Kimberely Thomas: “MMNY14 – Gathering in NYC with All Our Magento Friends”
Editor’s note: Organizing a Magento conference is always difficult especially when you do this for the first time. We asked the organizer of Meet Magento NY 2014 to share with our readers the experience and impressions about this extremely complex challenge.
Please welcome Kimberely Thomas, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Interactiv4.
CO-FOUNDER OF INTERACTIV4
Kimberely Thomas is a Magento Developer and Consultant in NYC where she started a web consultancy 10 years ago. She focuses on custom Magento implementations that extend the core functionally to expand the platform’s offerings.
Kimberly is an active Magento Community Member leading collaborative development for responsive design via github. She also organizes NYC Magento Developer Meetup and Pre Imagine Community Tweetup.
aW: Interactiv4 was created in 2001 as an E-commerce consulting and development company. Does it mean that you started working with Magento from the very beginning of the platform?
Kimberely: Yes. Our CTO, Ivan Cherpyuni was one of the original developers of the Magento Platform, so yes he has been working with it since 2007. Interactiv4 started working with Magento with the first beta version 1.0 a year later.
aW: I know that Interactiv4 organized the Spanish edition of Meet Magento in Madrid this year. What made you start a new conference on the other continent? Is this caused by the merging of Interactiv4 and Red Light Blinking companies?
Kimberely: When we were in Spain for Meet Magento, the group was excited about the idea of having an event in NYC – a place they all wanted to visit. After RLB and Interactiv4 merged, it was the next logical step.
aW: It was always interesting for me, how difficult it is to unify two separate companies into one effective unit. Especially when two companies had own business strategies and even products before.
Kimberely: We are really very similar so it has been an easy process. Although we havent’ fully combined our tools – NY favors Assembla and Spain uses Jira. The biggest challenge is that we speak (and write) in different languages! But, we all speak PHP/HTML/CSS so it works.
aW: Well, now let’s proceed directly to Meet Magento NY. What is the main purpose of the event?
Kimberely: The main purpose of MMNY is to allow members of the Magento community to come together and share information, ideas and network. Also, to have fun!
aW: Meet Magento NY will actually be held within three days as the pre-conference day is the time for Hackathon. Please, tell us about the agenda in details and what events would you particularly highlight within the conference?
Kimberely: Yes, MMNY will kick off on Sunday with a hackathon at the Bitcoin Center – which is conveniently located across the street from the conference center.
The next day will start off with Breakout sessions and Speed Dating for merchants and agencies. We will then move to the Broad Street Ballroom next door – which is an extraordinary turn of century 3 story ballroom. There we will have the keynote speakers – including Ben Marks from Magento, Inc. After the keynotes we will start the party – complete with a famous hip hop DJ, a live graffiti artist and of course food and drinks.
aW: Tell our readers a couple of words about the venue, please. I know that Digital Sandbox is something truly special…
Kimberely: DIgital Sandbox is a small conference center that strives to be the top technology and AC equipment. It is the perfect spot for our first year starting out small.
aW: Whom should we expect among the speakers of the conference? Will there be someone special or any new faces of the Magento community?
Kimberely: We have some of the regulars and some new speakers. We have Guido Jansen speaking about Online Persuasion – which you many have seen at the European Meet Magentos, as well as Ivan Cherpyuni, Viacheslav Kravchuk, … For new speakers we have Phillip Jackson and Daniel Sloof. We also were able to convince Karen Baker from WebShopApps to grace the stage.
aW: How can someone obtain a ticket to the conference? What is the current price and are there any chances to save?
Kimberely: You can purchase a ticket on the website http://ny.meet-
Note: We are pleased to remind you that aheadWorks, among other Media Partners of the conference, offers a 20% discount to the event for our followers and readers. Visit our social network accounts and find it there easily.
aW: Do you have something to add in conclusion?
Kimberely: It is going to be an experience – gathering in NYC with all our Magento friends and colleagues and then networking and learning from each other at the conference. The Ballroom party is definitely going to be the highlight of the event and is not to be missed!
aW: Thank you very much Kimberely for the interview and we wish you good luck at Meet Magento NY 2014 and even more grateful customers.
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