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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Really aweomse conference in a true community spirit. Loved the vibe, loved the talks, loved the speakers dinner.
Things that can be improved:
- Better food
- Better wifi
- More socials
- Better audio equipment
- The rooms should be sound proof
- Don't put the raffle tickets in the goodie bag, but instead hand them out during the closing notes.
Apart from that, I was really impressed, given that Adam pretty much organizes this event by himself. This event has a really bright future and in a year or 2, the crew will have the experience to run a world-class PHP event.
Maybe it's wishful thinking: but it would be nice to have a venue that is either closer to South Beach or closer to some of the more interesting locations that Miami offers. An airport hotel isn't that sexy ;-) But if next time around there is a stronger focus on evening activities, the venue is just fine.
Excellent conference. As a sponsor, I really enjoyed the vendor bingo idea because it broke the ice and gave me a great opportunity to meet more people and ask them questions about the tools they use. This enabled us to have some really great conversations.
This may sound crazy, but more and more people are starting to bring their families to these events (myself included). It might be fun to set up a get together or pool date or something for all the families present to get to know each other. This kind of happened organically, but it would be cool to see it happen on purpose and to promote how much of a community we really have.
I'm super impressed with how streamlined everything was. Adam and his team did a fantastic job.
Great conference, all! Next time, though, disqualify the speakers from drawings and contests. They're already being paid to speak, wined and dined, and incurring minimal expenses. The swag is for the attendees!
I could never list all the wonderful experiences of the conference. I had an absolute blast!
All the grievances I have are minor and listed elsewhere in these comments, so just a quick list of each is below, for keeping track of attendee responses.)
I know there's no desire to have a third day of talks, but with each of the 2 main days lasting so long and no evening meal offered, it made scheduling complicated, especially w/ an overlap of the Open Bar w/ last session.
So, 3 shorter days would have likely been more convenient to attendees.
---Quick lists (blame/credit in paren)
* Breakfast (part of the venue)
* Open Bar (part of the venue)
* Speaker list (SunShine)
* Topic List (SunShine + Speakers)
* Vendor/Sponsor Area (SunShine)
* Venue atmosphere (SunShine)
* Attendees (PHP Community!)
* Lunch (SunShine/Venue/Sponsors)
Not so hot:
* WiFi troubles (venue/all conferences)
* Lack of evening meals (SunShine/Sponsors)
* Scheduled sessions overlapping venue offered open bar (SunShine)
* Venue employees clogging high traffic areas (Venue)
* Poor audio system in 1 room (third party A/V Company)
* Minimal vegetarian options at lunches. (Venue?/SunShine?)
Great conference and great community of speakers / attendees. Really enjoyed meeting and interacting with everyone (OK, not everyone) at the conference. A few items of feedback ...
1) Evening events (happy hours, hackathon) could have been a bit more organized.
2) Speakers often struggled to get their content finished within the given time slot due to questions or an abundance of material. In most cases, this isn't a big deal, but they should try to table questions to the end when they realize time is running short. Questions can always be asked after the session or at another time.
3) Select a few topics for deeper dives on Saturday. For example, the "Writing Maintainable ZF2 Applications" was all slides and left no time for a demo. A second session where the presenter is able to demonstrate the design and development decisions of building a ZF2 app would be great. These sessions might even be able to combine topics (TDD and ZF2 development, possibly).
4) Require all sessions to relate things back to PHP. The "Journey to the Enterprise" keynote was good information (mostly), but I was really excited to hear how PHP had cracked the enterprise and what that means for developers.
Very nice conference, well done.
My only complaint, as many others have already said, would be the poor wifi but other than that it was all great.
Thanks Adam and rest of organizers. Big kudos guys!
Loved it, WIFI sucked though. I enjoyed talking with the sponsors as much as attending the workshops. I scored an additional elephpant and a book at the raffle, so I feel pretty victorious. Count me in next year.
This was my first PHP conference and it was amazing!
I was exposed to so many great ideas, professional and happy people, helpful vendors, good food and oh so much fun!
There were lots of new technology and wonderful words of wisdom. I am ready to sign up for next year!
Awesome Job Adam, Adrian, Melisa and all of the other organizers.
Overall I would give this a solid A+!
There were a few quirks, but they were taken care of quickly.
* Speakers and Conference staff were great!
* Hotel staff were ok, there were a few grumpy ones.
* Rooms were clean.
* Food was ok, and there was enough selection for vegetarians, so I was happy.
* WiFi had its issues, but we survived.
* I heard there was audio recordings of the talks, so I am looking froward to those. I would be willing to help video tape sessions also as these talks are a great resource.
* Defiantly on my list to attend next year, and thank you for organizing. I know there are lots of little details that kept the crew working to the wee hours to make sure things went well, again thank you!
* The games were great, I think there needs to be more.
* Maybe incorporate a stretch before or after a talk, or walk n talks? Mainly wake people up after lunch :)
See you next year!
I would definitely call this the best PHP conference I have attended. Great experience, really.
