Hello from the Magento Association! I’m writing in delayed celebration of the time so many of us shared together at our first online conference, Magento Association Connect. I think we can all agree that we really needed it.
With so much happening in the world right now, we find ourselves living a different reality than anything we could’ve imagined last year or even at the start of this year, which is meant to be our first full year of operation as an association. We began the year like many of you, expecting to see each other at Imagine as well as various Meet Magento and other ecosystem events. Thanks to the kindness of ShipperHQ, we were excitedly hard at work on planning PreImagine — right up until the in-person Adobe Summit event was changed to an online format, and we knew that much about this year would be completely different.
With Imagine canceled, Slava expressed something the entire Magento Association Board was feeling: that the Magento ecosystem needed a chance to come together to share news, ideas and especially the fellowship best recognized as “the hallway track” at events. Once we decided to go for it, we began reviewing platforms to deliver a virtual conference experience. Once we found the (hopefully) right platform, we worked with our management team at SmithBucklin, our sponsors and our volunteers — led by the incomparable Magento Master Marta Molinska from Poland — to pull together the event in essentially one month’s time!
To be honest, we had no idea how well this would go, even if everything went perfectly — which it pretty much never does in the event world — while trying to pull off our first event in an entirely new format for the Magento ecosystem. I’m thrilled that the feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive.
The feedback matches our own experience of the event. Thousands of chat messages flowed among the attendees, sessions were packed, way more questions were asked than could be answered, and the networking opportunities were plenty, including the virtual sponsor booths. Beyond the tactical considerations of “find speakers, get attendees and deliver a valuable experience,” it was fun. Absolutely fun to share time and virtual space with our many friends and colleagues in this ecosystem. It was a shot in the arm that left us invigorated and eager to do more.
I mostly credit the amazing Magento ecosystem with the success of this event. Throughout more than a decade of opportunities, changing market conditions and worldwide challenges, the Magento ecosystem always comes through, showing the resilience, leadership and ingenuity that are its DNA. It was marvelous to be reminded of that.
Given our new reality of connecting virtually, we don’t see a reason for the conference to not live on even after the chat rooms close and the webcams turn off. If you missed a presentation, or if you couldn’t make it to the conference (doh!), we have a few ways for you to catch up. We will be posting videos of the presentations soon.
Beyond this, rest assured that the Magento Association and Meet Magento ecosystem will continue working to keep us connected. To do this, we have one small request of our ecosystem: get involved! If you aren’t a member, sign up today (it’s free), and if you are a member, sign up for a committee. If your business would like to help fund our mission, please reach out to Slava, Ben or anyone on the board for an introduction to the sponsorship team.
We would also like to acknowledge the amazing work by the JH team on Meet Magento UK 2020. They always put on a fantastic conference, and this year they made the experience even more impactful by raising more than £80,000 for charity.
On behalf of the Magento Association Board, I offer our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the Magento Association Connect Conference a success, and to the people of this ecosystem who make it a success every day. We are truly better together. Thank you for inspiring us!
—Joshua Warren, Board Director & Chair, Magento Association