The first Tridion Developer Summit will be held on 15 May in Amsterdam at the Undercurrent. We have 8 sponsors, more than 15 speakers and expect around 100 developers to attend. It’s less than 80 days before the event starts and I thought I would give some info and background about the event and how the ideas came together.
The idea for the summit started last year around the time of the Tridion MVP summit in October. I thought it would be great to have a lot of Tridion developers in one place, for us to share our ideas and experiences together. To create a unique and fun experience for everyone. I wanted to have it in October, but realized there was not enough time to organize it and instead arranged a Tridion reunion for my former colleagues and I to meet and share some drinks.
After the successful reunion I had more confidence about organizing an event and I decided to explore the idea of a Tridion Programming conference. I discussed the idea with Quirijn Slings, Ron Grisnich, Nuno Linhares, Dominic Cronin, and Minko Scheltinga. We all agreed it was a great idea and we got started on the planning. After a short while I was knee-deep in venue options, dates, schedules and speakers. I needed to decide on a place and a date, and quickly, because many places were booked for months or years in advance. After much discussion with many places and dates, but without much luck, Minko and Quirijn suggested an area in Amsterdam North filled with old warehouses and artist studios. Here we found our ideal venue – big, authentic, ‘urban chic’ and right on the water – actually, the venue is floating on the water. And, the manager of the venue called me right away and seemed to really understand the unique experience I was hoping to create for the conference. To top it off, we can arrive by boat in the morning and depart by boat in the evening. The next step was the agenda and sponsors.
I contacted several Tridion developers and asked if they would like to give a talk at the Summit. They all replied with an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’. This is one of the things I love about the Tridion community – it is small, but filled with great individuals that really like to participate and help others. With the speaker list and agenda starting to take shape I contacted several Tridion partners to ask for sponsorship – and just like the speakers – everyone was very positive and most agreed to sponsor. Although it is an independent event, SDL immediately offered their support and we’ll have the Friday workshops at the SDL offices and also have the SDL film crew with us on the event day. From SDL I am happy to have the help of Nuno Linhares, Ericka Marquez and Jeff Hora. Check the sponsors page to see our great sponsors. With the venue, speakers and sponsors in place I was left to find a name for the conference and also get the website up.
The name Tridion Developer Summit is a wordplay on the old ‘TDS’ object we would often use in the templates to get objects from the system. Originally TDS stood for ‘Tridion Dialog Server’ and was the name of the product when I joined Tridion in 2000.
Ron Grisnich of Trivident took the lead for the Facebook page and before I knew it he had it set up and also tweeted the event.
For the website I decided to use an existing Event theme from WordPress instead of designing and developing the event site from scratch. After all, there is a lot of time and effort needed in all the things to organize the event itself, and I decided not to spend time programming the event website.
Hendrik Beenker from Indivirtual contacted me right away and asked if I needed any design help for the site. I said I would like help with the logo. He understood the requirements and very soon I heard that Robin Bes, a senior visual designer at Indivirtual, was available to help us. After a couple of iterations we decided on the current Tridion Developer Summit logo, and I can say I am very happy with the results. He managed to incorporate the SDL logo, old Tridion boomerang, and also it appears as a mountain, or summit. Well done!
And that takes me to where we are today. We’re fine tuning the schedule, have a great list of speakers and are still looking for few more sponsors to help us make the event a big success.
We are planning to arrive at the venue in the morning by boat from central Amsterdam to dock at the venue, but we also have 600 parking spots for those by car. We’ll have a prize giveaway at the end, based on some trivia questions. We’re also planning the pre-event evening (most likely a boat ride through Amsterdam) and Tahzoo offered to sponsor the drinks after the event. And, who knows, maybe some live music from the Tridion community as well.
Thanks a lot to everyone so far for your support. I am really excited about the event and looking forward to an amazing day. Follow us on twitter @TridionSummit and also on our facebook page. You can register on the Tridion Developer Summit website if you would like to participate in the Tridion Developer Summit 2014.