September 23, 2016 by Dan Galvez

Thoughts and Takeaways from Sitecore Symposium 2016

Sitecore Symposium has always been a valuable event, and last week in New Orleans was no exception. From a hallway and a few rooms at Sitecore Dreamcore 2011 to an event center with a real partner pavilion, Sitecore is an undeniable global powerhouse.

As Sitecore has grown so has Hedgehog. We’ve developed into a global provider of services operating out of 4 fully functioning offices covering full digital agency offerings while continuing to provide the strong technology services we are known for.

There were a lot of new faces this year in the 2000+ people crowd, but as time went by I saw more and more people I recognized. Individuals who have been a part of the community from the beginning were sharing their knowledge and networking with newer arrivals, and everyone at Symposium was welcomed and included. There’s a friendly competition in this community, but when we come together it is AS a community and it’s great to see that continuing.

Sitecore seemed driven to make their teams easily accessible; they had their own team demoing their key product features in the partner pavilion itself. Sitecore has been working to make the full value of the product more attainable by simplifying certain features and gearing the product toward the easy attainment of advanced engagement. By making their teams more accessible during the event Sitecore proved that they’re willing invest in the community and want to enable people to achieve the full value of the platform.

Similarly, we at Hedgehog wanted to show the full breadth of our capabilities. Since acquiring Loewy Design in the spring of 2016, we’ve added services and broadened our horizons, and the deep thought leadership that we cultivate here at Hedgehog was clearly seen across our presentations. MVP Sean Holmesby went tech with Sitecore Habitat. Head of Sales and Marketing Michael Greenberg covered business and ecommerce in his joint presentation with our client and colleague CamelBak and MVP Mike Shaw and Solutions Developer Olga Kogan dove deep into marketing with personas, profiles, and patterns. Historically Symposium has been more technologically focused, but 2016 was the year the marketing and strategy focused section of the community came alive. This participation level was clearly felt by Hedgehog personally - Mike and Olga had the second to last talk on the last day (usually a hard slot to get attendance) and the room was packed, with a line out the door and down the hall.

Hedgehog usually plans to introduce a new piece of innovation at Symposium and this year was no exception. We rolled out Feydra, a new product designed to eliminate friction between front-end and back-end developers. Our team had the opportunity to demo Feydra for a number of people in the community and the problem-solving aspect of the product drew a lot of positive attention. We’re looking forward to the beta phase and introducing Feydra to the wider world. We are going to start now getting ready for Sitecore Symposium 2017 and see how Hedgehog can bring it to a new level. I am sure we are going to experience a larger and matured Symposium in 2017. See you in Las Vegas!

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