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The Best of #WLPC24 with Keith Parsons

Recently, we welcomed Keith Parsons back for a webinar about Wireless LAN Professionals Conference (WLPC), one of the most unique wireless events in the world. Keith, who holds CWNE #3, is the founder of WLAN Pros and has earned over 60 networking certifications. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on all things Wi-Fi.

WLAN just celebrated its 10th anniversary with its biggest event yet, which included 11 3-day pre-conference boot camps, 15 different 6-hour deep dives, and over 50 presentations.

In this article, we cover Keith’s presentation, where he discussed the history of the event, highlights from the most recent edition (#WLPC24), his favorite moments from events past, and more.

Here’s what we cover:

  1. What Is #WLPC?
  2. #WLPC24 by the Numbers
  3. How to Get Involved with WLPC
  4. Upcoming Events
  5. WATCH: Best of #WLPC24 with Keith Parsons
  6. More About Keith Parsons

What Is #WLPC?

Keith Parsons launched WLPC in 2014 with a singular vision in mind: to create a conference that flipped the traditional model on its head. After years of attending trade shows like the now defunct COMDEX, Parsons grew disillusioned with incessant badge scanning, elevator pitches, and the fact that attendees were often treated more like leads to be captured than participants to be engaged. He wanted an event that prioritized genuine learning and networking experiences over vendor ROI.

So, he turned to Twitter. Promoting a small, unconventional event in Austin, his pitch was simple: "Let's meet up, hang out, and talk about Wi-Fi." To his surprise, approximately 80 people answered his call and showed up to the first WLPC event, which was free from vendor booths, paid presentations, and sponsorship pressures. Indeed, the focus was solely on learning and networking, with a dynamic agenda tailored to attendee interests and needs.

For instance, one of Keith’s key takeaways from the inaugural event was that it built a strong sense of community. Each evening, 90% of the attendees gathered at the bar to continue their discussions and build connections. Recognizing this, Parsons ensured that future WLPC events would be focused on creating both professional growth and personal connections.

Now, a decade later, WLPC has become a global phenomenon, hosting events in cities across the globe, including Austin, Dallas, Phoenix, Maastricht, Berlin, Lisbon, Valencia, Prague, Budapest, Bogata, Mexico City, and Medellin. The conference's unique approach has resonated with professionals worldwide, creating a vibrant, engaged community dedicated to advancing the field of wireless networking.

#WLPC24 by the Numbers

The 2024 edition of WLPC celebrated its 10th anniversary with its biggest, most lively event yet. Here’s an overview of #WLPC24, which took place in Phoenix, Arizona:

  • 380 Attendees: This marked a 10% increase from the 2023 edition. However, WLPC maintains a deliberate growth cap to ensure the event remains intimate and socially engaging.
  • 11 Boot Camp Classes: These are intensive three-day courses that focus on topics such as ECSE, CDMA, and vendor-specific training from Cisco, Aruba, and Ruckus.
  • 15 Deep Dive Options: These are afternoon sessions that occur on the first two days of the event, offering opportunities to explore new or advanced topics in greater detail.
  • 37% Boot Camp Attendees: Over a third of the participants engaged in immersive learning experiences.
  • 23% Presenters: Encouraging a high level of participation, nearly a quarter of attendees shared their knowledge and expertise as presenters.
  • 35% First Timers: With a significant portion of newcomers, WLPC continues to attract fresh faces.

Boot Camps

Boot Camps are a standout feature of WLPC events, offering in-depth training and hands-on learning. They take place over a three day period before the official start of each conference. Remarkably, about one-third of participants extend their stay to encompass the full six days, combining both the Boot Camps and the main conference for a comprehensive event experience.

WLPC’s Boot Camps cover a diverse range of topics, including certifications (for CDMA certifications, Ruckus, etc) and general knowledge-based training (Python programming, wireless analysis, etc.), that attendees can apply in their work. They also provide community-building opportunities since attendees spend an extra three days together before the main event, immersed in discussions about topics relevant to their areas of expertise.

