I was fortunate enough to get some time out of the office to attend Meet Magento UK or, as those who follow these kinds of events on social media will recognise it, #MM19UK.
For those who don’t know what Meet Magento is I will simply reference the tagline from the website: Meet Magento UK returns to connect a global community and explore more emerging trends, tools, and tactics. In non-marketing speech, it is a conference where all Magento stakeholders can meet to discuss items of interest and find out about some interesting industry activity.
"Meet Magento UK returns to connect a global community and explore more emerging trends, tools, and tactics."
Held at The Mermaid in London, a great and accessible venue with a lovely view of the Tate across the river; most importantly, it was an appropriate size, even though the noise and background murmur of conversations in the sponsor room could get rather loud, a potentially unavoidable fact. I must say one aspect that could easily get annoying were the orange spotlights as they shone around the main auditorium in between talks; it may have looked good in videos but just left you dazed for a while after getting the full flash to the face. Who knows - it may have been an attempt to feed messaging straight into the attendees' brains, I hear marketers are using more complex methods these days to feed you adverts.
At this event you basically have two tracks to chose from: the technical track or the merchant track. Your job role (or personal interest) will decide what track you choose. Both web development and project management had talks that interested me but, as I attending the event with two members of the development team, I chose the merchant track - plus, it would likely be far more useful information for me to pass to my clients.
Failing to write a full description about each speaker I will just add some brief points from the day.
They all deserve a shout-out, though, as they were very knowledgeable and well-chosen for this kind of event; the idea that they were there to impart knowledge rather than sell is exactly the right approach. Congrats to every person that jumped on the stage and presented.
My favourite session was: Bigamy to Polyamory: Managing Complex Agency Relationships by Dan Coleman; he spoke very well about merchants' need to align and involve all their partners to really help the efficiency and success of their business and website.
From the side of the development agency, I often see us as working in silos (metaphorically, of course, as my office in Wisley is rather lovely). We only have a small view of the big picture controlled by the merchant, being the middleman, passing information back and forth to other agencies they work with. This has led to more than a few nightmare situations with dozens of rounds of testing, misinterpretation on requirements and ultimately a large invoice at the end. This talk will make me think a lot more about this subject going forward which is the most important thing to gain from these events.
"This talk will make me think a lot more about managing complex agency relationships"
Another noteworthy mention must be to Rob Longs panel, Convert More Mobile Visitors to Buyers: Surprising Findings from a Magento Community Study. Panels in my experience have a about a 50% success rate at these kinds of events, as conversation is either too scripted or can get stagnant very quickly, but this was not the case this time around. Interesting range of panellists, wise fact-based advice for utilising data and genuinely surprising findings from this made it a sticking point in my head and I would be very interested getting a view on all of the 120 experiments that they have run.
Overall, I was very impressed by all aspects of the event and a big thank you to all involved and I hope to be back next year.