* Keynotes were awesome. Great choices.
* Speakers were also awesome and knew their stuff.
* Sponsors were fantastic folks and I really liked talking with most of them. No annoying, hard sales pitches.
* As a speaker you covered my hotel and travel, which I appreciated a lot.
* Hotel staff could be rude at lunch time in directing traffic, which was a bummer.
* There was no one to introduce me as a speaker in either my talk or my tutorial. There was someone in the room checking for badges (I almost wasn't let into my own talk) but it would have been nice to be introduced.
* Parking was $10 per day, and it appears that a bunch of people were charged varying amounts over the course of the conference.
A+++++ would attend again!
This was definitely the best PHP conference I've been to. I had an absolute blast, learned things, and met many great people.
There were a few quirks like:
- Wifi being generally bad and sometimes not working in the conference spaces and in hotel rooms.
- Dinner happening really late.
- Audio equipment in the farthest back room had a fuzzy sound
But there were some incredible things like:
- Awesome breakfast and happy hours
- Great speakers and keynotes
- Lots of opportunity to interact, talk, and make friends
Congrats to the organizers, it's a lot of work to pull a conference together and you did a fantastic job overall!
I found WIFI to be utterly unreliable anytime or in any room during the conference. It would work occasionally for a couple minutes, but overall not at all. The code we used at the beginning of the conference was no longer accepted by the end of the conference. Issues were via my iPhone and Macbook, so it wasn't just a flaky device. I hope the organizers didn't pay for WIFI, and if they did, they should absolutely ask for that to be refunded. I know how much is often charged for that service...so DO ask for a refund. Most likely this is a venue issue and not the organizers, so perhaps question them thoroughly on an SLA for WIFI next time and hold them to it. On the positive side, I'm sure that forced folks to pay attention better. :)
Next time book a larger block of rooms, or make it available for a little longer, please. I was unable to book a room anymore by the time I learned about the conference. I had to go to EB (actually pretty awesome hotel) around the corner and walk over.
Supper was difficult. It wasn't provided, and there was no time slot for it. We either had to miss out on the social part, which is often considered one of the best aspects of a conference, or be absolutely starving by the time we left. I'd happily have paid more for the conference to have supper provided. And yes, hotel staff did sometimes direct SunshinePHP users away from the snacks since we had our own 'bar'. Options for teetotalers would be nice too.
I'd prefer the conference to fall entirely in the work week. Just my two cents, since my employer covered it for me. I can imagine for those who are footing their own bill, it's nice to have to take less days off. Perhaps survey to determine which route fits the attendees better as a group.
It's hard to get folks to mix and get to know each other without activity that brings them together. I observed regular groups that stayed together - for example, several speakers usually sat together at meals, non-speakers couldn't get to know them very easily. Folks sometimes sat alone. I don't know the feasibility of doing this, but a venue that has some game rooms could go a long way - ping pong, air hockey, fuse ball, pool...folks will much more easily mix with complete strangers over these, get to know each other, and start talking PHP. In other words, less drinking and more interacting. I tend to be rather introvert without something like that.
I'll rate specific speaker content separately, but overall I liked the variety offered. However, I found the talks to be not quite what I was hoping/looking for. It seemed they were either quite advanced or quite basic. PHP gets new or changed functionality faster than I keep up with. I'd love more talks like the Iterators talk, that address functionality added since v5 came out. Perhaps I've fallen too far behind for these conferences to be useful to me, I don't know. I'm not a beginner, but I've been stuck supporting legacy apps for too long to be current either. Surely there are others in my boat? Perhaps I need a larger conference that has tracks to appeal to beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.
Last nit-pick would be spelling and schedule errors. Proof before printing! ;)
Breakfasts = awesome. Vendors were very good. Love the elephants. Decent giveaways. Oh, I echo the sentiment someone else said about the tickets. I lost mine the morning I got it. Either give them away on entry to the closing keynote, or issue them via email or something electronic attendees can have on their phone.
Very knowledgeable speakers, great location.
This was my first PHP conference and I feel privileged to have been able to attend. It was a great and open environment to be able to meet people and to get to talk with the speakers further.
The only minor (to me) things I would improve like others have said is the wifi coverage in the back rooms and the sound system in the furthest back room.
Overall, an awesome experience which I hope me and/or other members of my team will be able to attend next year.
Very nice conference. Everything was very well organised and tidied up, Kudos!
I would like to thank the SunshinePHP organizers for a great conference. Meeting new people and learning many new technologies will help me refocus my professional goals.
This is one of those events where I'm so impressed with the care that everything has been given. So, a *huge* kudos to the organizers. The location itself is great - having us in the hotel makes a great social atmosphere, and we have an awesome pool. It's a bit hard to get around to dinner, but the hotel shuttle takes care of that. Of course this is partially my fault, but I would love (as a presenter) to have a message go out to all tutorial attendees with some basic system setup requirements so that I can have my cake and eat it to (i.e. do live coding with the group but without too many setup issues!).
