that panel in itself will be enlightening. I I think you know, it’s funny we we talk about different page builders and we talk about Gutenberg and we all know the communities kind of still up in arms and split depending on who you talk to. I’m not anti anything. I’m kind of already there so I’m in a bit of a different position and I think one of the things we’re going to stress to our agency partners is hey, guys, stop selling what’s under the hood, start selling what it gives your clients and the solution I mean. Because the average client really doesn’t care what’s under the hood anymore, I hate to tell people so.
Right. And so to some to some degree that that is very correct. And then there are those larger projects where people come in with a little more understanding of what is the stack that they want to implement. And in that sense, you also need to know a little bit about what is the right why? Choosing this tool should be the right tool for that class. And and there are many options out there and what we see generally is that within our website agencies and other and we have more than 12,000 agencies that are that are using the solution with more than 1.2 million of their customers. We see that essentially about 80 some percent. Our WordPress focus. But they still do projects in other companies like Shopify or other platforms that Shopify or sometimes web flow or even even page builders like or website builders like do that, or even square space for projects that that workers can be sometimes. Overkill 4 and so it’s good to understand what is the landscape in front of you because then you you can only on where you can bring the most value to the customers while still maintaining a. Good level of profitability for your business?
If you know it’s just been great conversation, I would encourage anybody who wants to learn some more to sign up for the summit. Please do. How did they sign up for you?
Right. So it’s Adam at AIM dot IO, forward slash forward slash, right forward Slash summit. So go forward Slash Summit and you can join there or just go to our website and you’ll see a banner on the top that will direct you directly to that area. There’s already thousands that have signed up. For this year, but we’re shooting for 10 K, 10,000 attendees this coming year. So I’d like to encourage as many as possible. Well, all of the folks in our community to come and join. The party. It’s gonna be incredible.
And if somebody wants to reach out to you to talk about the summit sponsorship opportunities or any? Else, how’s the best flight?
Best ways on Twitter? Just find me Vito Peleg on Twitter is the avatar with the purple background and I’m there. So just send a message and. I’ll see it.
And please join Vito and I at the summit. We’d be love to talk to in the networking lounge. Love you. Just drop in on a panel, watch a session or two and.
And thanks, Fredo, and have an amazing day.
Thank you very much, Rob.