Looking back at Magento 2 Seminar v2

Time flies when you're having fun. And we had great fun on Friday October 21st 2016 with another version of our Magento 2 Seminar event. Here is a recap of this great community event that took place in The Netherlands.

Numbers

Back in January 2016 we organized our first seminar. Now, 9 months later, the second seminar took place with over 190 attendees, 15 great sponsors (among which Zend/Rogue Wave, Varnish, New Relic and various Dutch companies specializing in Magento 2). During the day, there were various great keynotes speakers, among which Ben Marks (Magento evangelist), Rafael Dohms (AmsterdamPHP) and Philipp Krenn (Elastic). On top of that, there were 2 tracks (one merchant track and one developer track) with a great series of in total 16 lightning talks. And everything and everybody was there to focus on Magento 2.

Great talks

We had great talks, ranging from best practices for writing cleaner code to best practices when migrating to Magento 2 step by step. There were some Magento 2 use cases of shops already using Magento 2 succesfully, as well as technical talks on using Varnish full page caching and web APIs for connecting things. All of the slides are now available on the Magento 2 Seminar site, so you can pick up on this knowledge yourself as well.

Photos

We have gathered some photos, perhaps a little bit less than we wanted to, but still offering a great view on what the seminar had to offer. All photos are placed on Flickr.

Processing feedback

Being perfectionists, the event did not go flawless. One of the remarks was that the event was both too technical and too non-technical. The reason for this is quite obvious when you realize that Magento 2 is (no matter what sales people will say) a technical application. While this application can be applied by builders to build great shops, in itself it is still very technical. It explains why the majority of the talks was technical. Talking about M2 without technical terms quickly makes a talk ... misty.

And of course developers would not be developers if they would crave for even more technical talk. We had some other issues as well - some sponsors not getting enough exposure, the number of attendees being a bit lower than expected, us blowing budget in an attempt to change this.

Still, the overall feedback was great: We received numerous comments about how fresh and renewing the Magento 2 Seminar was, compared to the regular MeetMagento events. And we received great feedback on the quality of the talks as well. Plus, it was just awesome to have a great crowd show up to share expertise on Magento 2. Mission accomplished.

Seminar version 3?

All in all, the second Magento 2 Seminar was a success. Normally when such an event is a success, you would already give a little sneak preview for the next event (a third seminar), but we don't. One of the biggest lessons we had was that it is really hard to put together an event that is interesting to both developers and merchants. And to make sure that we are not repeating the same thing over-and-over again, we think it is time to contemplate a bit on what is needed by whom.

That being said, we love events and we love organizing one. So there definitely will be a follow-up event. However, we are currently thinking that the community would benefit more from this event being split up into 2 separate events - so one technical event, one merchant event. And we are already getting our ideas: The developer event will not be comparable to either a MageTitans, Magento 2 Seminar or unconference. It will be focussed on a single developer topic, still in the boundaries of Magento 2. As for the merchant event, the idea would be to get rid of developer topics and focus on what is important: Strategies and tips on how to migrate, how to budgetize and how to modify Magento 2 for success.

We will be back with more great events. So stay tuned!