Thoughts On The #Sitecore Symposium 2022 #SitecoreSYM #SitecoreMVP @RBAConsulting

It took me a bit to gather my thoughts and get back to normal at the Symposium. I was pretty excited about all the new things presented and can’t wait to start implementing the new stuff.

The Beginning

Not much to report. Got there and registered and met my RBA co-workers for the first time in person and some other fellow Sitecore lovers. It was great to not be on Teams/Zoom and interact. We were all probably thinking I thought you were taller/shorter. Well maybe that was just me. Had a great night at the RBA dinner and then it was back on the train home.

The Sessions

Boarded the train with my new RBA flag and made it in time for the opening. It didn’t disappoint. It was a great way to start things off. Got to take some selfies with co-workers new and old. This year’s them for the Symposium was Meet Every Moment. Nice! Here are some of my favorite sessions.

Things really started moving fast on Wednesday. First got to the Symposium just in time to see Mindy Kaling. I am a big fan and my daughters are too. She had great advice that I passed on to my daughters.

One of the sessions I attended was Building the perfect composable tech stack. Some of the things I learned:

  • Look at best tech despite what Sitecore owns.
  • Fit the right stack for the customer.
  • The tech stack is constantly changing.
  • Tech stack should be flexible.

I also saw From discovery to live sites: A multisite solution at scale using SXA for Central Garden & Pet. Altudo using their OneWeb solution was able to solve a complex issue of having several multi sites.

Next it was Evaluating legacy to composable: United Airlines’ journey to futureproof development. Love the roadmap of what they came up with and will help knowing what to leave in the past and move forward with.

Of course I got to present with one of my co-workers and my co-workers presented as well.

Pictures courtesy of RBA Consulting.

The Party

The party for this year’s Symposium was at the Museum of Science and Industry. I haven’t been there in over 20 years so it was great to see it again.

The MVP Summit

The MVP Summit started with a round table discussion. Got some great insights on E-Learning and CDP. At night we all went to the Punch Bowl. It was great catching up with everyone. We go the inside scoop of a lot things that I can’t share yet.

One of the things I do want to mention is Content Hub One. I am very excited about this new product offering. I think it will be an important piece for new and old clients that want to get their content in the cloud.

The Beanbag Chairs

Well I have been wanting a bean bag chair for a long time. There were tons of them at the Sitecore Symposium. So for my birthday this year I asked for one. It looks nice with my Sitecore pillows and MVP plaque. I think I will keep adding to my collection of pillows.

Final Thoughts

Composable and Cloud are the first words that come to mind when I think of the 2022 Symposium. It comes as no surprise as that is where things are not only going that way for Sitecore, but the IT industry in general. Personalization is probably the best thing you can do to get the most use for your website. With CDP and Personalization it is easier than ever. Hopefully we will see more clients take advantage of that so the can “Meet Every Moment”. The roadmap is there to do everything now it up to us to drive it.

#Sitecore Virtual Symposium Kickoff and My Plans #SitecoreSYM @AlphaSolutionUS

2020 sure has had its changes and challenges. Right now Chicago should be alive with Sitecore fans enjoying the best pizza in the world, but that is not possible this year. I am excited nonetheless to enjoy they symposium in the Chicago suburbs and can’t wait for the next few days.

My goal for this year is to concentrate on content marketing and learn as much as I can about the Sitecore Content Hub. That is something I have been excited to learn more about and can’t wait to dive in.

Things kicked off tonight with Happy Hour. I will let the pictures speak, but there was drink making, a chef and magic. Most of all enthusiasm.

Happy Hour
Making Drinks
Some great appetizers.
Da Bears! Okay they were not part of the kickoff, but they are playing tonight.

Top 5 Presentations at the #Sitecore Symposium I Would Want to Attend #SitecoreSym

Unfortunately, this year I won’t be attending the Sitecore Symposium. However, if I was these are the top 5 presentations I would want to see.

1. Managing technical debt while implementing Helix principles – Day 1

This one appeals to me as I see about half the clients, I work with trying to move their existing site into a Helix solution. Sometimes It is a straightforward process, but most of the time it is not. This class would be great to learn some techniques that I can apply to my clients. I would also ask the question of at what point is it better to just start from scratch (new solution and Sitecore instance) versus trying to get a square into a circle? You can find more about this session here.

