We had a great time in Florida last weekend. Thanks to all who worked so hard to put it together. We'll give a quick recap in the details section, so read more. But the big question at the After Dark party was: Is Chicago Next? The short answer is "YES!!" but we need your input.
We have 3 main questions for the DNN Community, and probably more, once things get rolling.
1. When? We're thinking end of May or beginning of June, 2014. Very pleasant in Chicagoland at that time. Would you agree, or do you want a different time?
2. Where? Downtown Chicago is tough to navigate and is pretty expensive, but it's our kind of town. The O'Hare area is easy to reach, offers loads of things to do, less expensive, more hotel venues, and is an "EL"-ride away from downtown. What's your preference?
3. Who? Meaning ... you! Are you in? Will we see you here if this all comes to pass? How sure are you? 80%? That'd be good.
Feel free to post your answers here and watch for a more scientific consensus in the next week or so as we put a new website together for the event.
Numerous midwestern companies chimed in with Sprocket Websites to have the event. The great folks at Gravity Works in Lansing, Enliven in St. Louis, Iowa Computer Gurus ( I barely got the question "should we have a DNN in Chicago in spring" out when Mitch said "yes!"), and Chicago's own PackFlash, Bluebolt and DotNetNuclear are all behind the idea, and the mighty Will Strohl said to pursue it, so let's hear from you all!
Now let's get back to the event just completed. Thanks to all the sponsors who put in money (above and beyond, as it turned out) to cover all the expenses, and thanks to those that did the heavy lifting. Chicago has done a Day of DNN before and we know that it ain't easy!!
The first and foremost benefit was seeing old friends and making new ones. You couldn't keep us away, unless you were getting married, hey Gifford?? Congratulations from your friends in Chicago! Ack! And one of the speakers, Greg Newell, arrived but had to leave on a family emergency. Don't know any details, but we hope all is well for you, Greg.
It was great to see the DNN Corp folks - thanks to Shaun for his keynote. We were very excited as an Open Source community to see the restructuring of DNN Corp and the adoption of new tools for all of us participating in the community. We know our Chicago brethren will put them to use. We were psyched at the great list of new features in the new version 7.2 that Shaun described. We were entertained by Clint Patterson's Ignite speech on Why we should hire a southerner (and we hope the plea that we all send tweets to your wife helped you out when you got home!!). We were motivated by Joe Brinkman's ignite speech on taking the journey to contributor to the DNN project. And we were envious of Arrow's Ryan Morgan winning the old logo for being this conference's DNN Superfan.
I went to some very good talks. Cassidi from 10 Pound Gorilla showed great examples of mobile navigation alternatives, Lee Wise from the same company gave a very neat talk on letting clients update sophisticated jquery-activated content without letting them anywhere near the markup through the clever use of form and list. Don Bishop talked about how DNN makes a great employee website whether on an Intranet or the Internet (I'd love to see some example sites!) And Amelia from Gravity Works showed how we should be responsible with responsive design.
These were just a few of the talks - the ones I attended - and I'm sure the others were good, too, so if you want to chime in on your favorites by posting a comment, please do, and share the word with those of your Chicago DNN who couldn't attend.
Of course, the reception party was a blast (some arrived a little late to the conference the next day after indulging the night before, and we know who we are!) And the After Dark party was on a rooftop in Palm Beach. 'Nuff said!
We hope all the folks who attended had as successful a show as we did. Now let's consider returning to the Windy City for a slice of Chicago Style DNN in May or June. Post your comments below. Let's hear from you!!