Welcome to our live chat. The following transcript has been lightly edited.
Jackie (Jacqueline Baxter, Digital Strategist): Welcome to our live chat, where we'll talk SUGCON and all the goodness that comes with it. Let's start off with an easy one: when was the first time you attended SUGCON Europe?
Radostina (Radostina Markova, Content Specialist & Team Lead): This one is going to be my first!
Sean (Sean Holmesby, Solutions Architect): My first SUGCON event was SUGCON North America in New Orleans back in 2015. It was great to be part of Hedgehog who partnered with Brainjocks, Akshay Sura and Mike Reynolds to put on the event in the USA. Then I got to experience the European version, in Copenhagen in 2016. Loved that too. Do you want more of my life story on that answer? 😊
Jackie: If you tell us everything now, what will we have to talk about in London? :p Mine was Amsterdam in 2017, so I've only had the European experience. Sounds like we’re tilted in favor of those who have attended before. So, for those who have attended before, what's your best SUGCON memory?
Maria: I had a lot of fun last year. For me it was nice to meet people that I have only known from blogs/twitter - having the opportunity to talk to them in person and discuss different topics was awesome.
Jackie: I also feel that the 'by the community, for the community' aspect of the conference encourages both the networking and the innovation. That's what we're there for, and it’s always a highlight for me.
Dan: I really like the feedback on how actionable the sessions are. "I learned something I can use when I get back to the office" was something I heard over and over again.
Rob: Copenhagen 3 years ago was great. Being in Sitecore’s birthplace, sharing experiences, plus the attendance was more than expected, and rooms were packed with excitement…. sometimes standing room only OUTSIDE of the rooms. To see it grow and grow each year in Europe has been amazing.
Sean: For me, it was presenting in Copenhagen on Sitecore NuGet packages, and to then have Sitecore approach me to discuss what eventually became the NuGet strategy for packages with Sitecore development. It was great to take what we had done at Hedgehog, and have it implemented on a broader scale that can help the entire developer community.
Jackie: That's the kind of innovation that comes out of SUGCON. I'm always fascinated by what presenters create and how they expand on it after the conference. And putting faces to names (or in my case, faces to Twitter handles) is really nice. All right, has anybody started work on their session wish list yet? Any particular session you're determined to attend?
Dan: I want to make sure I attend some of the Sitecore Host sessions. I also want to attend the 20 Tools one.
Sean: Yeah, the 20 Tools one will be interesting.
Radostina: The 20 Tools one is on my to-do list, as well. Automated Personalization Measurement and UX4CX - Designing a website for personalization also sound fascinating.
Jackie: I'm looking forward to the UX4CX talk too, plus the Building a Stronger Business Story for Your Sitecore Machine Learning Pilot looks fascinating. Amanda Shiga has been producing some interesting thought leadership around the concept - I'm excited to see it looped in with Cortex specifically.
Sean: I'm excited for Mark Cassidy's '10x your Sitecore Development'. He always gives a great perspective on development processes, so I'm interested to see what controversial topics he has lined up this time.
Maria: Yeah, I agree with Sean, that would be interesting. Also, the Sitecore Cortex session!
Jackie: There's a lot that happens at SUGCON besides the sessions: What other aspects of SUGCON are you most excited about?
Rob: I always love reconnecting with familiar faces across the Sitecore community in Europe. Old colleagues, customers, partners and friends.
Sean: Coffee breaks.
Maria: Meeting new people. And the event is in London! I have never been there - so that's exciting too!
Jackie: I am hoping for a chocolate fountain. I was SO SAD I missed it last year.
Maria: OMG the fountain was sooo good last year.
Dan: Since Sean already claimed the coffee breaks…I know I am looking forward to a great registration experience! In all seriousness, I really think all the time outside of session are just as valuable. The willingness to share and support each other as a community is powerful and somewhat unique.
Radostina: Honestly, I've been dying to tell the world how vital is Avtor to me and all the content editors out there. So finally getting to do that was what I was most excited about ... until now. Now all I can think about is chocolate fountains.
Jackie: It looked excellent. Since most of us have been before, what advice would you give to first time attendees?
Radostina: (I'm all ears!)
Dan: Remember you will be on your feet a lot and schedule time with exhibitors and sponsors beforehand if you want to get deep into a discussion. It is usually a really busy couple of days.
Sean: Get off your phones, get off the chat groups, and pay attention to the sessions and demos. Some of the best stuff can be missed if you're not all-in on what's being said.
Jackie: Hydrate. There will be water stations, but I'd suggest bringing a water bottle with you
Rob: Get out of your comfort zone. Attend talks you wouldn’t normally attend and meet with people face to face you only know from Slack.
Maria: Talk to people and don't be shy.
Jackie: Hardly any of us bite. Holmesby is the exception. :p
Dan: I heard he is part Dingo
Maria: Noo come on - he brings Tim Tams!
Jackie: Oh, right. I forgot. Tim Tam Slams at the Hedgehog booth!
Maria: We will expect to see Tim Tams at the booth, Sean. Just saying.
Sean: They will go well with the chocolate fountain
Maria: True true
Jackie: GENIUS. Ok, final question. Last year the venue for the next conference was announced at the end of the final keynote. So now is the time to place your bets...where will SUGCON 2020 be held?
Sean: Australia. :p Because of the Tim Tams
Maria: I suggest we go to Hawaii. Just kidding, but Sofia, Bulgaria would be nice.
Jackie: I'm hoping for Vienna or Warsaw, but I could get behind Australia 😊
Radostina: I was going to say Warsaw, as well! Also, how about Paris?
Jackie: Nice choices!
Radostina: Anyway, we should be professionals. I think I can compromise and go to Hawaii, if we have to.
Maria: The things we do for our job sometimes.
Jackie: If we must, we must. For the good of Hedgehog.
Rob: I think SUGCON will always be Europe. It’s run by SUGCON Europe. So Australia and Hawaii are probably out.
Jackie: Just killing the buzz right and left.
Rob: My guess is Barcelona.
Jackie: And you’re forgiven. That would be amazing!
Dan: My vote is also Barcelona.
Jackie: Excellent choices all around. And on that note, we conclude our live chat. Thanks everyone!
Maria: See you at SUGCON!