JoomlaDay Chicago 2020 Recap
JoomlaDay Chicago 2020 Virtual Conference was held Friday, Oct 16th, and Saturday, Oct 17th. It turned out to be a perfect day for it as it was a cool and cloudy day, perfect for hanging out with friends online. JoomlaDay Chicago 2020 was sponsored by YellowWebMonkey, The Turn Group, JoomlaStars, and presenting sponsor Danico Enterprises.
The all-day Beginner's Workshop on Friday was taught by Laura Gordon, Joomla User Group of New Jersey lead and owner of Rytechsites. This workshop helped those new or sort of new to Joomla! create a website while exploring Joomla features. It was gratifying for both Laura and myself to "hear" the "aha moments" of the attendees as they repeatedly exclaimed, "that's some good stuff!"
On Saturday, things kicked off with a short Welcome to attendees that included tips on participating in the event. Then there were 14 fantastic talks.
The talks covered many topics:
- Filezilla Tips with Robbie Adair
- How to Build a Customer Joomla! Form Field to Work with an External API with Eoin Oliver
- Pizza Bugs & Fun/Bugs and Fun @Home with Philip Walton
- Kick Some Saas with Robert Jacobi
- The SVG Format with Olivier Buisard
- J2Store - eCommerce and Joomla with Kendall Cabe
- Original Accidental Business Owner: What Now? with Mike Demo
- eCommerce Everywhere with Jason Nickerson
- The Three Things All Web Professionals Need to Know About Privacy with Donata Kalnenaite
- 10 Steps to a Profitable Home Page with Karen Dunne
- SP Page Builder with Dave Crabill
- A Pandemic-Driven Auction System with Randy Carey
- People First Web Design with Brian .Teeman
The day ended with a Keynote Address from the current president, Brian Mitchell.
When the lockdowns started and it looked like things were not going to be back to “normal”, past attendees and interested parties were surveyed. I wanted to know if they would attend virtually. I also inquired about their experiences with virtual conferences, what they liked, and what they didn’t.
Based on the feedback received JoomlaDay Chicago became an online summit. The multiple tracks were continued, mimicking the in-person format of past years. A reoccurring comment was that the 24-hour events were great but respondents found that the desired sessions always seemed to land at an inconvenient time.
Keeping this in mind, for $20, attendees purchased access to both live sessions and the replays of them. Any funds exceeding those needed to organize this event will be donated to the Joomla project.
I had a difficult time pulling out highlights. Each and every talk was fantastic and there we impactful points in ALL of them. Throughout the day, there was a simple theme of helping our community, the Joomla Community, to be successful and responsible implementers, designers, developers, and agencies, putting people first as we provide solutions.
Responses to the event survey are still coming in. However, comments during the event included:
"That's some good stuff!"
"Just what I needed "
"I've been using Joomla for years and I learned even more today. A great day!"
"Great session! Lots of great information"
What's Next for JoomlaDay Chicago?
I cannot thank everyone enough for participating in the 2020 JoomlaDay Chicago event, whether as a sponsor, presenter, or attendee. I also want to send a special thank you to Karen Dunn, Eoin Oliver, Olivier Buisard, and Kendall Cabe for helping with all of the help in testing the platform. Also, thanks to Marzee Eckhoff who helped with launching sessions and introducing speakers, I could not have done it without her help.