The most well-attended and highest-rated sessions at Alfresco Summit

This year I asked our Alfresco Summit room monitors to capture the number of attendees in each session. It’s interesting to look at the data. For the most part, it’s as I expected, although there are a few surprises here and there.

It’s important to note that a well-attended session reflects topics in which people are interested, a well-written title and/or abstract, position in the schedule, and potentially the reputation of the speaker. It may not be an accurate indicator of how great the session turned out. We also didn’t capture the attendance for every session nor did we get a perfect count every time.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s look at the attendance of the non-technical sessions first. This was the first year we’ve included business sessions in our annual conference and I think it worked really well. Here are the top 5 non-technical sessions in terms of attendance for Barcelona:

Top 5 Business Sessions by Attendance (Barcelona)

  1. The NextGen ECM Goes Social, Mobile & Cloud (Hanns Koehler-Kruener)
  2. Alfresco for Salesforce (Jared Ottley, Will Abson)
  3. Share in Action at University of Westminster and iMinds (Multiple speakers)
  4. Putting Content to Work in the Public Sector (Multiple speakers)
  5. The Missing Link: E-Mail-Integrations for Alfresco to Increase Acceptance, Enrich Experience, Enhance Quality & Simply Do Better Work (Hofkens)

And here is the list of the most well-attended business sessions in Boston:

Top 5 Business Sessions by Attendance (Boston)

  1. Getting Users to Adopt the Technology That IT Loves (Multiple speakers)
  2. The Extended Enterprise: The Future is Cloud but Hybrid is Reality (Multiple speakers)
  3. What You Need to Know: Running a Successful Content Management Project (Multiple speakers)
  4. Managing Mobile Content in the Enterprise (Marc Dubresson & Mike Hatfield)
  5. Centralizing and Optimizing All Kinds of Content: Panel on Digital Asset Management (Gauss)

In Barcelona, the technical sessions were attended by almost twice as many people as the business sessions, on average, while in Boston the average attendance was almost the same for both technical and non-technical. This isn’t surprising as the conference has been historically more technical in EMEA than the Americas both in terms of content and attendees.

Technical Sessions

Here are the most well-attended technical sessions in Barcelona. If the session didn’t make the top 10 well-attended list in Boston (either because it wasn’t presented or because it wasn’t as well-attended relative to the other talks) it is marked with an asterisk (“*”):

Top 10 Technical Sessions by Attendance (Barcelona)

  1. Querying for Metadata (Andy Hind)
  2. *Beating the Benchmarks with a Billion Objects (Robin Bramley)
  3. What’s New in the Bulk File System Import Tool (Peter Monks & Richard McKnight)
  4. *The Share Widget Library (David Draper)
  5. Inspecting Alfresco: Tools & Techniques (Nathan McMinn)
  6. Share Page Creation Live (David Draper)
  7. Alfresco Backup and Recovery Tool: A Real World Backup Solution (Toni de la Fuente)
  8. Getting Started with Alfresco Development (Gethin James)
  9. *What’s Coming in CMIS 1.1 (Greg Melahn)
  10. Enabling Test-Driven, Rapid Dev, & Continuous Delivery of Alfresco Apps (Gabriele Columbro)

The list for most well-attended technical sessions in Boston has some of the same talks as Barcelona with a few exceptions (talks only appearing on the Boston list are marked with “*”):

Top 10 Technical Sessions by Attendance (Boston)

  1. Getting Started with Alfresco Development (Ray Gauss)
  2. Alfresco Backup and Recovery Tool: A Real World Backup Solution (Toni de la Fuente)
  3. Inspecting Alfresco: Tools & Techniques (Nathan McMinn)
  4. *Boost Your Productivity with Next Gen BPM Tooling (Joram Barrez)
  5. What’s New in the Bulk File System Import Tool (Peter Monks, Richard McKnight)
  6. Enabling Test-Driven, Rapid Dev, & Continuous Delivery of Alfresco Apps (Gabriele Columbro)
  7. *The Art of the Upgrade (Kyle Adams)
  8. Querying for Metadata (Andy Hind)
  9. *Performance Troubleshooting & Tooling (Romain Guinot)
  10. Share Page Creation Live (David Draper)

I should note that the “top 10″ cutoff is completely arbitrary. In Barcelona, for example, the next 10 sessions still had 65 to 70 people in attendance.

What about lightning talks?

The lightning talks were extremely well-attended in both cities. In fact, most of the lightning talk sessions had enough attendees to make it into the top ten well-attended list, but I wanted to call them out separately.

Richard Esplin did a bang-up job pulling together two dozen lightning talks in each city. The overwhelming majority of lightning talks used the Ignite format which meant the slides advanced themselves after 30 seconds. Delivering these talks requires a ton of prep and practice and the presenters did not disappoint.

I didn’t see every lightning talk but my personal favorites out of the ones I did see were Boriss Mejias’ hilarious talk on “Alfresco Related WTFs in the Wild” in Barcelona and three talks in Boston: Peter Monks’ “Advice for Building an Alfresco Extension”, Tony Parzgnat’s talk on “Dynamic Datalist Driven Constraints in Share”, and “Help Your Users to RTFM!” by Andy Healey.

The lightning talk sessions were so impressive and so popular, I wonder if we ought to have an Alfresco Ignite event at some point.

Highly-Rated Talks

Now if you only followed the crowds you would have caught sessions that were not only well-attended but also highly-rated (and potentially a few that failed to live up to expectations). You would have also missed some hidden gems. Here are sessions that stood out in terms of ratings received regardless of how well-attended they were:

Highly-rated Sessions in Barcelona

Highly-rated Sessions in Boston

So that’s a little taste of what you missed in Barcelona and Boston. There are many great talks I haven’t called out in this post (I haven’t even talked about the keynotes yet!). You should explore the Alfresco Summit web site to find ones that suit your interest.

Most presentations are attached to their session page on the web site. By mid-December we hope to have the recordings embedded on each session page as well, so stay tuned for that.

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