Thursday, October 10, 2019

Guiding your visit to the Sitecore Symposium 2019


In a little under a month, we will be heading back out towards the yearly Sitecore Symposium. When you explore the online agenda for the Symposium, it can be somewhat overwhelming to look into the 120 (!) different sessions and decide on which one offer the most value or novelty information.

Since everyone who attends the Symposium has a slightly different focus, it would be an absurd claim to provide you with an ideal guide into the different tracks as a whole. All speakers and sessions have been meticulously chosen and offer great quality and expertise in their own domain.

  • Sitecore has been hard at work in a number of products and technology choices:
  • Handling larger volumes and scaling your different environments for bigger load
  • Sitecore Commerce with enhanced performance, tooling and stability (and B2B?)
  • Sitecore 9.3 release with the all-new Horizon interface that will be revealed
  • Assist and accelerate your website development through tools such as SXA and JSS
  • Structuring your project for smoother development and deployment (Helix, Upgrades)


If you attend a session that touches at the above topics, you should be at the right place in the Symposium! Although I have learned from attending the Symposium for over 6 years that it is very hard to find a disappointing session overall.

So, what topics can I recommend or will I be attending personally?


“What is new in Sitecore Land” – Tuesday 13:30 – Pieter Brinkman & Mark Groves

Get ready to be loaded with a bunch of information on all new bits and pieces that will ship out with the latest version of Sitecore. As this session provides you with a much-needed overview of all new features and improvements, this session creates a perfect foundation that will lead you into the rest of the Symposium.

“Three key improvements we made in SXA” – Tuesday 14:35 – Adam Najmanowicz & Mark van Aalst

At The Reference, we have fully embraced SXA into all our projects, resulting in faster development, more flexibility, great support from Sitecore and an overall clear and transparent project approach. Whether or not you are already using SXA, join in and learn about the basics or new features. After leaving this session, you will be up to speed and ready to rollout SXA into your project right away.

“Build JSS websites with Blazor” – Tuesday 15:40 – Corey Smith & Gary Wenneker

We researched JSS a while back and since have our first full JSS website live. Based on that project, it is good to hear that the JSS project has found adoption through Blazor (allowing you to build rich client-side web UIs in C#). This session will shine its spotlight on having Blazor running atop the Sitecore JavaScript Services, getting the most of both worlds.

“New editing experience in Sitecore: What it means for developers” – Wednesday 10:30 – Alexey Vaschenko

Since the last two years, the Project Horizon has been on the horizon (yes, a bad pun), and we have heard and seen bits and pieces of it. This session would piece all the parts together into a full understanding of the Horizon interface. Time to find out what the impact is for content authors and marketers as well as developers. – A must see.

“Automate your commerce messaging” – Wednesday 11:35 – Ben Burns & Soren Kerrn

This presentation, brought by Sitecore themselves, is not only interesting since it highlights the potential of the Commerce solution. The true value of this session seems to come from showing how to combine ExM, MA with the Sitecore Commerce engine to create a smooth, integrated customer lifecycle experience .

“SXA beyond the box” – Wednesday 13:30 – Gert Gullentops

Whether or not you’ve picked up on SXA and even if you skipped the earlier SXA session, visit this session! Real-life examples will be used to showcase the true power of SXA as well as the flexibility that the platform is able to offer. The typical recommendation is to think outside of the box, and this session has gone above and beyond and can tell you what is out there… Beyond the box.

PS, did I mention that Gert Gullentops is a great colleague of mine at The Reference?

“10 things you didn’t know about Sitecore Forms” – Wednesday 14:35 – Bart Verdonck

A while back, the hate/love relationship with Sitecore’s WFFM finally ended when the all-new Sitecore Forms solution was introduced in Sitecore 9. This session will bring you up to speed on all the basic options such as save actions, validations. However, we will not shy away from features such as multi-page forms, conditional fields, insights and what is possible on extending the module.

PPS, did I mention that Bart Verdonck is yet other great colleague of mine at The Reference?

“Blazing fast Sitecore sites” – Thursday 9:40 – Alex Shyba & Adam Weber

‘Develop your website with performance and user experience in mind’ – should be an ideology that is always top of mind when developing online applications. Lower your standards and you lower your number of visitors. Learn how you can tune up your Sitecore to get personalization to run 98 times faster while keeping those hosting costs within an affordable amount.

“Using Sitecore Content Hub to take control of your digital asset lifecycle” – Thursday 10:45 – Tim Pashuysen, Brent Pinstaff & Chris Williams

Over the last year, after the acquisition of StyleLabs was finalized, the Sitecore Content Hub was created in order to manage your digital assets. This session will provide a good overview of the product as well as a how-to on managing your assets lifecycle. Additionally, information will be provided on what toolings and customization options are available with the Content Hub.

In conclusion:


Keep in mind that the amount of possible paths through the Symposium agenda are nearly endless across the 120 session and speakers. At The Reference, we try to cover as many sessions by scaling out on the amount of employees attending the Symposium. This year 7 of us will be attending. Keep track of me on Twitter or if you see me running, don’t hesitate to say hello.

Because the Symposium is about new knowledge and knowledge exchange, but it is also in large part for networking and sharing experiences! Hope to see you there!

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