The Story of Meet Magento UK 2019
This year, our goal was simple: to further enhance the event experience for our attendees, curating key content and leading speakers that would ignite passions and fuel business growth.
We take a look back over the whole Meet Magento UK 2019 journey, and take time to reflect on this year’s event – stopping to give thanks to those that rallied together to support us in our vision to bring next-level eCommerce to clients.
Reflecting on MM18UK, and visualising our goals for 2019
After the success of Meet Magento UK 2018 last year, we felt ever more passionate about building an event that would not only be an enjoyable and memorable experience, but one that would also be of significant value to our attendees – allowing them to walk away from the day having learnt something new; a strategy, a concept, or an insight that could catapult them further in their business growth or day-to-day roles.
Before setting out to achieve these goals we took the time to listen to, and reflect on, what previous attendees had to say. Whilst we were blown away by the incredible feedback we received both during and after our first event, one of the core values that we strive to achieve here at JH is “Continuously Improve” and we wanted to push ourselves further in order to give more to our audience, and bring back an event that outshone the last.
In the spirit of Magento and community contributions, we encouraged attendees to vocalise their opinions about the event; from the quality of the talk content down to the food served at lunch-time. Thanks to the help of others, we were able to visualise clearer goals for MM19UK that looked a little something like this:
- Improved attendee event experience
- Key insights into on-trend topics, discussing the things that people really want to hear about
- A greater variety of insightful speakers from a range of industries and backgrounds
- A hand-picked team of sponsors, offering top-quality services and products
- Greater benefits to our sponsors and contributors – showing we value their support
- A sense of community-spirit, fuelled by plenty of networking and open discussions
- A safe and friendly environment, where attendees feel welcomed by the community
- Treating our merchants with respect – curating a Sponsor Marketplace that relies on organic conversations, rather than sales pitches
It takes a village – our team of sponsors
A crucial part of any event is sponsorship, and Meet Magento UK 2019 was no different! We were incredibly lucky to be inundated with sponsorship enquiries from the second we released our Call for Sponsors announcement, which allowed us to consciously build a team of strong, high-quality, and relevant sponsors – that we truly believed offered the best possible range of products and services to merchants.
Kicking off with our Gold Sponsors, we were fortunate enough to be supported once again by the Paypal UK team. From spoiling our attendees with extra barista-style coffees at their stand, to hosting a panel about their Mobile Optimisation Initiative results over on the Merchant Track, Paypal played such a huge role in making MM19UK the success that it was.
When we look for sponsors, we’re not only looking for those with leading technical products, but we’re also thinking about how they’ll add to the overall experience on the day – carefully considering the value that they’ll bring to the Sponsor Marketplace, and looking at how they plan to engage with our merchants and if this remains in-line with our event ethos of organic and respectful conversations. Our second Gold Sponsor, Sonassi, was a perfect choice for us, offering both a wealth of knowledge and an injection of fun into the Marketplace – we absolutely loved seeing attendees try on their decoder glasses in order to crack the clues and win the Meet Magneto Challenge!
The event would also not have been possible without the support of other sponsors from across the ecosystem. We were lucky enough to be joined on the day by our fantastic group of Silver Sponsors: Adyen, Straker Translations, Klarna, UKFast, Checkout.com, Akoova, Vertex, dotdigital, Ergonode, Pure360, Trustpilot, and ThreeKit – the Sponsor Marketplace looked incredible, and their booths were busy all day long with merchants looking to learn more about their fantastic offerings. A huge thank you also to our Bronze Sponsors: Barclaycard, Paysafe, Google Devs, Klevu, QueueIt, Ranosys, and Emarsys.
Whatever the reason sponsors have for supporting community events like Meet Magento UK, whether it be for brand awareness, growing their UK client base, or simply to give back to the ecosystem, we are so proud that these companies felt our event was a valuable and worthwhile investment, and we encourage anyone who might be interested in sponsoring next year to reach out to us early and get that conversation going!
Key insights from those at the forefront of their industry
As we mentioned earlier, choosing content that was valuable and relevant to our audience was a key driver for us this year. The topics we touched on in 2018, such as Progressive Web Apps and mobile optimisation, were all strong contenders this year as the eCommerce industry leans into these emerging trends and strategies. Following on from Magento Imagine, we knew attendees would want to hear about the changes to the ecosystem and the way that Adobe and Magento work in unison, as well as learn more about PWA Studio and updates to Magento 2.
When opening up our Call for Speakers earlier on in the year, we never expected the sheer amount of applications and interest we received, and we want to thank every single one of you that took the time to share your proposed ideas with us – your efforts certainly didn’t go unnoticed by our team, and we only wish we could have selected more talks for the day.
Our final line-up of speakers and talks for MM19UK consisted of a variety of engaging and relevant topics, targeting multiple areas of both the merchant and technical team journeys. From learning how to get the most out of your Development Team, to seeing exclusive insights into how a local flower company scaled their business for global success, our split tracks offered something to suit all attendees.
Thank you to our Technical Track speakers; Katie Hempenius, David Deppner, John Hughes, Tom Erskine, Antonija Tadic, Shane Osbourne, and Sergii Ivashchenko, for bringing technical and development-focused insights to our audience this June. And a huge thank you as well to those speakers who joined us in the Main Auditorium, to share key learnings and advice to those merchants in attendance – the experience and knowledge you hold in your sector and choose to selflessly share with others is vital to the growth of other businesses. On the Merchant Track, we were joined by Guido Jansen, Ramadass Prabhakar, Andy Mulcahy, Dan Coleman, Rob Long and his panellists, Kam Chovet, Eric Erway, John Baxendale, Jonathan Roeder, and Phillip Jackson.
For those that missed the event, or those who were perhaps torn between attending the Merchant or Technical Track on the day, we’ll be doing a full and in-depth round-up of all the talks very soon to ensure that no one misses out! This will consist of more detailed information, and of course the talk recordings – watch this space.
The power of community spirit
Last year we were blown away by the wave of community spirit and support we felt both in the run-up to, and after, the event, and it’s fair to say that we felt it once again following on from MM19UK! The praise and feedback that we received in person on the day, as well as the countless tweets and messages that rolled in, put smiles on all of our faces as we saw all of our hard work come to fruition.
As a small team, we put on this event out of our passion and drive for the community – we truly want to see the Magento ecosystem grow, and we want those within it to flourish and excel as well. This passion-lead project is a reward in itself to fulfil and be a part of, and so to see that everyone else enjoyed the experience is a bonus! Knowing that the time and effort we put into improving the experience, the content, and the offerings for our attendees, was felt by you all, truly makes us want to do it all over again!
The support we get from the whole community, whether that be through tweets, buying tickets, expressing interest in sponsoring, or simply spreading the word to your networks, means an awful lot to us and for that we thank YOU! We’ll leave you with some of our favourite tweets: