Why a Digital Marketer must attend the Sitecore Symposium this Year

Author: Akhil Mittal | Categories: 1:1 Marketing, Marketing Automation, Personalization, Sitecore CMS, Digital Marketing, Customer Experience

Being a sales professional, travel is an integral part of my work-life. I was talking to my wife the other day, and informed her about my travel itinerary of the Sitecore Symposium, Oct 8th - 11th at Disney, Orlando. She remarked jokingly that I could visit Disney in just 20 minutes (we live near LA), so what’s the point of going all the way to Orlando. As expected, she probed further and asked, “What is Symposium”? “It’s the Mecca for anyone who is part of the Sitecore community,” I answered her in concise words.

This will be my first time to the Symposium and I am super excited. I was talking to my colleagues who have attended it earlier. The sessions are nothing short of ‘great’ and the crowd gathering is amazing. I guess that there is no other place and time when almost countless Sitecore lovers gather under a single roof. I was going through the agenda and found out that this time they have 5 broad discussion categories - ‘Getting Started’, ‘Development and IT’, ‘Marketing strategy, innovation, and best practices’, ‘Sitecore optimization’, and ‘E-commerce experience’. It seems really tough to pick and choose the sessions that I can afford to miss.

edynamic has been sponsoring Symposium for a long time now. This year too, we are one of the Silver sponsors. However, the significant aspect this time is - we are also relaunching ourselves under the new brand name: Altudo. We had been waiting for this launch for quite some time and we wouldn’t have asked for a better platform apart from Sitecore Symposium, for our brand revamp.

Here are my top 5 reasons to attend the Sitecore Symposium this year:

  • Networking! Networking! Networking!: This is undoubtedly the single biggest reason. We are one of the Silver Sponsors and would try to interact with as many Sitecore users, as possible. Moreover, meeting friends from Sitecore and sharing ideas, is a big motivation. Four of my colleagues are also presenting their papers in the Symposium. In fact, my colleague Jaina Baumgartner is co-presenting with our client Sai Yerramsetty (Director, Marketing Technology at Hexagon) on the topic ‘Ten Sitecore 9 Form Features to Increase Conversions’. All exciting stuff to look out for!
  • Cortex & Machine Learning: This is really the biggest takeaway in terms of learning that I am looking up to. This sounds the next big thing where machines will write our personalization rules, or help improvise our internal website search results. If Sitecore does it right, it would be extremely difficult for competitors to even come close. My colleagues, Sathish Balakrishnan and Krishnan Ramani are presenting on the topic - ‘Sitecore, machine learning, and one-to-one personalization’. Furthermore, my colleague Michael Thompson is presenting ‘Seven steps to getting ready for Cortex’. This would certainly be a focus area for Altudo, in the coming year.
  • Headless: To me this remains a pain in the head. I had been hearing this for a long time, but saw very few instances in action. It seemed to be a good technical ‘geek’ talk but I was never convinced with its practical application. It seems like giving birth to a baby but then replacing his head with a Hollywood star. I am keen to see how this will be implemented in the real world.
  • Commerce: This was the biggest gamble Sitecore played last year and, it seems to have really paid them off well. At Altudo, we had two clients go-live on Sitecore commerce. We are all eager to observe what is next in the commerce space. To be honest, I feel there is a long journey Sitecore needs to travel in commerce. The fun will be to watch how fast Sitecore will do it (No doubt about them securing top marks).
  • Ecosystem (Salesforce, Azure): Both Salesforce and Azure had been making a lot of noise in the Sitecore community. It has become a de facto recommendation to go with them, as the MarTech ecosystem of choice, due to their strong integrations with Sitecore. I felt this is probably the best decision a technology company would have taken at this moment. Rather than building/acquiring a technology in-house, we should aim at partnering and developing strong integrations so that the end consumer wins.
  • Please share your reasons to attend the Sitecore Symposium this year and what are you expecting as key takeaways. My only advice would be to select your sessions in advance before reaching at the venue. In case you are unable to attend, do let me know. I will be happy to share my experiences post-event.

    Look forward to meet you at the Symposium!