What did you like about this event, and what do you think could be better for the next time? Leave your feedback to help the organizers know what you liked, and what could be improved on.
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I enjoyed the conference very much. Like many I felt it could have been a little more Laravel focussed and perhaps a little more technical but I understand the need to balance the content so that all attendees get a benefit - project managers, team leaders, business owners etc. not just the developers at the coal face.
A beautiful location which drew me to a part of the city that I have rarely visited before (in 10 visits to Amsterdam).
I'm looking forwards to next year's.
Great Conference thanks to Shawn and his Team! I will sign for 2016. A few ideas I would love to see next Year. For me the value to go to a conference instead watching the online videos is to connect with other people. I would love to have more ways in getting in contact with the other attendees. Something like Profiles of the Attendees with a matching system wich makes it more easy to get in touch in front and after the event. And please not so much 15 Minute breaks in wich you don't get coffee :) instead make a longer lunch break special if you need up to 30 Minutes to get food.
Hope to see you all next year!
Had a great time at the event, but to be frank I liked Laracon EU 2014 better.
I missed more technical content. I was hoping to be so inspired after daytime sessions that I would be coding nonstop in the evenings. That didn't happen.
From the technical content we had, most were not related to Laravel so much. For instance you could have had "DDD in Laravel" in a workshop, with practical examples related to Laravel. One exception there was Phil, who used a Laravel install as a basis in his Pusher workshop.
Also, speakers: Less introductory fluff, more content! Don't spend 15 minutes introducing yourself, your company and telling funny stories. I paid €3500 to get to Amsterdam to listen to you. Introduction to the Laravel ecosystem was in that regard a big waste of time, sorry. Would have been better with for instance a real-time practical demo of using Forge and Envoyer to deploy a Laravel application.
Taylor's talk: Sorry but I had already seen the Spark talk from Laracon US so that is not something I would have paid to watch again in Amsterdam really.
I must also say I missed the community day from 2014. That was a great way for people to present their ideas/projects to a smaller number of people, plus it gave us more talks to choose from so it was easier to find interesting stuff. Parallell sessions also gave me the opportunity to choose from multiple talks. Smaller talks also lowers the bar for participating and throwing your ideas or projects out there; Presenting for 30 people is less scary than for 450, and you don't have to compete with Jeffrey Way for time on stage ;)
Wish the programme had descriptions for the talks.
The venue was in a very nice building. The lunch queue was very long though, and when you finally got your lunch it was hard to find a place to put your plate (and perhaps your ass) to sit down and consume it.
Matt Stauffer and Jeffrey Way was best on stage this year IMO. Missed out on Konstantin though and I heard that was good. DDD workshop with Mathias was great.
Hope to see you next year, though I'm not sure I will gamble on the early bird ticket this year. May want to see the programme first.
As with (most?) other reviewers, I felt the conference was enjoyable, but could have used more technical and/or Laravel-focused talks. Great city, venue, staff and speakers.
Seems I was logged out. But the previous comment was mine:
(27.Aug.2015 at 22:37 by ANONYMOUS )
Seeing as most things are already mentioned by my colleagues, but I'll try to add my 2 cents.
Great talks, all in all. Yes some more technical stuff would be nice, but then again that's what the workshops were for as well. That not all talks are strictly technical is what I like about laracon. But maybe the balance could be looked at.
More Laravel specific talks is BS in my opninion. The whole point is to learn from and use any piece of software there is. Stuff like git, DDD etc is very important. Like Jeffrey said, we need to know so much these days, that 2 days of talks about just Laravel would be a waste of time. Besides, we have Laracast for that.
It is exactly those topics that you'd normally not spend a lot of time on, like advanced Git, that make the conference worthwhile. At least in my opinion.
Now though, for some constructive criticism. The venue wasn't nearly as good as last years venues. I understand that we outgrew them, and that we needed more space, but as far as I'm concerned, more space was the only improvement this year.
The catering was great, not sure if that was an external party or the venue, but due to the layout it could take up to 30 minutes to even get to the food if you weren't among the first few in the hall.
The staff didn't seem up for the amount of guests they had. I've seen some people running around looking like they'd drop any second.
Most disturbing was one of the supervisors who had a screaming argument with his staff (apparently because he thought there were too many running around ?) and after he was put in his place by his supervisor, the rest of the day he just became ruder to the guest every time I saw him. Practically pushing people out of his way, looking like he'd rather not want us there. One time practically screaming "Hot coffee, out of the way" when simply asking kindly to be let through would've sufficed.
In the end I just got annoyed every time I saw him. He really made me feel unwanted there.
Then I tried to apply empathy and got over it ;)
Still, I seriously reconsider the venue for next time. Also, not enough toilets, by far.