Small things that I loved: the uncon room was front and center - you didn't know what the talks would be before the conference, but it was impossible to miss the sign when having lunch, coffee, etc. The yellow elephants: so happy to have mine! And it (and the attendees) made for a wonderful vendor experience - I was thrilled with how many great people we met.
Like a babbled in my video about SunshinePHP, I felt like a member of some weird, awesome family! I know have something to look forward to in the middle of winter ;).
Thanks Adam and the other organizers!
Good event! Though plagued with a few problems mostly related to the hotel/venue:
* Hotel staff was loud, and constantly using the hallways for active work (moving food trays around, etc) that we were supposed to be using for conference attendees to get between rooms.
* Coupled with the fact that the doors were all non-sound proof, and somewhat underpowered audio setups, meant that it was sometimes hard to hear the speakers (sometimes even with the speakers being distracted by all the noise)
* Also the evening plans were awkwardly timed in regards to food. The evenings ran until 8pm-ish, with no dinner break, nor food provided (and the hotel staff were rather rude about availing oneself of the open reception).
Improved from last year (which was already a good event). Organization, infrastructure, sponsors, food, location.. all GREAT! The only thing I would "complain" about is the selection of talks. I felt like some talks had major overlapping content with key notes. An example: The lunch keynote Open Source, PHP, and PIE which was an overview of how PHP's journey and the Modern PHP right after was the SAME THING! And some other talks spent too much time on "history" and "how things used to be" rather than focusing on "this is what you can do now". This is primarily the speaker's fault, but I think for next year there should be a more in depth analysis of the talk's content.
With that said, this conference is already in my annual calendar and I thank Adam for putting up such a great event right in our backyard.
Very nice event with some great presentations. The venue was very good with pleasant staff everywhere I went. My one big criticism would be the poor wifi. There were many times when I could connect, but not actually hit the Internet. The happy hours were nice to have, but I think I would have liked to see all of them more "sectioned off" with different sorts of activities - I know that's a bit vague, but my criticism stems from a mingling of conference and non-conference folk and a general feeling of "ok, I had a drink... now what?"
Overall, this was a great event. A+++++ would attend again. ;)
Overall it was a great event, and Adam did a fantastic job organizing. A couple of small comments:
* As mentioned above, WiFi in the back rooms would have been nice.
* It might be worth putting joind.in links on the talk pages at sunshinephp.com to increase the number of ratings that speakers get.
* For the ticket based raffle, perhaps you could hand them out on the last day as people walk into the room? This would avoid calling tons of numbers that have no matches.
CONGRATULATIONS! You made it through year 2. Year 2 is the hardest because you have to prove that the first year wasn't just a fluke. You did that. I expect that next year will be even more fantastic.
My notes on the conference:
* Wifi didn't suck.
* Food was edible.
* Sponsors weren't annoying.
* Speakers were rockin.
All in all SunshinePHP is an awesome conference. I strongly suggest that every PHP developer try to make it to next year's event.
Another comment on the venue: It would have been great to have vegetarian selections for lunch (besides lettuce). We were provided with lettuce, bread and several meat-based dishes. It would have been easy to have pasta with a non-meat sauce, or rice and beans without chunks of pork.
I absolutely loved it
The event was very well organized and I had a fantastic time learning a lot of new things and making new friends.
besides what was pointed out I wanted to point out that the sunshinephp site indicated a free parking lot fee but in reality the charge was 7.50 per day, not even the 5 per day that some attendees paid. I am not sure really what was the real fee but the hotel did charge us the full fee, then we get refunded only after we made the observation and called Adam. I think it was a forgotten thing to update the site but it is something that caught us by surprise.
Overall the conference was a smash hit. Adam really knows how to put on a show.
I do have some feedback for the venue though...
1. There was no WiFi signal in two of the three session rooms (biscayne 1 & 2). This was a major inconvenience. Cell reception was also weak & unreliable in these rooms.
2. The audio in biscayne 2 (far back room) was bad the whole conference. Maybe the speaker was blown out, maybe the mic was dying, I dont know. All I do know is that the AV company should have *never* used that equipment. It should have been replaced with good equipment very early on, ideally before it ever left their warehouse. Presenters were constantly complaining about the sound, and the distortion was very distracting to the audience. Organizers should demand a refund.
3. During two separate 15 minute breaks between sessions a bathroom was closed for cleaning. This should have been done while sessions were in progress.
I used to work in the conference/hospitality industry providing site internet to events just like this and I never once saw these kinds of problems. They're so easy to fix, and have such a huge impact on the conference.
This was a great conference. I had a blast. Most people have discussed the issues I had. Mainly that the one room ( #2? ) had horrible audio and the wifi was pretty bad / unavailable in the two back rooms. Given the wifi was great everywhere else it was better than other conferences I've attended where wifi was entirely unstable / limited IP addresses / whatever.
I hope to be able to come back next year! It was such a great experience! Thanks!