The Joomla! World Conference is back again for it’s fifth year, and this time it’s in Vancouver, British Columbia. We’ve got a great team this year putting together the event. Joining us today from the Joomla World Conference Committee are Mike Demo, TJ Baker, and Ronni Christiansen to answers a few questions about the upcoming event later this year.
Last year the JWC was in India, but this year it’s back in North America again. What went into the decision for the location of this year’s JWC? Out of all the places in North America, why Vancouver, BC?
Ronni: Originally we had a debate around what the word "World" meant. Was it the world league (like in American sports) or an actual global event and what was the purpose. We agreed it should be a real Worldly event that travels around and empowers and engages communities around the world and helps to put Joomla on the map, including with outreach to students and local business.
MikeDemo: If we look back at at the past years we have been in California, Boston and Mexico and India most recently. We knew we needed to involve more locations than just the United States and North America. Since we knew we wanted Canada we looked at various cities and decided Vancouver would be a good location and on the West Coast.
What is your favorite part of the JWC, and what are you looking forward to the most with this years event?
Ronni: The people, seeing how we can attract a very different audience in most other events and also how we can do outreach locally. Whenever we have a JWC we see more activity and new JUG’s being created and we fuel the local and regional communities.
MikeDemo: I love being able to be a part of the one event that is organized by Open Source Matters (other events are supported and recognized by OSM) and seeing new friends from around the world. The connections I have made have helped my career and it is what I would consider s investment in Joomla and yourself.
TJ Baker: My favorite part of JWC is the part that helps to build and strengthen the Joomla Community and the Joomla application. Be that newcomers discovering ways that Joomla can provide a solution to their needs through one of the many sessions, a bug squashing event where long time community members work with first time attendees to make Joomla better, social events where we can all share a good conversation and / or laughs. All of this (and more) are things that I look forward to at JWC.
The JWC is a global event that brings people in from all over the world. What would you have to say to someone who hasn’t been to the JWC before and might be considering attending this fall?
Ronni: 70% of the attendees in India was first time attendees - mainly because they can't afford to attend joomla conferences outside of Asia / india. But the main points would be to come and meet other joomla community members from throughout the world and have a chance to talk to them and take part, be a part of something bigger than themselves.
MikeDemo: It also appeals to a broad range of individuals because the JWC doesn’t purely focus on developers. So we try and attract people who are involved with Joomla and the industry, but might not be a developer themselves.
TJ Baker: Do come!
The City of Vancouver is an international location for business and technology, outside of the awesome JWC event itself, what are you looking forward to checking out while you’re in town for the conference?
Ronni: I hope we can do outreach to local businesses and also into marketing and advertising agencies who traditionally do not attend. If we can connect the local joomla agencies with those things might be growing :) I am not there to check anything out but to be at the event (I have visited many cities and never had time).
MikeDemo: I am happy that we are actually joining the local Chamber of Commerce to engage and support the local business tech community. I am looking forward to engaging with local businesses and get them more involved with Joomla!. As for tourist stuff I am excited to grow my Hard Rock Pin collection and experience the Fly Over Canada attraction.
TJ Baker: Vancouver has become very a very popular location for movie making. Being a theatre major and entertainment buff I am hoping to get to check out some of the many places around Vancouver that have been used for movie shoots. I’m also a huge fan of being in nature, and hope to visit some of the surrounding mountain ranges before or after the event.
Joomla! is in its 11 year, last year the JWC celebrated the 10th year during the conference. This year the JWC is going on it’s 5th year, do you have anything fun planned to help celebrate that milestone at the conference?
MikeDemo: Last year was the 10th year anniversary of Joomla! And it was a great year of celebrations. You are correct that this is the 5th Joomla World Conference. I think we will mark the occasion in our opening remarks to start the conference. I hope maybe we can have a slideshow of the last 4 years events.
This year's event will be taking place during November 11-13 in Vancouver, Canada at the Sheraton Hotel. You can check out the hotel or purchase an early bird ticket at https://conference.joomla.org/ We look forward to seeing you!