Atarim is launching its 2nd annual Web Agency Summit in a couple of weeks. The free event will run from March 23 – 26. The goal of the event is to help agencies and freelancers in the WordPress space grow sustainable businesses.
Atarim is the company formerly known as WP Feedback. In February, the business rebranded because its primary product had grown beyond a mere feedback plugin into an across-the-board agency solution.
“While I’m a big fan of WordCamps and a big believer in the value that events can bring to personal growth, we found that most events in our space focus on the technical aspect of building a website,” said Vito Peleg, Atarim’s founder. “We take a more business-oriented approach. From finding the first clients through building solid recurring revenue and all the way to lessons from some of the biggest agencies in the world at full scale.”
The event has 36 sessions, which are broken down into four categories that focus on:
- Build: Best practices for performance, SEO, accessibility, and the future of building websites.
- Expand: Building recurring revenue and maintaining profits.
- Scale: Project management, completing services, payment, and getting projects unstuck.
- Thrive: Hiring, community building, profitability at scale, and exit strategies.
Peleg hopes that attendees can glean some knowledge in the sessions while saving years of trial and error.
“All are delivered through our own summit platform, so attendees don’t need to jump around between Zoom calls, YouTube Lives, and Slack channels,” he said. “We brought it all into our own interactive platform.”
Atarim has made several sessions publicly available from 2020’s event. For those on the fence, it should provide insight into the types of talks they can expect.
This year, each session will be running live — last year’s sessions were pre-recorded. This will allow attendees to be involved in real-time. There will also be a designated Q&A time for each session.
The event is free to attend through the last week of March for anyone. However, the sessions will eventually fall behind a paywall, which helps cover costs.
“We offer an All Access Pass for those that want to watch the replays for $97, which is the investment for those that get it before the event,” said Peleg. “This also includes 30+ sessions from last year’s event for a total of 50+ hours of expert advice, specifically designed to help web freelancers and agencies build a solid business.”
Success and Lessons Learned From 2020
Last year’s event kick-started as a response to the changing nature of conferences in the Covid-era. Peleg described the initiative as a way of “licking our own wounds” after his company had planned to attend, sponsor, and have its own retreat at WordCamp Asia in Thailand, which was canceled in 2020.
“This drove me into action, wanting to lift some spirits in the community,” he said. “I didn’t know that we would end up with the biggest event in the WordPress space and have such incredible partners that came along for the ride.”
Last year’s event had 5,725 attendees from 126 countries. In total, they watched 53,945 hours of videos. They also won 1,000s of prizes at sponsor booths that included iPads, board games, and more.
“This was way more than what we expected, and the summit platform even broke on the first day when we were getting more than 240,000 requests to the server in an hour,” said Peleg. “Luckily, there isn’t a better community for something like this to happen. Very quickly, some of the sponsors joined forces with some of the speakers and our team and got us back on the air for a full week of action. While they were working to get this sorted, I was mostly pacing back and forth in my office like a headless chicken, but this year we’ve come prepared, with load balancers, auto-scaling processes, and a much leaner platform to sustain the scale.”
There are no plans to switch to a physical Web Agency Summit in the coming years. For now, the virtual model is working.
“I’m very much looking forward to the return of WordCamps as physical events when [Covid-19] blows over, but I believe that virtual events are here to stay, so for the foreseeable future, once a year, we’ll bring back our summit as a celebration of the business side of the WordPress industry.”