Sitecore Symposium 2018 – Get most out of the conference

We’re about a 3 weeks away from Sitecore Symposium 2018 , taking place in Orlando, Florida this October 8-12. The event is expected to gather thousands of Sitecore Peps, along with Sitecore experts, Customers, MVPs, Executives and Developers.

If you’re planning to attend this event, then, there is a lot to do to prepare.
And the  "sessions planning" is one of the important task which you need to plan in advance , selecting the perfect 11 sessions out of 100+ session is not an easy task at all trust me, you may want to attend all , but time slots are limited. 

So you have to plan your sessions in a way to get most out of the conference.

Sitecore spanned 100+ sessions into 5 track -

  • Getting started
  • Development and IT
  • Marketing strategy, innovation,
  • Sitecore optimization
  • E-commerce experience

Now, you need to choose the right track or the combination of track based on your current roles, future aspiration, interest, favorite speaker, topics etc

I am planning to attend the Development/IT and Marketing Strategy track and some of the amazing sessions occurring at the same time, so it’s really very tricky/hard to pick the right session, being considering the time slot.

But after exploring/planning a lot, I made my list of sessions, which I am going  to attend, it’s a combination of both (marketing and IT) along with some good case studies.

Here is my 11 preferred sessions to attend in the conference

1. Topic: Data-driven Sitecore: Getting a unified view of the customer to drive targeted marketing experiences

Speaker: Tim Ward, CEO CluedIn
Date:      Tuesday, October 9th
Time:      11:45 – 12:30 A.M

Data is everywhere – in your back-office tools, in your marketing platforms, and online. Unfortunately many brands are not utilizing data properly, but crave to do so. Let us show you how you can elevate your content management experience by activating the power of your data, resulting in more meaningful and targeted brand experiences. In this session, we’ll show you practical examples of what you can achieve by having a proper data strategy. We will use a bank in Denmark as the use case for demonstrating what can be achieved when data from across the organization is unleashed onto Sitecore. Join us for this session and you’ll be amazed by the amount of signals and knowledge that can be aggregated into the xProfile and how a sales or marketing team could visibly increase value with just a few small tricks.

Justification: I Picked this session because of the Bank case study.

2. Topic: Enabling your marketing team to 'run' with Sitecore

Speaker: Pamela King, Sitecore Strategist, TechSense Solutions
             Christine Toto,Marketing Technology Manager,PMI         
Date:      Tuesday, October 9th
Time:      12:45 – 1:30 P.M

Distributed content management is a critical goal when implementing a new CMS, but how do you do accomplish this in a global organization? How do you empower your teams to use the marketing tools in Sitecore including content management, personalization, optimization, and campaign management? In this session we will present the PMI journey from a traditional IT-led content management approach to a self-service digital marketing model. Embracing the “Crawl, Walk, Run” philosophy, PMI is now utilizing Sitecore’s advanced marketing tools. We will outline the challenges we faced, the decisions we made, the Sitecore implementation approach we took, and our operational model.

Justification: “Crawl, Walk, Run” philosophy - from a traditional IT-led content management approach to a self-service digital marketing model

3. Topic: Driving innovation in the automotive customer experience: Volvo Cars digital transformation

Speaker: Anthony Wickham, Digital Marketing Global Lead,Avanade
              Bobbykin Makwana, Senior Director, Consumer Digital, Volvo      
Date:     Tuesday, October 9th
Time:     2:45 – 3:30 P.M

With well over 100 years of history, the automotive industry is considered one of the “final frontiers” for digital transformation and e-commerce. In this session, learn how Volvo Cars is evolving its core business and brand experience to meet the demands of modern consumers. By partnering with Avanade and building the experience on Sitecore, Volvo Cars is successfully delivering rich, personalized, intuitive experiences that address the needs of its customer base. The integration of strategy, data, content, and customer-centric UX design generate real top- and bottom-line growth; We’ll share how Volvo is connecting these important pieces and taking a new approach to accelerate innovation and sales.

Justification: Volvo Cars case study on successfully delivering rich, personalized, intuitive experiences that address the needs of its customer base.

4. Topic: EXM Live! The magic of email automation

Speaker: Pete Navarra, Director, Technical Strategy,Connective DX  
Date:      Tuesday, October 9th
Time:      4:15 – 5:00 P.M

Sitecore XP's introduction of Email Experience Manager (EXM) in Sitecore 9 brings together the power of Marketing Automation and connected experiences to the email inbox. Experience a live, interactive demonstration of email automation using EXM powered by Sitecore's Marketing Automation in a fast-paced, audience-driven exercise. Explore the history of EXM and how to scale out its capabilities to send millions of emails.

Justification: EXM scalability and Pete Navarra :)

5. Topic: .NET Core and 9.1 architecture

Speaker: Kern Nerskind Nightingale, Senior Product Manager,Sitecore
              Stephen Pope,Senior Technical Product Manager,Sitecore         
Date:      Wednesday, October 10th
Time:      8:00 – 8.45 A.M

Underpinning the 9.1 release are a number of platform enhancements that, while not immediately obvious, are driving the future of the Sitecore platform. Embrace the revolution to the .NET world that .NET Core represents and discover Sitecore’s journey from monolith to services and the benefits and challenges encountered along the way.

