(Photo: Meet Magento Association e.V., taken by: Büro 71a, Neitzel und Klose GbR)

If you attend a conference for the first time, it’s not uncommon to feel lonely there. The bigger the conference, the more easy it is to get lost in the crowd.
In order to make it easier for newcomers and beginners in the Magento world to attend Meet Magento DE 2019 in Leipzig, I organise a “Welcome Wagon” during the conference which is run by TechDivision this year.

What does Welcome Wagon mean?

In the English speaking world, “Welcome Wagon” is known as the name of a company, founded it 1928, which visited new home owners to welcome them in the neighbourhood and bring the brochures and offers of local companies. These days, the company operates more remotely; instead of paying a visit, they send out e-mails and call home owners.
Nowadays, the term is more and more often used to describe info points for first-time attendees of conferences, especially in the tech sector. Here, newcomers can get answers to questions about the conference or the city they are in. Also, welcome wagons often offer the opportunity to meet other conference attendees.

That way, those who want to make new connections can make it with less effort. There will be an introduction in order to get to know each other, find out common interests during the conference days and maybe even find a conference buddy so you can attend talks together and discuss what you have heard.

Next to the informational value of a conference, it’s the personal connections which make it worth attending. These persons can be key in your own personal development or your project. 
I have experienced this myself when I first attended Meet Magento DE, my first conference trip ever. I only knew very few people. It was only after the after show party in the evening of the first conference day that this changed. But until then I spent the day with the feeling of not making good use of my time and feeling rather lost in the crowd.

Two opportunities: Monday morning and Tuesday morning

The Welcome Committee therefore takes place in the morning while the registration is open but the first talk hasn’t started yet. That’s the time when many returning attendees greet their friends and acquaintances. The Welcome Wagon makes good use of this opportunity by connecting those who don’t have any familiar faces to greet yet.
Whether you speak German or English, work with a merchant or agency or as a freelancer, interested in developer topics or not – everyone is welcome at the Welcome Wagon. I’ll make sure to bring some experienced conference attendees who are able to answer all kinds of questions about the conference.

When: 3th and 4th June, from 9:30 to 10 a.m.
Where: Kongresshalle am Zoo Leipzig, in the lounge area inside the Großer Saal
Who: All newcomers and first-time attendees of Meet Magento DE are welcome
How: Be around at that time. No registration necessary

(Photo: Meet Magento Association e.V., taken by: Büro 71a, Neitzel und Klose GbR)

Last year was the first time we offered such a Welcome Wagon during Meet Magento DE. The circle of people grew more and more, there is definitely an interest and an eagerness to make new connections and to exchange ideas. 
While in 2018 the Welcome Wagon only happened on day one of the conference, in 2019 it takes place on both days. That way more people can take part, including anyone who arrives later or missed the first appointment. 

In about four months, Meet Magento DE in Leipzig brings together the German Magento community. I look forward to meeting new faces and to reconnect with the people who attended the welcome wagon last year.

Sonja Franz

Author: Sonja Franz

Sonja Franz is the Head of Communications at integer_net. She especially enjoys organising events. Sonja is a Magento Certified Solution Specialist for Magento 1 and Magento 2 and has been awarded as a Magento Master in the category “Maker” in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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