Brian, for the uninitiated, can you tell us, what exactly is JAB?
J and Beyond (May 18th - 20th) is an international conference for Joomla developers and professionals now in its third year. Last year there were attendees from over 30 countries and we already have registrations from 5 continents for 2012.
Unlike a JoomlaDay, any attendee can propose to give a presentation, workshop or tutorial, and at any one time there can be up to five different sessions, so there is always something for everyone.
But attending J and Beyond is not just about the sessions that you attend, it’s also about the people you meet and the connections you make.
When and where will JAB12 be held?
J and Beyond 2012 will be held in the historic German spa town of Bad Nauheim. Every year, Elvis Presley fans make a pilgrimage to Bad Nahueim as this is where he was stationed during his military service. But this year, Joomla will take over the town.
Last year we received a lot of feedback that the venue was too remote, travel from airports was long and complex, and that the accommodation was too basic or too luxurious. So this year we have chosen a central venue, in a beautiful town, that is only 30km from Europe's largest airport, with a wider variety of accommodation options.
Who is the intended audience? Who would get the most out of attending?
J and Beyond is intended to have something for everyone, although the intended target is definitely towards developers, designers and professional site integrators.
“visiting JAB was the best investment in my business”
Attending J and Beyond is not just about the sessions that you will hear, the discussions that you join or the workshops that you participate in. The people that you meet and the relationships that you create are really what J and Beyond is all about, each night we have something special planned. If you arrive on your own we can guarantee that you will leave with a global network of new friends.
What about the cost? Can I be a sponsor?
We work really hard to gather sponsors so that we can keep the cost of J and Beyond as low as possible. This year we’ve been able to maintain the cost at only €145 and for many attendees it will be even less than that.
We’re excited to announce that for 2012 we are operating a Scholarship program to enable deserving individuals to attend who would not have been able to afford to without financial assistance.
The Scholarship will not only benefit the recipient but also the wider Joomla! community. A basic scholarship will include the conference ticket and many recipients will also receive a contribution towards their travel and accommodation expenses. The deadline for application is February 14th.
Do you have anything new lined up for JAB12?
Each year we try to tweak the program based on feedback from the previous year, and 2012 is no different.
The lightning talks were very popular in 2011, and we’re going to be providing more opportunities for attendees to give very short presentations on anything that they want. Perhaps a report on a project they worked on last year, their plans for 2012, or just an idea that they want to share.
We’re also excited to announce that the second Joomla PLT Roadmap Meeting will take place as part of J and Beyond. Combining presentations and discussions, this is “the” opportunity to take your place in organising, planning and discussing the future direction of the Joomla CMS.
One last bonus question... Are attendees required to wear silly trousers, or is that just your thing? ;-)
Nothing is “required” at J and Beyond. All clothing is optional, but as the event is being held at Elvis-Presley-Platz, I have a suspicion that there may be some Blue Suede Shoes and Las Vegas style rhinestone jump suits.