Magento Imagine 2013…What you Missed out on!

As mentioned in my pre-event blog I have attended a number of Magento events in the UK previously so I had high expectations of this one. This was my first trip to “The big one” and the combination of this and the fact it was occurring in Vegas only added to the sense of anticipation. Needless to say both my colleague Luke and I were raring to go.

As a member of the sales team I had spent a lot time before hand getting all of the collateral, business cards and various vouchers ready. Luke, our resident Magento developer or ‘Rock Star’ as Roy Rubin calls them, spent his time head-down in code tweaking our Capture+ Address Auto-Fill app so it could perform seamlessly with the USPS data we would be feeding it. Due to as much luck as skill we both got the job done and were there raring to go at Gatwick bright and early on the Saturday morning.

Apart from some rather savage turbulence mid-Atlantic the flight went well and we made it to the hotel ok  We were reassured that we were at the right place as pretty much every surface, be it the wall behind the reception desk or the screens in the elevators were plastered with Magento branding…phew.

Welcome to Vegas

As much as we wanted to explore the vast M-Resort we were staying at, as well the Vegas strip, jetlag had well and truly taken hold and we were spark out by 7pm!

Day 1 was a gentle introduction to Imagine with sunbathing, a pool party which was followed-up by a tour of Vegas’s sights and an evening cocktail party in Mandalay Bay. We really pushed the boat out on the second night and managed to stay up until 8pm! I blame the “Magento Madness” cocktails. Nevertheless we managed to speak to a large number of both US, Canadian and European members of the Magento community before lights out.

Magento madness cocktail

Day 2 was the first official day of the three day event. Kicked off by a Partner Ecosystem forum in the Wine Cellar there was great discussion around the new Magento Connect Ratings and Review system. It was interesting to hear other app developer’s viewpoints and share ideas around where we think it should head. This was the first glimpse of how community orientated Magento are. They were listening intently to the feedback as it was given to allow them to act upon it.

Day 3 saw the first keynote session and this was the first time all of the attendees had really come together. Hosted in a giant marque it was impressive to see just how many people had made it. Unfortunately for the rest of the audience, for a few split seconds Luke and I popped up on the big screen. I suppose one of the hazards of sitting near to the front, near all of the cameras.

imagine 2013

The day was finished off by the Legendary Magento Party. As the name suggests it was pretty impressive with a Turkish theme this year. There were all kinds of things going on with belly dancers, snakes, shisha pipes, music and fine food. Again this was ideal for networking and we finished off the evening in traditional Vegas style around the Black Jacks table with other Magento Partners.

Tom on a motorbike

Day 4 saw the keynote speeches many were particularly interested in, the Product Keynotes. Many rumours had been flying around about a final release date for Magento 2 and Enterprise 1.13. These were both discussed with it being announced that Magento 2 would be going into beta testing in Q4 2013 and Enterprise 1.13 which is ready immediately. A strong theme in all of the presentations was the narrowing of the gap between online and offline commerce and this is sure to feature in Magento 2. The serious stage of the day came when we went for an attempt at the record for the largest game of Massively Multiplayer Thumb Wrestling which we broke (apparently). Again this was another great sign of the community spirit within the Magento ecosystem. Everyone was up for a laugh and happy to get involved.

All in all a great event I would thoroughly recommend and not just because it’s in Vegas!