April 18, 2019 by Hedgehog

Hedgehogs at SUGCON EU: A Hedgehog Live Chat

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 be discussing all that was learned and all the fun that was had at SUGCON in London. The biggest and most important question is this: Did everyone have fun?

Alex (Alex Kamburov, General Manager EMEA): Lots of fun! And London was a great location with tons of places to see.

Jackie: I thought London was an excellent choice for exactly that reason!

Alex: It seemed to me the audience at SUGCON was pretty active and also enjoyed a lot the event. We also saw a lot of interest at our booth and I believe the other sponsors were pretty busy as well.

Sean (Sean Holmesby, Solutions Architect): Yep, it’s always fun seeing the rest of the Sitecore community. I always enjoy seeing old faces and meeting new ones. These conferences always excite me as we get to learn more about how others are going with their Sitecore implementations.

Maria (Maria Karakasheva, Solutions Developer): I had a lot of fun in between making demos, going to sessions and exploring London. I also met a lot of cool new people, so that was nice.

Dan (Dan Galvez, CEO): It was great for me to be able to spend time with team members that I don't get see enough because of our geographic spread.

Jackie: Totally agree - the face time that you get at these events can't be underestimated.

Rob (Rob Prohaska, Head of Western Europe): It was a great event. I got to catchup with some old friends and meet some new people in the community. London is always a great city to explore.

Jackie: London has something for everyone, which made for interesting photos and stories (I missed the community pancake party but that diner is on my list for next time!) I also liked the event space and how compact it was; everything was very centrally located so no one had to rush to get to sessions so they were able to walk around, chat, talk to sponsors, etc. Were there any themes that stuck out at this SUGCON?

Dan: I think there was a good balance between new road map and stuff we can use right away. It is a challenge to get that right

Maria: For me it was Cortex. That was quite interesting.

Jackie: I noticed quite a few that were focused on taking the basics to the next level: personalization reporting, commerce, and user experience, for example. I also liked how many round tables there were. I personally get a lot out of those types of discussions.

Sean: For me, I always focus on the tooling for Developers at these events. And the recurring theme throughout this conference was that TDS Classic is STILL the must-have tool. It was great to hear, that after 10 years, it’s continuing to help developers with their daily work.

Rob: JSS is obviously fairly hot topic at the moment. Some great presentations around integration using JSS.

Alex: I concur with Rob. Another thing was Azure and PaaS. Cloud seems to be on the rise.

Jackie: There's always so many cool things being discussed at SUGCON, so it's impossible to see it all, but did anyone have a favorite presentation?

Dan: Besides the one you and Rob did on Avtor right?

Jackie: I mean, that was obviously brilliant.

Rob: Nice one, Dan. Thanks.

Jackie: But yes, besides us, LOL. And besides Sean, who absolutely slayed with his Sitecore Docker presentation. Standing room only, and the feedback was incredible!

Rob: It was great to learn more about Stylelabs aka Sitecore Content Hub. Interested to see some great use cases in the next few months with implementations.

Sean: I really enjoyed Nick Wesselman’s talk on the direction of Helix and hearing how Sitecore themselves understand the struggles with how it currently is. Better examples, better tooling demos, better clarity…it’ll all make a better structure for everyone.

Jackie: I also found the Sitecore Content Hub presentation to be really fascinating. It taught me a lot about the tool and also proved that a lot of thought has gone into this. I'm excited to get my hands on it!

Maria: I really liked Jason Wilkerson's presentation about Sitecore Cortex.

Alex: For me it's particularly interesting how Sitecore is evolving in terms of front-end technologies so one of the last sessions by Adam Weber & Kam Figy about JSS, SXA and Forms was very enlightening.

Jackie: We have several SUGCON veterans here so I wanted to ask: How did this conference compare to other SUGCONs?

Rob: Enthusiasm for the event keeps growing and growing. It felt like it was the biggest event thus far, maybe because of the venue layout. I’m not sure of official numbers. Presentation quality and topics are getting better each year. Certainly the “must attend” event for Sitecore in Europe this year.

Sean: This was great. The organizers have done a great job in continually making this conference better and better over the years.

Maria: I have been to only two so far (last year in Berlin and this year in London) - both events were pretty cool, in my opinion. Well, I guess we only missed that chocolate fountain this year...you know.

Jackie: That was a loss for us all, but the brownies almost made up for it.

Alex: I think the organizers and Sitecore did a great job once again. There was a mix of SUGCON veterans and people new to Sitecore. Everyone was excited with all the cool stuff that Sitecore and the Community are continuing to coming up with. At times you could be overwhelmed. You could see also attendees from every corner of the world. I think it was a great venue and everybody loved the event.

Jackie: It's always fun to me to watch participation grow from a social media perspective - it's like having eyes on every single part of the conference, so even when I wasn't able to attend sessions myself the highlights were available. And social media participation definitely goes up every year!

Rob: …being the official keeper of the hedgies doesn’t hurt either! You got to mingle with a lot of people, Jackie!

Jackie: It's been so fun to watch that grow! When we first started with the special edition Hedgies I wasn't sure anyone would like them, so it's really fun to have people glued to the Twitter feed trying hard to win one. Plus now I have all these fun selfies.

Dan: I have not been to one in a while but this seemed to be at a new level of maturity. Well organized and well attended. Great job by the organizing team.

Jackie: Any highlights from SUGCON that weren’t related to a presentation? Hedgies definitely count for me!

Maria: Giving away hedgies and Legos. That was fun!!!

Rob: What happens in London stays in London!

Jackie: That sounds like you had the MOST fun LOL

Rob: Networking event was better this year, as it was mixed in the exhibit hall so we (sponsors) didn’t feel as left out. Hackathon Awards was great too.

Alex: I'm sure Rob was speaking about the London pubs but then changed the subject :D

Jackie: This was the first time I've been a part of the 'Claim your MVP Award' Thunderdome; it was sure exciting!

Rob: It was fun to show my fellow Hedgehogs around some old stomping grounds.

Jackie: Mmmm. Duck and Waffle

Rob: Hidden treasure.

Alex: Something I think has grown was presence of different Sitecore reps (product, management, solutions, etc.) at the event. Communicating and exchanging with the Community on different levels will surely have an impact on the product for the better!

Jackie: Major upvote to that

Sean: The smiles on people’s faces from winning our raffle prizes, Harry Potter hedgies, and more. :D

Dan: I really like getting time with other partners to talk about what they are seeing in the market and what things they are doing with clients to make them successful. This is one of the special things about this community. Everyone is willing to share knowledge at all levels.

Jackie: And on that great note, we’ll wrap up. Thanks everyone and see you at SUGCON EU in 2020!

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