Some more good stuff!
Yay! T-Shirts, and in my size even! Love it.
The final act was fun as well, though it did get old quite fast. And why the hell did it need to be that loud? Still it was really unique and made me laugh, and it made for a better ending to the conference.
And finally. BRING BACK COMMUNITY DAY!
The conference this year was at a very nice location. The building was fantastic and big enough. It was close the the center but not too close, it was great.
It was very well organized. I loved the grafics on the screen before each talk, they looked very professional. There was a very reliable wifi connection during the whole time.
This year we had some talks I found irrelevant to the conference. I understand there is discrimination and social issues in some companies but I find having one talk about this subject is more than enough. The "Whistle-bowing" talk was also irrelevant from a developer's perspective.
What I missed this year is to see new speaker faces. Many speakers were speaking for the 2nd or 3rd time at LaraconEu. The most inspiring talk at a LaraconEu conference was Fabien Potencier's. It would be great to hear other well known and inspiring people.
Also it was confusing for me to see the talks on the website had no descriptions. It was not possible to be prepared for some of the talks (for example react.js, whistle-blowing) to get as much as possible from the talks. I didn't enjoyed the fact that some talk's topics were a surprise and that I had to try and figure out what the speaker is going to talk about during the first minutes of the presentation. The titles of the talks didn't help either.
Playing board games is not something you can do during a conference you've paid for. The time needed to get started with a board game is not enough. Multiplayer video games, or something that needs less time would be a great alternative.
The final surprise was a nice try, but from an aesthetical point of view, the music and video was poorly made.
The t-shirts were AWESOME!
The food was nice, way better than the previous times. Having healthier snacks would be great.
This was my first ever Laracon, and I am impressed, diverse talks from people that know their stuff, my only regret is I didn't go last year, but next year I will be there flying the flag.
The venue was stunning, the graphics and creative team did a beautiful job of the set, incidentals and give away pieces, the food was fine dining class in anyones book.
Shawn and his team really do put on a great show. long may it go on.
Second time I've attended Laracon now and I was impressed by the growth in number of attendees! The organisation felt slick and smooth and as last time the catering was superb (although I wouldn't have minded some normal pieces of fruit like last year).
I personally liked the diversity of talks but I wouldn't have minded some more technical stuff myself (I really found Ben's Elasticsearch talk quite illuminating last year for example).
I do have some small practical notes on the venue though;
* There should have been more restrooms. The lines were sometimes very long.
* The layout of the room wasn't ideal, when I was sitting at the front right I didn't find it comfortable at all to watch the speaker and stage for 2 hours straight. The arch layout of Bimhuis was much better in that respect.
I really hope we're able to attend next year as well! Keep up the good work.
Virtual high five!
Thanks for organizing LaraconEU 2015, had a lot of fun again this year. Overall it was well organised, but I do have to agree with some comments here, about the lack of technical Laravel talks. Sure, 12 hours of just Laravel talks would be a bit much, but things like freelancing, whistleblowing, imposter syndrome are important, but might not apply for everyone. Perhaps better suited for a second track.
I can understand companies that spend hundreds of dollars to get them to learn more about Laravel, don't feel they get a lot of value for their money.
What probably would have helped, was a few line summary for each talk, so the expectations can be managed better.
Eating and drinking was good. I can understand the choice to not serve alcohol, but perhaps it would have improved the after-conference socializing.
Name badges (+twitter name) could imho be a lot bigger, so it's easier to recognize people from the internet.
Overall very nicely done, will come again next year :)
I've attended every Laracon EU so far. It has always been the most fun and interesting conference for me.
Unfortunately, as many other state, Laracon absolutely missed the focus on Laravel related articles this year. The majority of the talks weren't technical centered. And as much as I enjoyed the speakers and their talks, this is absolutely not what I paid for.
I loved the new venue. Although Bimhuis is somewhat more intimate, this venue really fitted the beauty of laravel. The only thing I really missed were tables with power in the back of the room, like you guys had at BimHuis. Maybe something to consider for next year.
Overall a great organized day with delicious food, good coffee and friendly people. But please, next year: focus on the technical talks. (Live coding FTW!)
Extremely impressed by how well this conference was organised! It all felt very professionally and it seemed to all go smoothly. (hope that wasn't a facade ;) )
Great venue, with enough space for 450 people, which is a truly impressive number. It's great to see how much this conference has grown over the last years.
The lunch and snacks were very well taken care off. I really liked to see that you learned from the first day and put an extra table with sandwiches out, so the queues were a bit shorter. It shows that the organisation really wants to improve and make it an enjoyable day for everyone. It's difficult to supply so many people with food at the same time, considering the shape of the venue, but I think you solved this very well!
