Just back from Barcelona last week and the inaugural edition of Magento Live Europe. The conference was an (word of the day) amalgamation of previous events held in the UK, Germany and France and overall  a pretty good success in the opinion of yours truly. 1,500 mostly Europeans enthusiastically descended upon beautiful BCN to learn, enjoy and make some business too.

Learn.

If you live and work in the eCommerce world, then you likely well know Adobe recently filled its gaping eCommerce void with a 1.68 B USD purchase of Magento. And the Magento COMMUNITY has been buzzing since in earnest hopefulness mixed with a dollop of fatalistic trepidation. Many questions about the future but most boil down to one: what will become of the famed open source Magento COMMUNITY? Adobe is a publicly owned, 127 B USD sized company–are they willing to support a COMMUNITY where 99% of the web shops operate outside an annual Enterprise fee structure? Short answer seems to be yes, Adobe is onboard now and for the foreseeable future too. No less an authority than Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said as much in smaller gatherings like the Solution Partner meeting in addition to the conference keynote address. Mr. Narayen is an accomplished leader with a 13 year track record of Adobe success and growth. In summary, his partners meeting remarks as well as the conference keynote speech were as insightful as they were credible. The Magento COMMUNITY should have left left Barcelona feeling reassured of its value to Adobe and confident about what the future will bring.

Enjoy.

Anybody who has had the pleasure to experience Barcelona knows it is a world class tourist destination. The Catalans are great hosts, the Mediterranean climate a joy, local food fresh and cosmopolitan and the landscape a photographer’s dream. If you desire football, choose Barcelona FC. If it’s architecture, you’ve got Gaudi. And if you prefer tree-lined pedestrian boulevard’s La Rambla shall be your pleasure. So, the city can speak for itself and requires no defending as a premier conference choice. Despite the unseasonable monsoon-like weather at MLE 2018, Barcelona was a fine choice of course.

Irrespective of Barcelona’s many fine qualities there is a growing rumor that MLE might be rotated across locations in future years. If so, then Budapest! Speaking as an expat of many years standing and as a lover of this majestic Hungarian capitol on the Danube. Speaking for all my ITEGRATION colleagues headquartered here and the Magento COMMUNITY throughout the land of the Magyars–  Budapest would be an outstanding choice for 2019 or any year beyond that. Loads of conference space and hosting experience, global warming inspired Autumn weather, cosmopolitan culinary choices and a world class wine tradition kept secret far too long.

But of course the eCommerce too–the primary reason Magento holds the event in the first place and how ITEGRATION pays the bills, by the way. Several Hungarian eCommerce facts to throw around from 2017:

  1. Online sales in Hungary grew 27 percent over 2016
  2. ~3 B EUR spend for online Hungarian customers
  3. 73% of orders were delivered
  4. 47% paid cash on delivery
  5. Since 2015, Hungarian consumers buying abroad has risen from 15 to 27%

I think we can parse this information in a couple different ways. Clearly that the Hungarian market is growing dramatically but also that so much opportunity remains. For those shops not providing an online shop (cmon guys, it’s 2018!) Hungarian shoppers show a growing willingness to buy across the border to get what they want. Simply put, the Hungarian online market is only just getting started!

Make Some Business.

ITEGRATION sponsors the Magento Imagine flagship event in Las Vegas  every year. And if there is an eCommerce event of consequence in Europe, chances are we have attended, sponsored, both or plan to do one or the other in the near future. So, we know the conferences circuit and speak from at least a small authority that MLE was at least a  pre-success for our company. Despite the unfortunate location of our stand as well as the leaky roof and various relocated events. ITEGRATION came to learn, enjoy and make business. Check the boxes on all three. End of the day, we sought meaningful conversation with retailers and partners in need of a senior and professional team of Magento experts. What ultimately comes of that remains to be seen but out overall impression was a positive one.

Last word on this: Budapest in 2019!