I want to be a part of it, New York, New Yooork. Hello, ITEGRATION eCommerce blogger here. Apologies for being virtually off key but can’t hardly write or even think about the city that never sleeps without referencing the iconic song first. Meet Magento New York, or #MM18NYC as the cool kids call it is a relatively new event on the eCommerce scene. Or at least it was for those of us from ITEGRATION when we first crossed paths with MMNY organizer extraordinaire Marsha Naidoo. It was October at the inaugural Magento Live Europe in Barcelona and we were minding our booth business, handing out ITEGRATION branded Rubik’s cubes, scanning the crowd for Magento 2 upgrade opportunities and the banquet tables for tasty eats and cool and bubbly drinks. Marsha’s charms and more importantly the opportunities she offered were enough to convince us to make a brand new (conference) start of it, In old New York and that ITEGRATION should indeed want to be at the New World Stages in the heart of Manhattan on November 1 & 2. Moreover, if we could make it there we could make it anywhere.

Making it there first required an apology to my better half and the cancelation of a previously scheduled family journey in order to scramble onto what remained of the last minute transatlantic possibilities.  The joys of travel notwithstanding and an 8 hours delay in Dusseldorf while a faithful Euro Wings mechanic screamed up the autobahn from Frankfurt with required part in hand and as the flight crew deadline neared to start our NYC journey. And me struggling with a weak wifi connection for ‘Better Call Saul’ against boarding gate fever as the delays piled up and afternoon wore on. The airlines liquid apologies in the form of hefeweizen credit vouchers helped but what we all really wanted to was that airplane to get fixed and get us to where we needed to be.

But the part did come, the mechanic’s knowledge was true and our merry band of slightly tipsy passengers did finally board just under the deadline. Flight → Immigration → Baggage → Customs → dirty taxi in from JFK and voila! ITEGRATION’s 2am arrival to the tragically overrated mid Manhattan hotel (Salisbury). So much for sightseeing on Halloween night but we came to work and damn the pleasures!

The short evening brought limited but much need sleep. 6:30am wake up, two medium roast hazelnut deli coffees later and yours truly was feeling something similar to life again. After a 15 minutes walk to the venue, sources can confirm ITEGRATION was alive and raring to go.

Business opportunities aside, there are 3 measuring sticks for Magento conference respect:

  • 1st is the quality of speakers on offer. In this case, they were excellent. A Who’s Who of Magento heavyweights & (ITEGRATION friends) like Ben Marks, Cheryl Dorfman, Matt Boland, Claire Condra, Karen Baker, la familia Peterson and TJ Gamble among others.
  • 2d is the size and scope of the envoy team Magento HQ elects to send. On both counts, New York found itself king of the hill, top of the heap. A wrecking house, a who’s who of the Magento world came to speak and to graze, carouse, kibitz and (occasionally) prattle on. The mood was light, the group was happy, MMNY had a really good vibe.
  • 3rd is the food and and conference after party. The quality of both were top-notch with special kudos to Marsha, Jordan Griffey and all the other planners for an after party extraordinaire at the Cantina Rooftop. Drink selection, service, food quality and most of all, a gorgeous evening to enjoy the incredible rooftop Manhattan view. Thanks again global warming as ITEGRATION was without hat or scarf but needed neither in the unseasonably warm evening temperatures. One of the nice things about getting older is knowing when to leave. Rumors of an after AFTER party abounded but ITEGRATION called it a wrap and headed back to get some rest for Day 2.

Day 2 was a half day, a smaller but more intimate affair.  Last talk finished at Noon but really enjoyed catching up with the other sponsors and picking various Magento brains on a variety of topics, the Adobe acquisition in particular. I won’t share those insights here in such a public way but happy to discuss if you want to contact via PM.

Passed out the remaining Rubik’s cubes, gathered up our gear and headed for the exits early afternoon. Had a small window of opportunity to buy cliche tourist stuff for the little people at home and then a taxi back to JFK for an evening flight. In the taxi out, I had the most interesting conversation with the Chinese driver. Wow, what a smart guy and with tons of quality insights into technology direction, market demand and potential stock selections. ITEGRATION loves taking with local cabbies and generally finds them smart, resourceful and well informed. This gentlemen was a perfect example of that.

Thanks again to Marsha, Jordan & the organizing team. ITEGRATION is already looking forward to next year and an even bigger and better Meet Magento New York!