Second Annual Chicago Meets Milwaukee #Sitecore Meetup Recap. @ParagonDev @GeekHive @_Americaneagle @jouimet @DDysart #SitecoreSym

After attending the first combined Sitecore meetup last year I was hoping the combined meetup would happen again. Well my hopes were answered. Joe from Geekhive invited me to speak on the Sitecore Symposium panel. I couldn’t wait to share my experience.

When I got there the usual food and goodies were there. The pizza was very good even though it was from Wisconsin.

The first presentation was on Coveo Hive. I am always impressed with Coveo and they continue to improve their product making them a vital search framework in the Sitecore world.

Looks like Hive introduces many new and exciting things.

Next was the Sitecore Symposium Panel. Joe from Geekhive did a great job hosting. It was great reliving the Symposium experience and sharing with others what we learned.

This meetup reminded me of one my favorite crossovers. I can’t wait for the next one.

#Sitecore October 2018 Chicago Meetup Impressions

This was the second Sitecore meetup this year. This one was at a different location. It was at Productive Edge in downtown Chicago. It was a scenic walk from the train. The office itself was setup nice. A lot of the attendees will be at the Sitecore Symposium, so it was nice to connect with them. We also used the Symposium app scan on the network menu to connect with each other. Of course, they had my favorite pizza, Lou Malnati’s.

The first presentation was a joint effort by Ryan Kuchler and Will Rolloff. This covered Context Marketing from both a marketer’s point of view and developers’ point of view. One of the things I believe that are overlooked by clients after a Sitecore site is complete is the powerful marketing tools that are in Sitecore.

Summary of topics:

  • Marketers – Get to know Context Marketing and deliver personalization to your audiences with out of the box Sitecore features and configurations – Today!
  • Developers – Architect and deploy the right application components that enable the business to drive context marketing and scaling it to meet your organizations needs using Microsoft Azure

They did an excellent job presenting and it was the best presentation I have seen on Context Marketing. I walked away with much more specific understanding on how all the different pieces worked. I especially liked the parts were previous versions of a page were compared to a new page, setting the score for each campaign and swapping out presentations based on visits. I will be using this information in the future.

Last, but not least Will presented tips for first time Symposium attendees. I wish I had these for my first Symposium. Even so it being my second Symposium coming up I still learned a few things.

One thing he forgot to mention. Take all the Sitecore bling you can with you.

#Sitecore July 2018 Meetup Chicago Impressions

This was the first Chicago Sitecore meetup this year. It is always great to see familiar faces at these things and reconnect. Some of the attendees I have worked with in the past and/or is a client of Paragon. Also a lot of them I follow on Twitter, but have not met in person so it is good to put the name and face together.

I am not going to lie I always look forward to the food at these things. Lou Malnati’s is my favorite pizza. The bling is also nice too.

The first presentation was done Ahmed Okour and James Gregory from American Eagle, “Deep Dive into Sitecore Installation Framework”.

A lot of the stuff they went over were things I encountered doing my first Sitecore 9 install. It was nice to get a better picture on what happens behind the scenes. On another note I had to hold back the laughs along with others as the words “SIFless” and “Sharding” were mentioned.

The next presentation was done by Naim Al and James Gregory from American Eagle, “Understanding Sitecore Custom Analytics and Power BI”.

This was in interesting one. There was the out of the box Sitecore tool introduced as well as a third-party tool. Very useful stuff for Marketers.

After the presentations were over it was time to go. Not before snapping a few goodbye picks. I am hoping the next Chicago Sitecore meetup will be soon.

First Ever Milwaukee Meets Chicago #Sitecore Meetup Recap

So not sure exactly who’s idea it was, but it turned out to be a great one to combine the Milwaukee Sitecore Meetup with the Chicago Sitecore meetup. No Bears vs Packers football was discussed, just Sitecore. There must have been over 30 attendees. Coveo did the first presentation and I was honored to be part of the second presentation of Sitecore Symposium attendees. I can’t wait for the next one. So here is the recap in pictures.