Maybe it would have been nice to have some paper schedule somewhere (probably it was somewhere and I just missed it) on some board or perhaps even on the back of the conference badges. (Even though that spaces is understandably already taken by sponsors). For some of the talks a description would also have been nice.
I have to disagree with a lot of other reviewers. (It's such a shame that some of them only focus on the negative and do this anonymously) I didn't mind it not being extremely laravel/technical oriented. I think the chosen talks were very well balanced and covered a lot of important aspects of programming. Writing software is so much more than typing characters in an IDE. If I solely want technical information, a site like Laracast would fit my needs better. I don't think a conference is about stuffing my head with all new technical stuff; it will become so overwhelming. I think people don't realise how much information that would be: 12 hours of purely technical talks.
I rather get inspired and triggered to improve things in my working style: talks like Matt's and Jeffrey's really can make a difference in how much more happiness you can get from coding. I think the balance was perfect, especially in combination with the workshops.
Congrats for this conference! Taking in mind some of the feedback other's gave, I'm sure it will only get better!
Where can I give 5 stars? ;)
Another great Laracon EU, a much better venu but I wonder if we will have outgrown it by next year!
The conference days ran really well although the 5 to 15 minute breaks between talks were odd, it might have flowed better without this.
As another person suggested it would be nice to see the community day again.
I felt the conference was lacking a lot of technical talks. I enjoyed the talks, but I'm here to learn about intermediate/advanced programming and best practices.
I think that people that pays €400 have a good knowledge of the framework and the ecosystem.
I would like the next conference to be 70-80% purely technical.
Where were the Laravel specific talks? Where we're the technical talks? Not counting workshop days.
Had a great time, would love to see the community day back again next year!
the venue was great! very well organized and beautifully branded!
unfortunately i have to agree with the previous commenters. the conference lost its focus. the price/value is not right when you expect talks about laravel or at least web technology. but instead there were too many high level talks about web developer's feelings and the community attitude in general. although those topics are valid and valuable, this is not why people attend laracon.
i agree that the topic names were misleading and/or not very descriptive. that should definitely improve.
the workshops (monday, pusher) were great. thats where i learned the most!
last but not least i would love to have a better way of connecting with people that i may briefly talked in a break. some kind of badge scanning app or laracon app with check-ins. thats essential for keeping in touch. the badges were really hard to read (small font, bad contrast)
lots of things done right, lots of things to improve. anyway i am looking forward to laracon 2016!
This is my first conference and have throughly enjoyed the entire event, I think you put together a great event.
I think that overall the talks were good, however for me the technical side of things could have been stepped up a notch, that said I did still enjoy the talks.
Nice venue, city, and nice people. I totally agree with Terje. The conference missed Laravel focus - and many speaches had very misleading titles.
If we had got a few sentences of information under each speaker it would be easier to choose if the conference and speaker is relevant.
Many interesting talks as well, but the conference unfortunately lacks Laravel focus. The talks are general and on topics like law, empathy etc. This totally misses the mark for me. I have travelled a long way to get an Laravel introduction and some news and knowledge about the framework, but I was disappointed.
Nice venue, city, and nice people. Many interesting talks as well, but the conference unfortunately lacks Laravel focus. The talks are general and on topics like law, empathy etc. This totally misses the mark for me. I have travelled a long way to get an Laravel introduction and some news and knowledge about the framework, but I was disappointed.
All organized very well. Great venue! Thanks!
I think the organizers and the redshirts did a great job putting on the conference and dealing with any issues that came up. I do have a few suggestions for future events:
1) consider skipping the hour-long break in the afternoon - I know that some folks want a rest, but I think people who want the "hallway track" will find it. I also think there are plenty of other opportunities to socialize.
2) make sure that a sizable seating area is obviously available. I guess there was a place to sit upstairs, but a lot of people didn't find it, so there was a lot of awkward milling and eating while standing up.
3) think through how lunch & snacks will go. How do we keep people moving? How long will it take to serve everyone if we have 1,2,3 ... n serving stations. Feeding 400 people is always a challenge and I don't think it went badly here, but it's an area that can always be improved.
As far as talk content, I strongly prefer the talks related directly to development like Lorna's and Adam's. A talk doesn't have to be technical to be good, but the more attendees it appeals to, the better. I'm thinking here of Ben's talk, which is aimed at people who want to be freelancers but aren't yet. That may be a large percentage of attendees, but it definitely leaves a lot of the audience out. Things that appeal only to a subset of the work better, I think, at a multi-track conference.
I had a blast, and hope the feedback is useful.