Justification: What a great combination, one of my personal favorite – Kern and Stephen Pope

6. Topic: Finding value in your data: Using Sitecore's Analytics tools to generate business impact

Speaker: Mike Shaw, Product Marketing Manager,Sitecore
Date:      Wednesday, October 10th
Time:      10:00 – 10.45 A.M

Sitecore xDB captures a wealth of data; however, sifting through the data and making heads or tails of it can be overwhelming. Join this presentation to learn how to use all the tools of Sitecore XP to identify, hunt down, and formulate a plan of attack for opportunities within your customers. Mike will show you how he uses a combination of Experience Analytics, Path/Page Analyzer, xProfile as well as some lesser known nuggets to truly gain a 360° view of your site and your customers.

Justification: Mike will show you how he uses a combination of Experience Analytics, Path/Page Analyzer, xProfile

7.Topic: Catching up with Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon: Leveraging the right data sets to drive personalized experiences

Speaker: Derek Barka,Chief Technology Officer,SilverTech
               Avi Patel,Chief Marketing Officer, Fulton Financial Corporation
Date:      Wednesday, October 10th
Time:      11:45 – 12.30 P.M

In this session, learn how SilverTech and Fulton Financial Corporation utilized customer data and Sitecore to drive targeted product offerings to qualified customer segments and next-best product cross-sell opportunities to their existing customer base. Also learn how Lotame, a third-party data management platform (DMP), was integrated into Sitecore to drive personalized product offerings to anonymous visitors through audience segmenting. SilverTech’s Chief Technology Officer, Derek Barka, will speak to how to leverage your existing data, third-party data, and the power of Sitecore Experience Database to deliver a personalized experience to the majority of your site visitors.

Justification: Financial case study

8. Topic: A practical guide to partnership between IT and marketing

Speaker: Derek Barka,Chief Technology Officer,SilverTech
               Kerrin McGuire,Sr. IT BSA,Sophos
Date:       Wednesday, October 10th
Time:       2:00 – 2.45 P.M

Here at Sophos, we’ve built a world class model for partnership between IT teams and marketers. Our successes started with baby steps. In this session, we’ll share our story. You’ll leave the session with practical guides to help you on your journey to greatness. Don’t just let it happen. Make it happen. If it’s already happening, take steps to make the relationship between IT and marketing even better.

Justification: see the bridge between marketing and IT, and how to make the better relationship..

9. Topic: Unlocking the power of Marketing Automation and Email Experience Manager

Speaker: Ben Burns,Product Manager,Sitecore
              Jacob Nielsen,Software Architect,Sitecore
Date:      Wednesday, October 10th
Time:     3:00 – 3.45 P.M

Modern marketing is increasingly focused on the consumer and their personalized experiences. This is done by delivering timely and engaging content, with campaigns built around the customer lifecycle. In this session we will look at best practice, real world scenarios and provide a technical showcase of how to unlock the powerful functionality of Marketing Automation and EXM. We will also showcase the ease of use, flexibility and versatility of the EXM and Marketing Automation products, along with new features to inspire marketers' own campaign strategies.

Justification: real world scenarios on marketing automation and EXM

10. Topic: Using A/B testing and personalization to increase revenue by 22%

Speaker: Richard Lamb,Digital Director,Red Carnation Hotels
               Paul Stephen,CEO, Sagittarius
Date:       Thursday, October 12th
Time:       9.30 – 10.15 A.M

Red Carnation Hotels (RCH) are a collection of seventeen luxury award-winning, family-owned and run, boutique hotels in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the U.S. Sagittarius developed and delivered an industry-leading digital campaign to increase website conversions, utilizing personalization to ensure great digital experience from browsing to booking.

Justification : Red Carnation Hotel, case study on A/B testing and personalization

11. Faster, faster, faster! A Helix approach to DevOps in the light of the Sitecore micro-service architecture

Speaker: Thomas Eldblom,CTO,Pentia
Date:      Thursday, October 12th
Time:      10.30 – 11.15 A.M

Sitecore is no longer a monolithic Architecture but has recently introduced a number of micro-services which has made deployments more complex. In the spirit of Helix, we want to keep it simple and flexible to reduce cost of maintenance and reduce time to market. The session will introduce a scalable, decoupled, layered and technology independent approach to DevOps which can immediately be implemented in your business. Sitecore micro-service architecture. Configuring prerequisites and infrastructure using Powershell, Docker containers, and/or ARM templates. Packaging techniques in a micro service architecture. Item serialisation and database changes. Deployment strategies, Blue/Green. Reconfiguring SIF or ARM templates.

Justification : Sitecore 9 architecture insights

1.5 Day – MVP Summit

Date: 12th and 13th October

I am Excited for my first MVP summit with lots of good session and group discussion.

See you there..

Happy Sitecoring..


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