I live in the far west suburbs of Chicago so driving to Kenosha, Wisconsin was about the same time as it took me to get to the Chicago meetups. I enjoyed my view of the country roads and put on some classic hard rock music.

I arrived at the venue. I have never been to the Brat Stop, but I may have to come back for a visit.


Upon arrival it was great to start meeting others in person and seeing people again that I have met at the Symposium, the Chicago meetups and even one of my co-workers in person.

Renee from American Eagle and Isabel from Coveo.

My co-worker Chad from Paragon and Joe from GeekHive.

Like I said a sizable number of attendees.

Look at that food. Not bad for not being Chicago pizza.

I always love Sitecore freebies. I do love Sitecore like the pin says.

So let’s get down to the meetup itself. It first started with all the sponsors telling a little about the company they work for. I talked about Paragon and what we did. Hopefully what I was saying made sense. I am a developer, but I always try and do my best to sell.

Coveo then did a presentation. Coveo has been a huge part of Sitecore searching/marketing and they always impress me. I can’t wait to do another project with their tools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it was time for the Sitecore Symposium panel.

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We all gave our best insights and reported things we learned and brought up a lot of subjects. Mark and the audience had some great questions. This was so much fun.

So when is the next one? Not sure, but this one was so much fun. Maybe we can discuss Bears vs Packers at the next one?

#Sitecore June Meetup Chicago Impressions

This was my second Sitecore Chicago Meetup I attended this year. You can find the June meetup here. I learned a lot of information on this meetup and it was always good to see fellow Sitecore developers and talk about the industry. This is my high-level overview in a few words and pictures. If you have not been to one I highly recommend it. Should be another one in about 2-3 months from now.

The presentation was put on by Verndale and the speakers were Javier Castillo and Kirsten Leshko. To sum what the presentation was about I copied this from the meetup:

Sitecore’s customer intelligence and context marketing capabilities. Join us as we extend our presentation to focus on key considerations for marketers throughout the upgrade process to help set up your implementation for both short and long-term success.”

You can find the white paper of what they talked about here.

I always joke that I come to these for the Lou Malnati’s pizza and the drinks. That may be half true.

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Javier Castillo and Kirsten Leshko putting on their presentation.

Whoa Analytics.

Time to head back to the train. Need to take a pic first.

I got the best seat on the train. Upstairs double seat.

#Sitecore Meetup Chicago Impressions

I finally attended my first Sitecore Chicago Meetup. This is my high level overview in a few words and pictures.

I got dressed for the occasion with my freshly made Sitecore Runner t-shirt. I took the train to Chicago. It is only 1.5 hour commute for me. 🙂 I am the first/last train stop to/from Chicago.

Shirt

I had some time to kill when I got to Chicago and Rightpoint invited me to check out their offices and have a beer. I got to tour their offices and talked a little about my Sitecore experiences and my current company I am at Paragon.

We got to the meeting a few minutes late. After banging on the door since it was locked we were let in. 🙂 The first thing I saw was the food. They served Lou Malnati’s pizza my favorite, along with refreshments and dessert. Regrettably I forgot to take a picture of the food.

The first presentation was “Experience Marketing Presentation: High Level Review of the latest from Sitecore. Lead by Tim Ahlenius (Sitecore Digital Strategist MVP from Americaneagle.com)”. It was great and very informative of a feature that I can see being very useful.

The second presentation was “Sitecore Publishing Service. Lead by Jim Noellsch (Senior Technical Architect from Rightpoint)”. So good to hear about how much the publishing has improved with Sitecore. I know this change will make Sitecore clients happy.

The meetup ended after the second presentation. I can’t wait for the next one. I hope I can eventually do a presentation at one. If you are interested in attending a future one check out the meetup website here. Listen to Yoda.

Yoda (2)