***Before you read on: Did you miss the chance to attend CiviCon St. Louis? Or perhaps you live in Europe? Good News! CiviCon Cologne in Germany will take place June 9, 2017! All the details here
By now, if you attended CiviCon St. Louis (and we sure hope you did!), you have had time to process the experience and perhaps even begin to apply some things you learned about CiviCRM. The annual conference took place in the beautiful city of St. Louis, there was so much happening and many great topics that were explored, plus the Sprint that followed, so the CiviCon experience may have required some time to sink in!
Participants found thempselves in the music center at the University of Missouri. We had the whole building to ourselves which included a large concert hall with a large room for sessions and lunch, plus a smaller piano room for breakouts. The venue was very pleasant and comfortable. CiviCon is always a great opportunity to become more educated about CiviCRM but also to meet everyone in the community, network and welcome the new folks just getting on the opensource train. This year, service providers were encouraged to invite their customers to CiviCon which has not been an active initiative in previous years. It was certainly an enjoyable experience to have more end users at the conference!
Informative sessions are the big draw for CiviCon where a myriad of topics are covered by some of the experts from the CiviCRM community. "The sessions were very interesting this year, more user orientated than they typically are and also less technichal which I think was a welcomed change," says Cividesk Principal, Nicolas Ganivet. In addition to the standard sessions, Lightning Talks were given during lunch which are more of an informal, open mic format giving a short 5-8 minute presentation about a specific CiviCRM topic. It covers only the main points and what's important to know. Steve Kessler from Cividesk spoke about the CiviCRM user dashboard as well as about challenges with the Honoree section and Nicolas Ganivet gave a quick talk on Access Control in CiviCRM.
Cividesk was proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the conference and to have the opportunity to once again support the CiviCRM community at this level, be a part of this powerful experience and also to present on some interesting topics. Nicolas Ganivet presented a case study where Cividesk merged 17 databases into one multisite for ARCS Foundation, a Cividesk customer. Steve Kessler covered the topic of how CiviCRM integrates with Drupal, Joomla and WordPress.
Finally, as all great conferences do, CiviCon boasted a wonderful keynote speaker, Matt Thompson (@openmatt), former Senior Director at the Mozilla Foundation. Matt gave a very interesting address about how opensource works and the power of collaboration, as well as the new collaboration that opensource brings. Takeaway: Opensource goes beyond software now and translates to just about any initiative you can think of. In other words, we can learn lessons from the opensource concept to create and develop on any given topic!