Magento Live UK 2015 was held at the fantastic Westminster Bridge Park Plaza Hotel in London this week. Media Lounge went along to the whole event to hear what’s next for Magento as a platform, to catch up with some of our partners and colleagues and to learn what we could from the other businesses attending. We thought we’d put together a brief summary of the event for those who couldn’t attend.
Monday 22nd June 2015
For us, day one was all about the Developer Deep Dive session that started at lunchtime and ran through to 4:30pm. We were really excited to get into the development issues and solutions that the guest speakers were there to talk to us about.
Sergii Shymko – Customising The Magento Performance Toolkit
It was great to see Sergii and listen to how we could get the most from the development toolkit. Particularly using JMeter as a HTTP proxy to record actions and mock elements for testing.
Luke Fowell – Magento Performance Issues? Fix Them, Don’t Mask Them
It was great to see a Bournemouth developer speaking at the event and he kicked off his talk by extolling the virtues of the fastest growing digital economy in the UK, something we’re often heard doing! Luke covered a lot of issues that are widely known but still incredibly important. The talk was aimed at developers so it was lucky a couple of our Magento certified team were there. We completely agreed with the points on always building manageable, scalable and future-proof code and always taking the time to develop correctly, even for tasks that on the frontend, seem minor.
Vitaliy Korotun – Magento 2 Web Developer’s Workflow
James Cowie – Preparing For Magento 2
It was great for our developers to hear James’ suggestions on how they could transfer their current Magento skills and knowledge to Magento 2. This talk was very much focused on the backend of Magento 2 and covered a lot of ground including Dependency Injection amongst other things.
Anton Kril – Code Customisation On Magento 2
This presentation took a number of aspects from the one previous and solidified them with core code examples highlighting the flexibility of Magento 2 when compared with the current versions inefficiencies. Anton covered a number of interesting points for our development team to consider ahead of the launch of Magento 2 in particular, how to deal with private data through caching.
Ted Pietrzak – Magento 2 Performance And Scalability
We were excited to see Ted’s presentation as Head Of Technology at Magento and it was good to hear about the five pillars of the Magento development team; testing, performance acceptance, client-side testing, server-side testing and throughput. Ted covered a lot of things that Magento are doing within their development team to maintain their code base and support the community.
Although we didn’t go to any other presentations on day one, we spent a long time in the Magento ‘Marketplace’ meeting with potential suppliers and current partners which were fantastic (as well as eating a lot). It’s always good to see our friends at Sage Pay and Rackspace.
Tuesday 23rd June 2015
For us at Media Lounge, day two was far more focused on marketing and client services so we were excited to hear about user journeys, customer experience, eCommerce startups and marketing and arrived nice and early for plenty of breakfast…thanks to Magento and the Park Plaza Hotel!
The sessions kicked off with a session for the sponsors dubbed Pitchfest! It was great to see lots of Magento sponsors and partners give their 90-second elevator pitches to the crowd in a relaxed and fun environment. We found them very informative and were particularly interested in and impressed by Bronto, Nosto, WebInterpret and Sage Pay.
Next on the agenda was a session presenting the success stories of startup businesses which is a subject close to our hearts here at Media Lounge so we were very keen to hear more. The Head Of Small Business at Magento, Ryan Thompson told us that unfortunately Sandra Williams, CEO of CherryBlushes could not attend and then kicked things off…
Oliver Tezcan – CEO – The Idle Man
It was great to hear Oliver’s charismatic and engaging talk about how he started The Idle Man after launching the men’s fashion arm of eCommerce giant, ASOS. He made a lot of good points and gave some great direction for start-up businesses but we thought the stand out message from Oliver was to not be afraid of thinking differently and challenging the status quo when launching a business, entrepreneurs should (and tend to) do this by their very nature.
Mark Bennett – Head Of IT & Web-Based Systems – Christopher Ward
Mark gave a really interesting presentation about how Christopher Ward started in the world of affordable luxury Swiss watches. He gave the audience some great insights around product pricing and how to test the market at the point of launching a brand but the interesting anecdotes he told also stood out, paramount of which was that Christopher Ward has a mountain named after them! See what we did there?
Ignacio de Paula – CEO – ebizmarts
We were really looking forward to hearing Ignacio’s talk, having worked closely with ebizmarts for some time now, and we were not disappointed. He talked openly and candidly about how he and his business partners had started numerous ventures in the past before succeeding with the ebizmarts we see before us today. Ignacio’s honesty and customer-service focus shone through and the takeaway for would be startups were to surround yourself with good people and play nice; with clients, competitors, partners and suppliers alike.
After a very nice lunch in the Magento ‘marketplace’ and really interesting conversations with some of our partners as well as some similar agencies, it was time for the breakout sessions. We took the ‘Customer Stories’ or ‘Business’ track for most of the afternoon…
Customer Stories Track – Best Practices From Customer Experience All-Stars
This was a really interesting session led by David Geisinger who questioned Richard Fletcher from Hornby Hobbies and Adrian Patton from Rockar about customer experience considerations. Richard’s role sees him heading up digital strategy for a 100-year-old brand and the customer experience challenges that presents and Adrian is 8 months into an online automotive retail business that is trying to change the traditional and dated experience of buying a new car. It was great to see the customer experience from two very different brands with very different challenges facing them. We were particularly interested in the talk from Rockar as AUTOi, our sister company is in the automotive industry.
Business Track – Creating A Successful Customer Journey
We were concerned that this session may cover some aspects of the one previously but it luckily didn’t at all. Kath Pay, Marketing Director at CloudiQ gave an engaging and insightful presentation on the basic psychology of marketing and digital signposting. There were a lot of small businesses in the room which was great to see and some of the tips and tricks from Kath went down really well.
Business Track – Powering Growth Through Product Information Management (PIM)
Jan Andersen, CEO of StoreGecko was particularly interesting to listen to with a comfortable presentation style backed up by a clear message that robust and slick product information management is the key to taking an eCommerce business to the next level. Some great points were made by Jan and we’re looking forward to the presentation material going live as some of the visuals were really useful too.
Having to travel back to the Silicon Beaches of Bournemouth, we weren’t able to attend the final session of the day and we even missed out on cocktails which were a shame but all in all, we thought the event was fantastic and we’re looking forward to the next one already!