Five Reasons We Are Excited About DrupalCon Austin

It’s right around the corner...2014!  And our first DrupalCon of the year will be here before you know it in Austin, June 2-6 2014.

Your events team at the Drupal Association has been hard at work planning to make this Con the best ever in North America.

Here are some highlights:

1. Shooting for 4,000 attendees!  We are looking at targeted marketing and other ways to draw those under-served parts of our community.  A CMS Evaluator training will be offered on Friday to give evaluators a chance to get to know Drupal, and we are restructuring the Site Owners track, to offer more for these folks. Growing DrupalCon attendance in a smart way will help to grow the project.

2. Community Summit.  We are bringing in the Community Summit which had its inaugural flight in Prague. What's the story behind the Community Summit? Read Addison's writeup explaining this new initiative, and what happened to the Community track, DrupalCon Prague introduces a Community Summit. 

3. Track changes. UX/UI from Portland and Denver has become User Experience Design. The User Experience Design track covers all visual aspects of front-end design. This track will address design, usability (including IA and accessibility) and theming of Drupal sites. We have a new Case Studies track, which is a bit of a morph from our old Non-Profit, Education and Government track.  The Case Studies track is designed to highlight the wins, realities, and strategies involved in deploying a Drupal project. This is the place to share and learn about the latest innovations and community resources that impact big projects in the public, private, non-profit, and educational sectors. The Symfony track is dedicated to exploring the Symfony Components that build Drupal 8. Learn from the Symfony core team about new and elegant approaches to coding with PHP. Sponsored by SensioLabs

4. Lead Generation. Our sponsors have asked for it for years, and since it is largely their financial support that makes DrupalCons happen, we thought we should give it a try.  Each name-tag will have a scannable barcode that you can allow exhibitors to scan if you wish. But don’t worry! If you don’t want your name-tag scanned, you can simply refuse at the booth, or put a sticker over the barcode. (We will have stickers available at registration).

5. Exhibit Hall.  We are creating a much more interesting exhibit hall space with lots of “neighborhoods”.  Games, lounges and power up tables will be available, so it will become a comfortable place to “hang out”.

We are very interested in hearing from you, so please, if you’d like more information or have comments or concerns, contact me at storres@association.drupal.org

Comments

4. Lead Generation. Our sponsors have asked for it for years, and since it is largely their financial support that makes DrupalCons happen, we thought we should give it a try.  Each name-tag will have a scannable barcode that you can allow exhibitors to scan if you wish. But don’t worry! If you don’t want your name-tag scanned, you can simply refuse at the booth, or put a sticker over the barcode. (We will have stickers available at registration).

FYI, this was tried (I believe) in Chicago, and was a big FAIL, as it divulged personal information that conference attendees did not want shared (here's a related issue: https://drupal.org/node/943646 ). What exactly is the problem having sposnors take business cards and/or have people sign up on a sheet of paper? Is it just that hard to get info? Are you tryhing to track this type of activity? How many more leads do people really expect to come from badge barcodes? (My estimate is zero)
With that said, I think it could lead to some humerous swag (branded tinfoil hats, anyone?). 

Hi Alex, 

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it. And you are right. This was done in Chicago. I'll be sure to read the related issue. 

 

Best,

Megan

Hi Alex,
I can confirm that it is very difficult to get accurate contact information at DrupalCon. Many people don't have business cards, and hand-written entries or even those typed into a device on the floor takes a lot of time and leads to mistakes, which means that we cannot reach the people who want to be contacted. As the post says, this is an opt-in thing. No-one will give info if they don't want to, but many do. This is a win/win situation.