Even before we sent out a feedback survey we knew SolidusConf 2016 was a success. The attentive faces during talks, smiles and kind comments during breaks, and general turnout of the event spoke a great deal to the fact that attendees were enjoying themselves.
About a third of those who attended took the time to fill out our feedback survey. Thank you for your opinions and time.
We were expecting the conference to be developer heavy, but wanted to make sure people from all backgrounds felt welcome at the conference. We were pleased with the breakdown of programmers and business attendees and aim to attract a similar audience next year.
While it was no surprise that the majority of those in attendance were there for the Solidus content, nearly 30% cited networking as their main reason for attending. 100% would recommend the conference to others even though over 75% attend 2 or less conferences a year. It's pretty safe to say - if you're going to go to just one conference next year, you'll want to save your money for SolidusConf 2017.
It was Stembolt's first public conference event (we held a private one with Bonobos last year in Whistler) and we wanted to make it feel as warm and welcoming as possible. Nearly 40% of attendees came as a result of a personal invite from Stembolt, proving that it's all in who you know! We encourage all of our attendees to spread the good word of Solidus ecommerce so we can get even more attendees at next year's event.
Many attendees maximized their time in Toronto and were able to come out to the hack days, conference talks, and pub night and still make it to the birds of a feather sessions and workshop Thursday afternoon.
General satisfaction was high and many people had kind things to share about how well it turned out. The following quote really sums up what we wanted to impart with the conference:
"I really enjoyed the conference overall. It gave me a good feeling about the direction of the framework. I appreciate Stembolt's efforts in shepherding the effort to keep improving the framework."
A few noted that longer session lengths for the birds of a feather would allow groups to get into deeper discussion, and also suggested trying out lightning talks for next year. That being said, we still scored an average of 'satisfied' with no respondents reporting to be disatisfied.
Satisfaction with the hackathon was a little lower, but still positive. One attendee suggested registration be open on hack days so that those in attendance would have their name tags early. Stembolt organizers also agreed that it should be promoted better and as part of the conference for future events.
Nobody commented in our survey about the PayPal sponsored pub night, but as attendee's ourselves, Stembolt employees personally witnessed everyone in attendance having fun. If you stayed until the very end, we even had french fries to curb our late night cravings.
More than half of our respondents had ideas on what they'd like to hear about next year. If you're interested in speaking at next year's event, you might want to make note of the following:
- Technical details of Solidus improvements and new features
- Deeper case studies of how people use Solidus
- Progress since the 2016 conference
- Best practices, lessons learned, and optimizations when writing Solidus code
- Front end integration
- How to sell Solidus to clients
- Product search, POS, and other system integrations
- Warehouse management
- Design patterns driving Solidus' principles
Thirty-eight responses revealed a long list of ideas for the next SolidusConf location. The United States had 22 votes backing it up, Canada had 10, Europe had 5, and Australia even made the list with one vote. Unfortunately this isn't determined by voting as much as it is by interested companies in other countries pulling together to put on the next conference.
We've had a couple of companies reach out about next year's conference already and while we're talking about holiding it somewhere other than Toronto, nothing is final.
The conference feedback survey is now closed, but we're always willing to chat if you've got more ideas. If you're interested in helping out next year or want to pass along more feedback, reach out on Slack, or email us.