JoomlaDay's are an excellent way to unite our community on a local level and this year's JoomlaDay Florida went far beyond Florida. Joomlers from across the United States, South American, Canada, Europe, and Jamaica took part in the two-day Joomla showcase.
The event kicked off with a shorter than expected opening due to some last minute technical issues. Robert Parker emcee for the event delivered an energetic opening, and Jason Nickerson gave a quick overview of the past year of Joomla and a brief look at the future. For breakfast, attendees were treated to coffee and doughnuts from our breakfast sponsor InMotion hosting on both days.
The morning sessions included business, design, seo and coding from some of the best and brightest Joomla speakers.
"My favourite part of the event was the honesty and openness of the presenters and the social network among the entire attendees." -Theo Walker
For lunch, Joomlers had the taste of Ybor City in the form of Cuban Sandwiches from La Segunda bakery.
"The history of La Segunda Central Bakery started with a soldier’s personal vision in the late 19th Century. Out of war came Juan Moré's love for the taste of authentic Cuban bread. He was born in the Catalan region of Spain and fought in the Spanish-American War in Cuba. There, he discovered a traditional recipe for Cuban bread, the adventure of a new country and a new opportunity. The recipe in hand, he set forth to create the bakery of his dreams in the thriving Cuban district of Ybor City, Florida."
During lunch, the Red Bull girls stopped by to give us wings and take us into the afternoon sessions.
Afternoon keynote speaker John Rampton is no stranger to JoomlaDay's and has been a keynote speaker at JoomlaDay Minnesota for the past two years. John's session on leveraging your influence online was an instant hit with the attendees.
JoomlaDay Florida continued with an Ask the Experts session, followed by attendee's favorite, roundtable discussion panels.
The Saturday schedule ended with a thought-provoking keynote on the Open Source Community by Mike Demo. Mike showcased Joomla's biggest problem is not WordPress, but ourselves, in an attempt to create a better community through inclusiveness.
This year's social mixer took place at the First Chance, Last Chance patio bar. Hailed as one of the best networking parties by Adam Warner of Site Lock, for the "perfect atmosphere and networking potential." Joomlers were treated to #jbeer and free drinks while playing various games including giant Jenga.
Sunday morning started with a Keynote from the new president of Open Source Matters, Robert Jacobi. Robert's keynote on Who is Joomla gave attendees a look inside the workings of Joomla and how the new structure will benefit the project.
The certification exam didn't get started without a hitch, but luckily with the help of Robert Parker and Todd Woodward, we were able to get the College computers up and ready for the exam. We would like to congratulate Jim Bain and Matt Schwartz the 2 out of 12 attendees that passed the exam.
The rest of the afternoon focused on two-hour workshop sessions on Page Builders, Fabrik, UX and the Ark Editor.
As with any two-day conference, the crowd had thinned by the closing comments, but those who stayed were treated to some great giveaways and special offers from JoomlaDay Florida and our community sponsors.
The overall consensus was that JoomlaDay Florida 2017 was even better than last years and attendees can't wait for next year. Just one week after, the project is starting to see the result of the event with new user groups forming, new JoomlaDay's in the works and attendees contacting to volunteer for the project. The JoomlaDay Florida team is excited to be making a difference in the Joomla project.
We would like to thank our sponsors for making this event possible:
- ARC Technology Group
- J2 Store
- Security Check Extensions
- Universal Logics
- InMotion Hosting