Here’s a list of Boot Camps from the 2024 edition of WLPC:

  • Hamina Certified Wireless Designer
  • Secure Wi-Fi Architecture Master Class
  • CWNA - 109 version
  • Python for Wireless Engineers
  • Rockstar Wireless Analysis
  • 6GHz Spectrum and You
  • Wi-Fi Adjuster
  • Rockstar Cisco 9800 V2
  • LoRaWAN
  • Advanced Wi-Fi Security
  • Ruckus Certified Wireless Administrator

Deep Dives

Deep Dives also offer unique and intensive learning opportunities. They’re 6-hour sessions, broken across 2 days, that focus on niche topics and address specific needs within the wireless industry. While these sessions might initially appear unconventional, they’re carefully curated to provide practical knowledge and skills. For instance, a Deep Dive on 3D printers was organized because some attendees were using the technology to create custom components for their Wi-Fi setups.

Another notable Deep Dive focused on antennas. Participants learned how to construct physical antennas and test them with small HAM radios, which serve as RF energy generators. This hands-on approach to training demonstrated the physical principles of antenna operation, offering attendees a deeper understanding of how to deploy them “in the wild.”

Another interesting Deep Dive focused on the use of drones in wireless consulting practices. This class explored how drones can assist in site surveys, inspections, and other aspects of wireless network deployment and maintenance.

Here’s the complete list of Deep Dive sessions from #WLPC24:

  • WLAN Pi Deep Dive
  • Hamina Site Survey & Planning
  • Flipper Zero
  • Wi-Fi 7 Technology with PCAPS
  • Antenna Fundamentals
  • Secure Wi-Fi Design
  • Mobile Devices to Troubleshoot
  • Analyzing 6GHz Client Behavior
  • Mastering Wi-Fi Explorer Pro
  • Real-world Pen Testing
  • Aaronia Spectrum Analysis
  • Drones in WLAN Operations
  • NetAlly AirCheck G3
  • Network in a Box
  • Wi-Fi & Cellular


Presentations are a cornerstone of the WLPC experience. As mentioned above, at WLPC24, roughly a quarter of attendees shared their expertise and insights. Here’s how the topic selection process works:

  • The conference attracts a wide range of speakers through an open call for presentations. Each year they receive over 140 submissions via Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • To ensure quality and relevance, past attendees are surveyed to vote on the submissions. Those with the most votes are allotted the most time.
  • The organizers then review the submissions and select winners. They are especially vigilant about detecting attempts by larger companies to “game the system” via ballot stuffing. This ensures that the most valued and pertinent topics receive the spotlight.

In addition to these presentations, WLPC rolled out Spotlight Sessions in 2024. These are presentations that occur on a secondary stage and give newcomers a platform to share their voices and gain confidence in their speaking skills.

Finally, for those unable to attend or looking to revisit past sessions, WLPC’s YouTube channel provides a repository of over 1,000 videos. This extensive library makes the knowledge and community of WLPC accessible worldwide, allowing anyone interested to watch and learn from a decade's worth of presentations.

Past Highlights

Over the years, WLPC has featured numerous memorable presentations that have left a lasting impact on attendees. Here are a few highlights:

  • Wes Purvis: Known for his engaging and dynamic presentation style, Wes Purvis has captivated audiences with his ability to make complex topics accessible and interesting. His unique approach and enthusiasm have made his sessions a favorite among WLPC attendees.
  • Karl Benedict: Drawing on his experience from fixing cars in his youth, Karl Benedict delivered a compelling talk on troubleshooting. He shared valuable lessons on problem-solving and the importance of mentorship, providing attendees with practical skills and insights that extend beyond the realm of wireless networking.
  • Bob Friday: Addressing a highly relevant topic in the age of remote work, Bob Friday discussed how to improve Zoom call quality. Utilizing data from Juniper Mist, he identified common issues that cause Zoom call failures and shared strategies to prevent them. His data-driven approach provided actionable insights to enhance virtual communication.

