It’s inspiring and impressive how great this event turned out. It’s hard to believe that the event organizers just started planning and marketing the event five weeks earlier. So I sat down with the organizers Artem Lebsak and Anastasia Belostotskaya afterward to ask them some questions about the JoomlaDay and the Russian Joomla Community.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Artem Lebsak. I’m a professional web-developer, have been working in the industry since 2000. I switched from Mambo OS to Joomla and have been evangelizing Joomla in Russia since 2005, while at the same time I became a founder and CEO of the Joomru company. I’ve been the organizer of several JoomlaNights before, and now the first ever JoomlaDay in Russia.
My name is Anastasia Belostotskaya. I got involved in Joomla recently when I got back from the IE Business School in Spain where I did my MBA. Artem shared with me his plans about Joomla in Russia and I saw all the opportunities in Joomla's further growth. The organization of the JoomlaDay was the first and very important step in it.
The first JoomlaDay Russia. That is a historical event. How did this idea come to life?
The community tried to organize JoomlaDay in Russia many times, however it didn’t happen. Last year we held the CMS Conference where there was a separate set of sessions about Joomla. After that we organized several JoomlaNights to discover the active part of community. At some point we realized that a JoomlaDay is exactly what the Russian Joomla community needed. The main idea for organizing the JoomlaDay in Russia was to connect the existing community, foster its collaboration and attract new members to it.
How popular is Joomla in Russia?
Joomla is one of the leading CMSs in Russian Runet (the Russian language part of internet). We can look at the CMS usage statistics and to see that in the domain zone .RU there are more than 275,000 websites powered by Joomla (http://itrack.ru/research/cmsrate/). If we talk about the community there are more than 90,000 registered user accounts in Russian Joomla forums (joomla-support.ru, joomlaforum.ru), with almost 1 million posts on it.
You decided only five weeks ago to arrange a JoomlaDay and it was a success! Can you share some facts about the arrangement and how you pulled it together with such a short planning?
We decided that the first JoomlaDay in Russia should be held exactly this calendar year. When we started looking for a venue we got support from the Moscow city government authority, and that fixed the date. Although we knew the timing was too close to the actual event day, we didn’t want to move the event to the following year. Next year Joomla has its 10th anniversary and we wanted to be fully equipped to celebrate it in Russia with another JoomlaDay.
We also knew from the beginning that it is going to involve a lot of hard work and sleepless nights. However, experience in organizing events, together with the right motivation, kept us going during all of our preparation. It was indeed a historical moment for the Russian Joomla community, a great opportunity to get together in one place to discuss relevant directions of Joomla development, and share experience and knowledge.
Can you tell us more about event itself?
Almost 100 guests, almost half of them traveled from other parts of Russia, and other CIS countries, to Moscow to meet new people and learn something new. And it was well worth it!
19 presentations in one day covering the most important topics for experts who are building or planning to build websites powered by Joomla, the new trends in Joomla development, the internal design processes, the technical details, and project management.
We created the program of 15-minute time slots for presentations that gave us a chance to build up many interesting topics in one logical storyline and keep the audience's attention high.
It was quite challenging for speakers to fit their topics in such a format, however they managed to do it. We would like to thank all speakers for their unique and very insightful presentations!
All the sessions were live streamed and recorded. Once the video is edited it will be shared with everyone!
The venue was great. Why did you choose it?
Thank you for your feedback, we are happy you liked it! Indeed, the venue helped to create a special mood in the event! It was held in a big hall of Moscow’s co-working center “Svobodnoe Plavanie” with more than 1500m2 of free space. We were amazed by so much space, however, soon we understood how we could organize it to create a nice atmosphere.
Tell us how the Joomla Community has been welcoming the event?
It has always been obvious that Joomla is not just a CMS but the people who are contributing to the development in many forms and making things happen so all Joomla users and developers could enjoy the benefits of it.
Every time we tried to attract sponsors, reach out to partners or invite speakers we always got a very positive reaction and willingness to help.
The global Joomla Community was also amazingly open and helpful. A lot of greetings and wishes for the first JoomlaDay Russia came from Joomla friends from all over the world who sent their short messages to the Russian community. Unfortunately we couldn’t show it during the event due to some technical reasons but we would love to share it with everyone (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZeX5KYqZrk&feature=youtu.be)
It’s always a team effort to assure that these events are successful. Is there anyone who you would like to reach out to and thank?
A big thanks to the generous sponsors and partners who made the event possible, to all those who helped with info coverage, and volunteers who were on board with the organizational team in its endeavours.
A special thank you to the speakers for valuable sessions, and of course, to the dear participants who created an amazing atmosphere in the JoomlaDay!
If we would like to get more information about the the JoomlaDay Russia where can we find out more?
Thank you for sharing your experience and the information about the Joomla Community in Russia. I know that you are already planning your next Joomla events.
The whole event went with a very friendly and positive atmosphere. Here is some feedback from organizers and a few guests about it:
“We decided to get the Russian Joomla community together in one place and provide the space for the discussions, collaboration and networking. I think that we made it! From the entire atmosphere in the event you could feel how powerful and inspiring the community is and how they were waiting for such an event to have a chance to share ideas and find out something new”. Artem Lebsak (organizer)
“We had great speakers, lots of interesting and insightful presentations and most importantly, all those who came created an amazing spirit of the event! It was a priceless experience! I am proud to become a part of the Joomla community and am looking forward to the next JoomlaDay Russia!” Anastasia Belostotskaya (organizer)
"All together” – are exact words that can describe the atmosphere at the JoomlaDay. It was a great occasion and a unique opportunity to meet in person all those who you only knew virtually before, learn something new and share a positive mood of the event”. Vadim Kunitsin (speaker) http://joomlaportal.ru/blogs/community/2437-joomladay2014itog
“It is difficult to describe all of my feelings but it was an event where you could feel that you are among other like-minded people who are passionate about Joomla like you are. That’s exactly what created a very positive atmosphere”. Anton Isaev (guest) http://jbzoo.ru/blog/joomladay-smuzi-studio-review