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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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It's interesting to pinpoint exactly where a Symfony Live sits in the conference space. There is Symfony Con after all which would suggest that perhaps a Symfony Live is somewhere in between a Symfony meetup and a full blown Symfony conference. If this is the case then I think Symfony Live London did just fine. Despite some technical hitches with Mics and what not the day seemed to go smooth enough.
This is the first Symfony Live London I've had to apply that analysis though. The first 3 I went to (this was my 4th in a row) were so good I didn't stop to think twice about its standing.
This leads to the conclusion that this year, for me at least, was a bit of a disappointment.
I appreciate there are a thousand things that go on behind the scenes which I'm not privy to, so there may well be good reasons for many of these, but none the less, what follows is a list of things I felt could have been better this year:
* Marketing - I barely heard about the conference at all, only remembered to get tickets as the timing coincided with an annual audit of our conference budget.
* Attendance - seemed way down on previous years. I think this is more an outcome from my point on marketing than a reflection on Symfony itself, although could easily be construed as the latter by someone coming to the conference for the first time.
* Food - someone mentioned on twitter that breakfast didn't turn up, not sure if that was the case or not but generally the food was not up to previous events. Now, I know this is likely dictated by ticket sales and if ticket sales weren't as expected, perhaps the first thing to save money on, is the food, which is fair enough although I would then direct to my first point.
* Stands/Exhibits - or lack of them. I know it's mostly superficial stuff, but developers have grown used to getting cheap t-shirts, mugs and the occasional usb stick at these kind of events. This year seemed to be severely lacking in this area, a few stickers and a butt plug (or a phone stand, who knows) was about it. The one thing this kind of thing brings is an atmosphere, a bit of spark in the room at break times and in between talks. Often these sponsors will put on competitions and things like that also which also helps. Perhaps this is down to the sponsors and not the fault of the organisers, again, I'm not privy, but this is the impression it left anyhow.
* Technical problems - perhaps I'm being a bit OTT with this point but there were a few technical issues worth mentioning. Track B seemed to be riddled with Mic problems, most evident for Ciarans talk. There was also some awkward transitions between presenters and what not, but perhaps that's common of all conferences. Oh the hashtag on the lanyards was incorrect too.
There were some really good things too which is worth shouting about:
* Venue - as last year (and I think year before that?) the venue was terrific.
* Core Contributors Q&A - I liked this, after Beaus talk, this was probably my second highlight. Would like to see more of this kind of thing.
That's all I got. Hopefully my thoughts above can be taken constructively, I certainly don't mean to pour out negativity just for the sake of it. I'm still a big fan of Symfony and will likely be back next year. I know the organisation team behind the conference has changed so there is likely to be teething problems etc. I still had a good time, just wanted to offer my feedback on how it could be improved.