This year the 7th annual Magento Imagine conference once again took place in Las Vegas between April 3rd – 5th 2017.

This was my first time attending an Imagine event (along with our MD Dave – a veteran attendee), having previously attended events in the UK, such as Magento Live and Mage Titans, so I’ll try to add some perspective from a first timer.

Given the amount of content to recap I’ll be splitting this in multiple posts, the first below detailing the build up to the event, with further posts on the conference keynotes / talks, community engagement events and of course the parties!

 

Overview

As per the past few years, Imagine was held at The Wynn resort and this year attracted over 2700 attendees from 50 countries.

Whilst the event officially ran from Monday 3rd to Wednesday 5th there were also plenty of community events taking place over the weekend before.

The event itself contained a plethora of content and activities catering for all interests and backgrounds (i.e technical, business, marketing etc.) from the main keynotes, breakout talks, community engagement sessions and of course evening entertainment!

 

Travel

Before we’d even managed to make it to Vegas we’d bumped in Karen Baker and Max Pronko, both of whom shared our flight from Heathrow!

 

Magento Hackathon

I wasn’t personally able to attend the hackathon, which in its 5th year was organised by David Robinson of AOE, but it appeared to be another successful event with a number of interesting projects being implemented such as a port of AOE scheduler for Magento 2 and an extension to aid searching of store configuration options as well as a focus on adding to and improving the content on Magento’s DevDocs.

 

For a better recap of the event itself see this overview from Ben Robie.

 

Big Dam Run

Big Dam Run Starting Line

Big Dam Run Starting Line

This was the 6th annual ‘fun run’ (though quite a few took it pretty seriously ) organised by Brent Peterson and his team at Wagento Commerce and this year the run began from the Hoover Dam, with options for running 5k, 10k, walking or just touring the dam.

I wasn’t quite feeling my best but managed to drag myself over the finish line (with the help from a couple of running buddies) to complete the 5k route, even if I did take a break halfway to check out the view of Lake Mead with a few other stragglers!  Dave on the other hand breezed to a 10k finish…

 

Dave and John - Big Dam Run

Dave and myself with our Big Dam Run medals

Big Dam Run Group Photo

Big Dam Run Group Photo

Hoover Dam

Following the run we had a bit of time to go check out the Hoover Dam, though the photo doesn’t do justice to the vastness of it!

 

Partner Summit

Following the run (and a rest) it was time head over to The Wynn to get registered for Imagine itself and then attend the summit for Magento solution and technology partners where CEO Mark Lavelle and his team gave an overview of the changes / improvements to the partner program, handed out awards for partners before a small gathering for networking / drinks.

 

PreImagine

This years PreImagine (I have no idea how many years this ones been running, quite a few I gather though!) was hosted by our good friends over at ShipperHQ and was a great chance to catch up with some old friends and new faces in a nice relaxed atmosphere before the main event started the next day.

 

Summary

As you can see there is plenty to do at an Imagine event before the conference even starts!  For a newcomer these events really helped me get into the ‘swing of things’ before the main event kicked off and was a great chance to speak to plenty of faces I’d recognised from Twitter and elsewhere online but never met in person as well as some new people too.

Therefore I’d recommend to anyone attending in future to join in with as many of these events as possible.

Next up, I’ll be covering the Imagine event itself in regards to the keynotes and other talks – see part 2 here.