NopCommerce first tech conference in a nutshell.
We just came back from Amsterdam. We had a great time in this beautiful city, learnt new things, made new acquaintances. But before you get any crazy ideas on what this actually means (it is Amsterdam after all), I would like to let you know that it all relates to a memorable event, which we participated in: the very first nopCommerce conference - NopDevDays. We are convinced that this event will go down as one of the most significant milestones for nopCommerce. And if you are wondering why, please read on.
First I would like to give you a brief overview of the conference in order put things in perspective. It was a one day event, which included different technical lectures, a discussion panel and lots of time for networking and beer in between.
Although the attendance was not massive it was still amazing how many countries were represented at the event. There were people from the United States, UK, Denmark, Spain, Israel, Italy, Turkey, Slovenia, etc. Most of them developers and managers from companies who work with nopCommerce and are nopCommerce solution partners.
As the day went on I spoke to more and more of the attendees and I realized that they were at the conference not so much to hear the lectures, but rather to find nopCommerce partners and new opportunities. If you are reading this blog I presume you work with nopCommerce and you missed the conference. Therefore I would like to give you this tip: there will be other such nopCommerce events in the future, and if you are looking to expand your nopCommerce business these events will surely be great opportunities for you to do so.
The networking part of NopDevDays was really strong and I am sure quite beneficial to most. At the same time the NopDevDays lectures were not something to miss either. Milen, one of the Nop-Templates.com co-founders had the previlige to talk about how we developed and API for nopCommerce, which we are going to contribute to the system and how we used it to integrate nopCommerce with Gmail. Quite and exotic pairing, nopCommerce and Gmail. Do hear about it here.
When I mentioned the countries that were represented at the conference I missed a very important one: Russia. Yes, you are already guessing it. Andrei the creator of nopCommerce was there. (Going against the selfies fad, Milen and Andrei took a proper picture together :-).
Andrei did an excellent presentation on how nopCommerce was created and where it is headed next. Did you know that if it wasn’t for Andrei’s desire to create an online flower shop, nopCommerce would not have existed today. More on this you can find here. Andrei’s talk and his mere presence at the event brought quite a lot of inspiration and boosted further the rapport and the sense of collaboration that was already building among the attendees.
These good vibes fuelled the discussion panel following the lectures and turned it into something which I believe is going to have a huge impact on nopCommerce and thus made NopDevDays very special. NopCommerce vendors and partner companies who would normally see each other as competition, sat together as one along with Andrei. The future of nopCommerce was discussed and it was decided what needs to be done next so that nopCommerce receives the attention and the market share it deserves.
Let me highlight some of the decisions which came out of this discussion panel.
1. NopCommerce.com is going to have a new responsive design soon, delivered by Nop-Templates.com and implemented by the nopcommerce team. The website will be restructured and the content will be edited to have a more marketing and store-owner friendly outlook and flow.
2. Nopcommerce already have a new office and new developers and marketing specialist are going to be hired in order to push the system further both dev and market-wise. Among the more interesting nopCommerce features which are going to be developed in the future are prices per currency, Umbraco and Reddis integration. Much more effort will be invested into marketing too. These would include blogs, tutorials, videos and podcasts on both technical and general ecommerce topics, as well as better social media coverage.
3. The nopCommerce administration will be redesigned at some point in order to be much more friendly to the non-technical store-owners. We at Nop-Templates will again be involved in this. The administration will be responsive and will consist of several layers of complexity. So that it can be a no-brainer to peform 80% of the store administration scenarios and at the same time retain all the advanced administration capabilities.
4. The various nopCommerce solution partners will be involved in a coordinated effort to popularise the system rather than doing so indirectly through their own businesses and only for their own sake. This again includes the creation of useful technical and ecommerce web content and its effective sharing on social media. Local nopCommerce user groups and events will be carried out by the partners, targeting the .NET and ecommerce local communities. Most partners are expected to join the buzz with the realization that the prosperity of the system is directly related to the well-being of their own companies.
5. There will be a separate partners forum on nopcommerce.com, which will be used as a means to share ideas, experiences and coordinate this whole effort.
6. And last but not least, nopCommerce conferences similar to NopDevDays will become a frequent occurrence throughout the world. Speaking of which please take a minute to fill in this survey on where the next nopCommerce conference should be held.
I believe NopDevDays sounded like a conventional technical conference beforehand. But as you can see, beyond the lectures it turned out to be much more than that. To me it felt more like a board meeting, where competitors sat down as partners and joined forces for the common good.
Of course this would not have been possible without Dennis, Melvin and the whole Nopaholics team from Zaaks who organized NopDevDays. From its shy beginnings to the late night after-party, (us roaming the streets and bars of Amsterdam), the event was organized perfectly.
Kudos to these guys and I am sure there will be much more such events to come.
I hope to see you there!