Other highlights:

  • Tom Carpenter - Nitty Gritty of ODFM
  • Bryan Ward - Outdoor Wi-Fi
  • Dennis Burrell - Dr. Seuss & Antennas
  • Ian Tearle - Mentoring
  • Luke Jenkins - eduroam
  • Ferney Munoz - Radiation
  • Juniper/Mist Party - FREE Access Points for EVERYONE!
  • NetAlly Presentations - Ethernet is Bananas!
  • Swap Meet - Reuse & Share
  • Spotlight Sessions
  • 10th Anniversary Party

How to Get Involved with WLPC

The community needs you! WLPC thrives on active participation and member contributions. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the field, your insights and experiences can make a significant impact. Here's how you can get involved:

  • Identify a Problem: Look for a challenge within the wireless networking domain that needs a solution. For example, Bryan Ward faced a dilemma when he needed to light up a quad on his campus without an existing cable plant. Discovering that the distance was too great for CAT 6 or CAT 7 cables, he turned to fiber optics and power solutions, and then shared his innovative approach at WLPC.
  • Design an Experiment: Formulate a hypothesis and design an experiment to test it. An example is investigating the effectiveness of BSS coloring. One participant questioned its benefits, set up scenarios to test with and without BSS coloring, and after months of data analysis, found a real-world improvement of about 5%. While the gain was modest, the rigorous process provided valuable insights for the community.
  • Perform Tests and Record Results: Conduct your experiments thoroughly, recording all results meticulously. This data will form the backbone of your findings and provide the evidence needed to support your conclusions.
  • Write a Call for Paper Submission: Once you have your results, prepare a detailed write-up to submit to WLPC. This process not only helps you organize your findings but also prepares your work for presentation to a broader audience.
  • Present Your Findings: Share your experimental results and insights at WLPC. Presenting at the conference is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the community, gain feedback, and enhance your professional profile.

The WLPC community relies on the active engagement of its members to drive innovation and knowledge sharing. By getting involved, you can help solve real-world problems, advance the field of wireless networking, and connect with like-minded professionals.

Upcoming Events

#WLPC - Prague 2024
Boot Camps - 20-22 October 2024
Conference - 23-25 October 2024

#WLPC - Mexico City 2024
Boot Camps - 9-11 November 2024
Conference - 12-13 November 2024

#WLPC - Phoenix 2024
Boot Camps - 15-17 February 2024
Conference - 18-20 February 2024

Learn more about upcoming WLAN events here.

WATCH: Best of #WLPC24 with Keith Parsons

Want to learn more about WLPC? Check out Keith’s full remarks on the 7SIGNAL YouTube Channel:

More About Keith Parsons

Keith Parsons is the Managing Director of Wireless LAN Professionals Conference and founder of WLAN Pros, a site dedicated to the craft of Wireless LANs and the folks who work day-in, day-out with Wireless networking.

Keith has a passion to help build and encourage a strong and growing community of WLAN professionals who excel in their chosen field. Keith is a teacher at heart and loves connecting with other WLAN Pros from all over the world.

He’s been at this a long time and figured (rightly so) a blog would be one of the best ways to encourage, educate, and even entertain others on how this community can be better at what we do.

Keith believes in the free sharing of knowledge, creating better training and education opportunities, and encouraging regular gatherings as professionals and peers. His hope, and the vision of this site and the conferences, is to help develop better technicians, engineers, VARs, and vendors who in turn will build better networks around the world. Something we are all striving for.

Follow Keith’s Work:

Learn More From the 7SIGNAL Experts

We’re always here to answer your Wi-Fi questions at 7SIGNAL. Our enterprise Wi-Fi optimization platform helps you plan and execute a healthier network. Contact us to learn more.

7SIGNAL® is the leader in enterprise Wi-Fi optimization, providing insight into wireless networks and control over Wi-Fi performance so businesses and organizations can thrive. Our cloud-based platform continually tests and measures Wi-Fi performance at the edges of the network, enabling fast solutions to digital experience issues and stronger connections for mission-critical users, devices, and applications. Learn more at www.7signal.com.