April 9, 2015

Magento Imagine 2015 Survival Guide


Hostway Team

imagine2015sponsorIt’s spring again! That means warmer weather, flowers blooming, and the most wild and fun trade show in e-commerce, Magento Imagine! This will be my fourth year attending the Imagine show. Each year, the Imagine landscape has looked dramatically different from the year before. This year, the event will be held at the Wynn, the Pre-Imagine events look fun, and the conference agenda is published – these break-out sessions will be exciting.

It’s actually relatively easy to survive this conference. Here are a few rules to live by so you can make the best out of your Imagine experience:

Be Social: First rule at Imagine is: you talk at Imagine. Step outside of your comfort zone. There are all kinds of people that attend, from developers to CEOs of online stores, which brings many types of personalities. Talk to someone you normally wouldn’t talk to – you might find you have a lot in common.

Go to the other Events: Magento creates a great conference and atmosphere. The events and parties they throw are a lot of fun. However, if you are there for a specific reason – like to get a job or meet with potential new clients or SI’s – reach out to them and ask them what events they are going to. Or stalk people on Twitter and ask to be invited to parties that sound fun. I organized two pre-imagine events called Techies on the Strip, and we had more people attend then we ever imagined because we posted it all over Twitter. These are the events where you can have real conversations with the people you came to talk to. To find events, ask around during the marketplace grand opening reception.

Drink in moderation: Last year, my survival guide got a little bit of flack because I focused too much on the “how to drink” aspect. The only reason I harped on it was the first two years at the Imagine event I witnessed a man who will remain unnamed attempt to throw a well-dressed lady in the pool during the first cocktail event and saw a nice Magento employee on her last day working at Magento as she threw up on her party attendees. So, my point is, you can drink and have fun because you are in Vegas, but keep it classy as much as possible. Or if you decide not to keep it classy, take your name badge off and carry on.

Go to Breakout Sessions: The sessions are like any sessions at a conference – you might hear something great, or you might get an hour to sit down and relax while you scroll through your Facebook feed. Most of the sessions I’ve been to have been really interesting and small enough to interact and ask questions. Here are a few that look interesting to me this year:

  • Omnichannel Intelligence
  • Optimizing Operations
  • Merchant to Merchant session
  • Pitchfest

You do you, then do business: This event is fast-paced and hectic. The last thing anyone wants is a sales pitch. You are here to have a good time, build relationships and introduce yourself to people in the industry so that you can go back home and send them your sales pitch. This is when deals are closed and contracts get signed.

What to Wear: Dress to impress. I had to teach our developers to comb their hair and wear t-shirts without holes in them when we had a client visit the office. Again, I’m going back to my favorite rule: keep it classy. Ladies, bring a sweater. We have had a few Legendary Events spent inside due to poor planning. Most people just wear jeans and a button-up shirt. Leave your suit coats and blazers at home and relax.

Imagine… The possibilities! This conference has really helped me throughout my career. I’m always able to catch up with familiar faces and meet new friends. I met the crew from Rovio and landed Angry Birds because of Imagine; I’ve sat in rooms with decision-makers, founders and creators and have watched their businesses flourish over the past five years.

Have fun! If you have any questions or want to play craps, find me @robyn25 or my contact page!

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