2. Face recognition, AI, and personalization: Data-driven marketing in a brick-and-click store – Day 1

I will be honest. I use face recognition several times a day with my iPhone. Whether it is to unlock the phone, put in a saved password, make a purchase etc. There is no doubt this something that will be integrated more and more and leveraging Sitecore as part of that is key to changing with the times. I would love to see how a web cam can be used with face recognition. I would have a lot of questions on it and I am sure from this class I could discover things I haven’t heard of before. You can find out more here.

3. New editing experience in Sitecore: What it means for developers – Day 2

I would say at least 60% of clients I work with use the experience editor. I am so old I remember it was once called page editor. I have done many overrides and changes to the EE and really have gotten a good feel for it. With the new changes in Horizon I know it would be critical to learn them. So, I can better serve my clients. You can find out more here.

4. Netflix next with Sitecore Cortex – Day 2

This class combines two of my favorite things. Netflix and Sitecore. I haven’t done much with Sitecore Cortex, but this class would give me some good ideas and how to use it. I am hoping this class will be available online so I can follow the steps. You can find out more here.

5. Data integration: Get your head in the cloud – Day 3

For people that follow my blog and me on Twitter know I like data integration with the Data Entity Framework. This class leverages the Sitecore Item Service API and Azure WebJobs and Functions. From the description “This is a scalable, secure, and robust approach to data integration.”. You can find out more here.

Have fun if you are attending (especially my fellow MVPs). If it is your first time there make sure you take it all in and network with the Sitecore family. There is so much to learn. It is such an awarding experience.

#Sitecore Symposium 2018 Day 4 #SitecoreSYM @ParagonDev

Another late night. Today the closing keynote looked at the future of Sitecore. Things are looking good and I am excited to use some of the new features that 9.1 will use. Today was the first day of the MVP summit and my first one. We visited Pandora. What a great surprise. Tomorrow I head home, a little wiser and more motivated. I have had a long career of many ups and downs, but the moments this week have been ones filled with some of the most ups ever. So here we go my day in pictures.

SIF What is next with Sitecore 9.1. A much-improved installation process. Also hear a graphical interface may be happening.

What is new in Sitecore 9.1?

Closing Keynote. No announcement where the next Symposium will be. I secretly hope Chicago, but I am guessing Las Vegas.

Pandora with my fellow MVP buddies:

Alright last day is tomorrow. Let’s do this.

#Sitecore Symposium 2018 Day 3 #SitecoreSYM @ParagonDev

Going to try and keep this short and sweet. Just got back from Universal Studios Walk and it is getting late.

Day started out with an organized 5k run. Pretty sure team Paragon won.

Lots of good presentations today.

Sarah Robb O’Hagan CEO of FlyWheel. What a great story and she is someone I can relate to with the whole fitness thing and all. I wonder if she will let me follow her on Strava.


.NET CORE and Sitecore

Sitecore and Alexa Integration

JavaScript and JSS

Last, but not least party at Universal City Walk. I couldn’t believe how awesome it was. It was a good day to be an MVP as I got in to the fast lanes. I hope my wand works.

#Sitecore Symposium 2018 Day 2 #SitecoreSYM @ParagonDev

Second day of the Sitecore Symposium craziness is in the books. So many exciting things I got to see and do. So, I will try my best to tell it in pictures at a high level since it is past midnight here and I have to get up and run a race tomorrow.

The day started off with a run. I just kept going in circles. Still not a fan of running in Florida, but I was happy with my run.

The keynote was great. Looking forward to a lot of new things from Sitecore. Here are some highlights:

  • Sitecore and SalesForce has strengthened their partnership.
  • Cannondale Cycles site launched with a bike finder app that reads Garmin Data.
  • SickKids foundation is raising money to build a new hospital. Great charity.
  • NotImpossible is changing the peoples lives for the better. What a great company.
  • Sitecore has purchased StyleLabs to further their brand and infrastructure.

Presentation on Azure I attended.

Presentation on GDPR standards.

Presentation on world’s fastest Sitecore Deploy. (Fastest until we come up with something faster, lol).

The keynote speaker was amazing this year. Daymond John from Shark Tank really makes you think about things to apply to work and life. I wasn’t allowed to take any pics and post, so I will just give you his five tips for success.

S – Set Goals

H – Homework

A – Amor

R – Remember you are the brand

K – Keep on swimming

Last, but not least some drinks, food and swag just because.

