Magento Imagine took place last week, April 8th – 10th at the M Resort hotel in Las Vegas. WebShopApps were in attendance and as we have come to expect from Magento, we were not disappointed.
This event was Magento’s 3rd annual conference with 1500 people in attendance from over 44 countries. With a very diverse group that ranged from Merchants, Solutions Partners, Industry Partners and of course the Magento team.
There was a lot to learn through the Breakout sessions. Three different tracks were available; the Technology Track, Strategic Marketing Track and Business Solution Track. there was something for everyone. Topics included SEO, Responsive Design for eCommerce, Hosting, Boosting Revenues, Global growth with Magento, how Start-ups and SMBs grow with Magento Enterprise.
The conference was wrapped up with one of Magento’s legendary after parties. As usual, despite a cold Las Vegas night, Magento pulled out all the stops with an evening of great food, dancing and entertainment. A great way to end the conference.
The theme for this year
The theme for this year was The Art of Commerce. From the Hall ways to the Market Place decor, the stage design, videos and the suprise fashion show. It was all a work of art. So who was behind the artistry? Magento’s Head of Design/Creative Director – John Couch with the aid of the rest of the Magento team, the The Buzz Lab crew and Mike Russek from 1028Designs.
Our take on Imagine
To succeed in the world of commerce, it takes more than just setting up a store and waiting for customers. Succeeding now requires creativity, continuous innovation and a team of talented individuals. Mobile and multi-channel selling is now key and this trend will only continue to grow. Magento is still working hard to continue to enable merchants and continues to value the community and the communities efforts in driving innovation.
Some of the people we managed to meet
As usual, the Magento Community was out in full force. We had the privilege of catching up with our customers, partners and friends from the community, just to name a few; Blue Acorn, interactiv4, ebizmarts, The Buzz Lab, Orange Collar Media, aheadWorks, Sweet Tooth, Session Digital and many many more.
The Great Speakers
The roster of speakers this year included Steven Levitt, the Co-Author of Freakonomics and Jane McGonial, a world-renowned game designer. The talks were engaging, funny and thought provoking. The calibre of the speakers was truly impressive, I would recommend anyone to attend the next Magento Imagine for the speakers alone.
Magento made several big announcements at Imagine.
1. Magento Enterprise 1.13
Jimmy Duvall, Head of Product for Magento announced the release of Magento Enterprise 1.13. Baruch Toledano, Director of Product Management then came on stage to elaborate on some of the improvements made around indexing and scalability. Page loading has been improved, the re-indexing process has been improved by 83% and now 95% of the time you wont need to do full re-indexing. Overall average improvement between EE1.12 and EE1.13 is 65% and the conclusion was that “We can sleep better with EE1.13!”.
2. Magento Community Edition 1.8.2
This is on route and will be with us in the next couple of weeks. A dozen areas have also been improved in CE but our impression was that EE is definetly becoming the standard for serious Magento merchants.
3. Magento 2
This is still in the works and a Beta release can be expected in Q4 this year. Magento are working hard to improve the architecture for developers and solution partners and hopes to create something that is truly modular with clear separation of presentation and business logic.
4. X.commerce Fabric
This has now been decommissioned.
5. New Front End Developer Certification
A Magento Certified Frontend Developer accreditation was announced thus meaning front end developers can now prove their skill-set in Magento theming to their clients.
This sums up the WebShopApps team’s experience of Magento Imagine 2013. If you missed it then maybe we’ll see you out there next year!
Farai & Tom