On December 4th of 2017, the first Christmage took place in Aachen, organized by us at integer_net. The name Christmage is a portmanteau of Christmas and Magento. It was a special event to combine Magento content, sightseeing and a lot of networking. Almost 60 participants joined in the fun. While a big part of the attendees were coming from all parts of Germany, we also had French, Swiss, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch and US American guests. The attendees represented the great mix of jobs present in our ecommerce industries: developers, business and marketing people, employed at agencies, merchants or technology providers, or working as freelancers.

The Talks

After a short introduction by Andreas von Studnitz, we had four talks on our agenda:

First, there was a keynote by Ben Marks, Magento’s evangelist, in which he provided a retrospective of the past 10 years of Magento, and described the upcoming plans of Magento.

The second talk was offered by Nikolai Krambrock whose topic Business Metrics for Magento Agencies addressed the challenges a Magento agency must face if it wants to stay profitable.

“Progressive Web Apps – is this the End?” was the enquiring title of Jisse Reitsma’s talk. He informed the audience about the next steps of frontend technology which are currently developed by Magento. According to Jisse, their publication is planned for Magento 2.4.

All useful information aside, the highlight of this talk was the announcement of a small event with Magento chief frontend architect James Zetlen:

The last talk of the days was The State of Chatbots in 2017 by Christoph Rumpel in which he presented some live projects and gave an overview of the current landscape of chatbots. Quite impressive already!

The Discussions

In the afternoon, we had four discussions which divided the audience in two tracks (business and technology). The discussions were led by Sandro Wagner, Christian Philipp, Roman Zenner and Fabian Schmengler – all guys from Aachen with lots of experience in their fields – and Ben Marks himself.

Coffee Breaks and Hallway Track

Besides the Magento content, our focus was on bringing people together for socializing and networking. So compared to other events, the breaks were much longer, and the participants made eager use of that, talking about Magento, Ecommerce and other stuff. With coffee, tea and the famous Aachen “Printen” available at all times, the time between two sessions became even more delicious.

Evening Agenda

The day was wrapped up by Sonja Riesterer with closing remarks and a big “thank you” to all participants, the speakers, sponsors and the team.

After the main event, the evening was started with a guided tour of the historical city of Aachen, led by two professional guides. We learned about the history of Charlemagne and other famous Aacheners; many fountains, the cathedral, the city hall and numerous small alleys and places added their charm to the tour. Entertaining stories about the devil, firestarting bakers, chicken thieves, mercury treatments and more added to the entertainment.

After orbitting the well known Christmas Market of Aachen during the sightseeing tour, we finally had a stop at one of the mulled wine booths to have a warming drink.

Last but not least, about 30 of the participants enjoyed the afterglow at a cocktail bar. It wasn’t until well after midnight that the last attendees left the place.

Teamwork

While the event was initiated by Sonja Riesterer and Andreas von Studnitz and planning started about half a year before, Christmage couldn’t have happened without our whole team at integer_net. Decorating, setting up projector and Wi-Fi, taking care of coffee and tea, organizing catering, announcing speakers, welcoming guests and handing out gingerbread hearts (thanks maxcluster for sponsoring!), taking photos, carrying stuff from one room to the other – everyone played their role, and every role is important.

Feedback

Let’s look at what the participants had to say about the event:

Andreas von Studnitz

Author: Andreas von Studnitz

Andreas von Studnitz is a Magento developer and one of the Managing Directors at integer_net. His main areas of interest are backend development, Magento consulting and giving developer trainings. He is a Magento Certified Developer since 2011 (and 2018 for Magento 2) and a Magento Certified Solution Specialist since 2014 (Magento 1) respective 2017 (Magento 2).

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