Good night…

#Sitecore Symposium 2018 Day 1 #SitecoreSYM @ParagonDev

Sitecore Symposium 2018 is in full force. This year it is at Orlando. This one is special as this is the first one I am attending as an MVP. So here we go in pictures.

Welcome sign at the airport.

Meeting up with my awesome co-workers. We took a limo ride to the hotel thanks to Scott for winning a contest.

Staying at the Swan and Dolphin hotel. We had some time to kill before the festivities started.

Hey it’s Mickey Mouse!

Doing some biking for a great cause.


I want one of these pillows. Time for bed and maybe a run in the morning.

Sitecore Symposium for Newbies #SitecoreSYM @ParagonDev

So last year being my first Symposium I did not know what to expect. I know there will be a lot of new attendees this year, so I wanted to give you some advice to make it the best experience that it can be.

Network, Network, Network

Starting at the airport I must have made at least five contacts with people also travelling to the Symposium. Waiting for my plane and the bus to the hotel. Also, I met in person a few people I have talked to online. I even ran with one of them. Yes, running with someone is a good way to network. As you make connections always make sure you have a bunch of business cards with you, so they contact you for whatever reason. A lot of the people you will meet may be someone you work on a project with in the future or may need to reach out to for some help.

Get to Know Your Co-Workers.

A lot of us work remote and don’t interact with our co-workers daily. If we do it is usually via email, skype, slack, WebEx etc.… Being at the Symposium face to face with people you work with can help establish a better working relationship. The old saying a face with the name is never more so true in today’s world. I also ran with one of my co-workers.

Get some nice bling.

From the time you arrive at the Symposium to the time you leave there are so many things with different Sitecore branding that you can take with you. I collected several buttons, flashlights, a hotel key, small plastic beer mugs, glasses, ice cubes you name it with Sitecore logos on it. Not to mention I got a lot of cool stuff from all the vendors there. Including stuff like pop sockets and socks.

Give some nice bling.

I mentioned buttons above and this year I decided to do my own to trade and give out. I think this will not only be a good way to promote my blog site, but break the ice with several other attendees. The company I work for Paragon was giving out cool flashlights last year. I made sure to hand those out whenever I could.

Be comfortable and dress nice.

Working remote I honestly don’t dress business casual these days. The recommended dress for the Symposium is business casual. I normally wear running shoes, but I thought I would get something that was like a classic sneaker, but could also work with business casual attire. Well good-looking shoes does not equate to comfortable. I was in so much pain it got harder to walk around every day (you will do a lot of walking). I learned my lesson and this year I plan on wearing shoes that are broken in and comfortable. You can look up business casual attire since it is interpretation is open, but considering you will be representing your employer there you want to dress nice. I am fortunate enough to have shirts with Paragon’s logo on it.

See you all there!


#Sitecore Symposium Day 4 #SitecoreSYM @ParagonDev

Well final day is done and I am sitting at the airport. To say that I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to be part of the Sitecore Symposium is an understatement. I am so glad Paragon Consulting chose me to attend. I have a lot to learn about the new features of Sitecore, but that is my passion and I can’t wait to dive in. So just like the other posts here is my day in pictures.

I don’t do these pics ever, but I also don’t get this fancy because I am always coding.

It might not be web development, but there is a lot you can learn about marketing and utilize as you develop websites.

Did someone say headless? That is going to be so cool

Putting this here so I can actually read it.

Where is Rob?

There he is.

I always test my code. I am not kidding.

Well this had to finally come off, but I may still wear it from time to time.

See you next year?????

Sitecore Symposium Day 3 #SitecoreSYM @ParagonDev

In the city that never sleeps it was a great day from sunup to sunrise. I still can’t get over how awesome this event has been and how I look forward to the future with Sitecore. So here we go. My day in pictures.

First a run to start out the day. I ran into one of my coworkers and I followed her as she ran super-fast. Never thought I could run that fast feeling still full of last night’s dinner.

One of the best seminars I have heard about marketing. Lots of important information. We all have work to do.

This guy is hilarious. Always good to mix comedy with anything.

Keep on learning…

Thanks Paragon for providing lunch.

More learning. This time the Data Exchange Framework. My little area of expertise.

Scott Anderson Chief Marketing Officer of Sitecore. A big celebrity for us.

Mark Hamill is in the house. One of the greatest moments ever. What a great guy.

Finishing the night at the Omni.

Something you don’t see everyday.

On to day 4 and back home.