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My Introduction to the Magento Community: An Event Manager’s Story

Our Event Manager, Cate, explains what she’s learnt about the Magento Community through helping us put together Meet Magento UK.

I have a confession to make – six months ago, I hadn’t ever heard of Magento or the Magento Community. Having completed an undergraduate degree in comedy, and a Masters degree in Arts Management, my event experience had until this point been planted firmly in the Arts, with an emphasis on international and third sector events.

Then, not long after I first started researching the role at JH, something strange started happening. The more I looked into Magento, the more it began to appear in my life – my favourite podcasts would announce their switch to Magento, my favourite online shops would appear in lists of top Magento users. I realised, that even though I may not have heard of Magento, it was definitely already firmly integrated in my life.

However, these practical Magento integrations were only the beginning. Within weeks of starting on Project MM18UK, the number of Meet Magento organisers, Magento employees, and Community Members that had reached out to me was phenomenal. This ongoing support was instrumental in making Meet Magento UK 2018 the best event it could possibly be, including regular touchpoints with Magento HQ, and even a personal visit from Meet Magento Italy organiser and Magento Evangelist, Diego Semenzato.

Seeing the global presence that Magento had cultivated was quite honestly awe-inspiring, and made the organising and producing of our event that much less daunting, just knowing how many people had our backs throughout the entire process. So to them, I would love to use this opportunity to say a huge ‘Thank You!’.

Discovering the community

Whilst planning for Meet Magento UK 2018, it became clear that the Magento community was even wider than I first realised. I remember being greatly impressed the more I discovered about the Meet Magento events, and in particular, the Meet Magento Association.

From my experience in dealing in ‘corporate’ events, the idea of live events, networking opportunities, and connection within the community, all tend to take a back seat. They’re the last thing pencilled in when planning the year’s calendar, and the first thing to be cut when budgets need tightening. So the idea that Magento had set up this purpose-built organisation with ‘a mission to connect everyone across the globe that works with Magento Commerce’, was an incredibly encouraging thing to learn.

With this also came the realisation that the global Meet Magento events were in no way competitive or exclusive – but rather, the exact opposite. Every single MM organiser I came across on the journey to #MM18UK was not only friendly, but actively helpful in answering any questions we may have about running an event of this calibre. These communities resting within the wider Magento network just prove how much of an ecosystem there is within this sector of eCommerce, and how easy it is to become a part of it.

Feedback and Ongoing Support

The feedback and support from the entire Magento community since MM18UK has been astonishing. Truly. From the day itself, where we had some of the most well-known experts  from the community approaching all members of Team MM18UK to congratulate and thank us, to the overwhelming twitter coverage we’ve received, to personal emails praising the day as a whole, I really have been wonderfully surprised by how great this bunch of people really are.

It’s hard to believe that a platform could pull people together in the way that it does, and if someone had asked me six months ago if I thought that was possible, I’d have had to say no. Truthfully, however, I would have been very wrong. Thank you Magento, Meet Magento, Magento evangelists, Magento users, and Magento fans: you made Meet Magento UK 2018 so very special, and you keep this community exactly where it needs to be – together.

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