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Best SpreeConf Ever

Posted on February 22, 2012 by Sean Schofield

Last week we held our first ever SpreeConf over a two day period in NYC. This was an important step for our project since conferences provide great feedback and energy for any open source movement. The conference gave us a chance to interact with other Spree developers and store owners. We also had a fair number of people attending who were there to evaluate Spree for their next project.

What Went Right

We were extremely pleased with the how the conference turned out. Here are some of the highlights as we saw them:

  • Turnout – Lots of people showed up (complete sell out)
  • Duration – Two days for the conference was justified
  • Great location – Guests stayed extra days and brought their significant others
  • Dedication – People traveled from far away countries to attend
  • Engagement – Attendees seemed engaged throughout the two days of talks
  • Training – Lots of 1.0 stuff that went beyond the README
  • Speakers – Awesome lineup of speakers so not a huge surprise
  • Keynote – Nerds love MakerBot!
  • Hotel – Great rooms and nice bars. Close to the venue.
  • Hackathon – Cool location. Great turnout. SpreeConf whiskey!
  • SWAG – Cool t-shirts from You Design It and free copy of Rails 3 in Action!
  • Positivity – No haters. Everyone was really positive even when there were snags.

What Went Wrong

There were a few small problems. Most of the issues were related to our choice of venue which is not typically used for hosting conferences. While the venue had significant advantages (such as zero cost) for the next conference will be going with a location that has professional conference facilities.

  • Temperature – The second day in particular was way too hot
  • Lunch – The caterer messed up the timing and portions
  • Party – Due to issues with the landlord the party was cut short and there was a problem accessing the elevator

The Slides

We promised to make the slides available after the conference. We have invited all of speakers to put their slides online and now we have a nearly complete list of those presentations below.

Day 1

Jeff Squires – Introducing Spree 1.0

Josh Kalderimis – (coming soon)

Brian Quinn – Spree Themes with Deface

Chris Mar – The 3 P’s Preferences, Payments and Promotions

Day 2

Sean Schofield – The Spree Road Map

Ryan Bigg – Rails Engines Lessons Learned

Jeff Casimir – Metrics Driven Rails Performance

Brian Quinn – Spree’s Hidden Gems

Wynn Netherland – A Spree Themer’s Toolkit

Neil Capel – The Recommendation Conundrum

Ryan McGeary – Just In Time Inventory with Spree

Scott Chacon – The Open Source Business

Bre Pettis – (coming soon)