JoomlaDay USA 2022 - The Beat Goes On!
On April 22, 23 and 24, the JDayUSA Team pulled off a second virtual JoomlaDayUSA. This year’s event spanned three days:
- Friday: Introduction to Joomla class, Bugs & Fun testing, and our sponsors’ Expo Hall.
- Saturday: 4 tracks of exciting 1-hour sessions
- Sunday: 2-hour in-depth topics.
- In addition, there were networking opportunities and evening social gatherings.
Hybrid for next year!
Our vision for next year is to kick it up a notch and conduct the JoomlaDay in person for those who can travel to Texas, and virtual for everyone who cannot. We are committed to making the hybrid event accessible and fun for all, and this team (plus others) can make it happen.
Awesome sessions – Information Overload
A common comment was that while the sessions were awesome, there was no way anyone could attend everything they were interested in. There is an answer to that problem: videos are now edited and will be available for attendees May 20, 2022 on https://jdayusa.com.
Popular sessions included topics of huge interest to Joomlers of all levels. A few highlights include:
- Olivier Buisard’s Bugs and Fun workshop, which attracted nearly 50 unique visitors and contributed to testing Joomla 4. More than 32 tests were conducted, resulting in 16 patches fully tested, and help and insights from the Joomla Bugs and Fun team throughout the day.
- Vic Drover’s Watchful expo booth, which featured a rapid-fire series of short presentations on Friday, including Ryan Demmer on JCE hidden secrets, Yannick Gaultier on Sitemaps, Jennifer Mariott on selecting extensions and templates, Mike Demo on freelancing, Tessa Mero on how contributing to the Joomla Project helped grow her career, Steve Burge on using a newsletter and Facebook group to support your business, Robbie Adair on migrating to Joomla 4, and Eoin Oliver on 5 tips for website design!
- The possibilities illustrated in Marc Dechevre’s presentation on Smart Search Customizations, combined with Sakis Terzis’ presentation on How to Filter Joomla Content using Custom Fields.
- Brian Teeman’s session on making sites accessible to all, entitled “Do the Right Thing”
- Elisa Foltyn’s presentation and demonstration of Yootheme Pro, a flexible and quick page builder that accelerates website building in many ways.
- Eoin Oliver’s presentation of 20 Actionable Tips for Non-Designers.
- Martin Blokdijk’s “The Power of Modules in Joomla 4” which was an in-depth 2-hour Sunday session that walked attendees through how to create their own Joomla modules
- Benjamin Trenkle’s 2-hour workshop on ensuring that extensions are fully Joomla 4.x ready.
- The fascinating closing keynote by Stewart Rogers, which focused on the impact artificial intelligence (AI) will have on our lives and careers. Will websites be built by bots that understand SEO?
- Many more than fit in this article! More than 20 videos are on the jdayusa.com website.
How We did It. This year was our second in running a virtual JoomlaDayUSA conference, but our first using Zoom Events. Our team had already gained experience in working together, and we applied it to:
- Configuring the Zoom Events platform and the Kumospace platform for social events
- Designing and building the jdayusa website to support registration before the Zoom Events conference was able to be published, and provide speaker bios and other information
- Arranging for swag that could be mailed, and mailing it to attendees including international attendees
- Conducting numerous training and testing events for speakers, booth sponsors, moderators, and presenters
- Configuring 50+ test servers for Bugs & Fun , thanks to Rochen’s provided account.
- Providing a help session throughout the event, and monitoring chat streams for various questions and issues
- Production of session videos after the event.
What We Learned. A few of our lessons learned include:
- We found great speakers and topics; nearly every session was well attended.
- We explored providing 2-hour in-depth sessions and that worked really well for some topics.
- The Zoom Events platform worked better than Hopin did last year for automatically recording the sessions, but unfortunately did not work well for some people using Chromebooks or Linux.
- Attendees liked the networking experience provided by the Hopin platform last year better than the Zoom breakout groups we used this year. There were better controls and more ways to meet people.
- Watchful set a new benchmark for making a sponsor booth successful, but maybe if it was a series of Zoom sessions it would have been easier for attendees to find.
- Kumospace worked well for social events. It was not difficult and will continue to improve.
Overall, the event was a success. Thank you to the team, all the speakers and presenters, and of course our fantastic sponsors.
*JDAYUSA Team: Laura Gordon, leader; Robbie Adair; Olivier Buisard; Robin Clapp; Dave Crabill; Dorothy Firsching; Rod Martin; Brian Peat; Joe Sonne; SD Williams; Todd Woodward.
Speakers and Presenters: Robbie Adair; Maarten Blokdijk; Steve Burge; Carlos Cámara; Tim Davis; Marc Dechèvre; Vic Drover; Elisa Foltyn; Nicola Galgano; Yannick Gaultier; Peter Martin; Rod Martin; Adam Melcher; Allon Moritz; Eoin Oliver; Chris Paschen; Stewart Rogers; Brian Teeman; Benjamin Trenkle; Phil Walton; Tobias Zulauf
Sponsors: Watchful (Premier); Rochen, Open Source Matters, OS Training, CommerceLab (Platinum); Weeblr, Web357, RSJoomla, JModules, Cloud Access (Gold); Danico, Joomla Connections, Joomlashack, LTheme, Mastermind Joomla, RytechSites, Simplify Ur Web, Web Design by Robin (Silver).