Another year, and another Sitecore Symposium is in the books. As the foremost conference for insightful deep dives into Sitecore’s latest functionality, adaptiveness, and integrations, Symposium is an important conference for DEG.

Related Content: How to Moderate Sitecore Content with Machine Learning

This year, a group of associates traveled to Orlando for four days of workshops, presentations, and innovative idea sharing. Let’s just say, there was a lot to share. Start browsing our quick-hitting recaps below, or check out the more robust blogs from our 2018 Symposium experts.

DEG Alliance Manager Kerstin Deppe attended the Women of Sitecore Luncheon

Andy Phelps, CMS Engineer

My biggest takeaway from Symposium 2018 is that there’s a huge push for personalization through third-party integrations, such as Salesforce. Sitecore is supposed to be about an entire experience, and is not just a content management system. And the way forward is through partnerships. Data banks, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud, can be used to enhance the experience of users visiting websites by showing them content tailored to their needs and interests.

My second takeaway is that we need to continue to focus on the content editor’s experience in Sitecore. Organizing content and components in a way that makes sense, and showing thumbnails as selections for components in the Sitecore’s Experience Editor, are both small things to keep in mind when creating a new site, or enhancing an existing one. I attended two talks on this topic; one was given by our own DEG Sitecore MVP, Jeff Rondeau. The second was very similar, but included automated content creation. The two sessions were both packed, which shows that this is an area that both content authors and developers alike wish to see continued improvement.

I felt that attending Symposium 2018 was very much worthwhile. There’s a huge opportunity to network with Sitecore experts and partners to continue to improve how websites connect with customers.

DEG Business Development Director Jeff vonSeldeneck tries the Birdly VR flight simulator

Jennifer Hagen, Strategic Planning Director

Related Content: Curate the Conversation, Elevate the Experience

Conference Attendance Rule #1: When you go to a four-day conference with thousands of attendees, make sure you bring enough business cards. The depletion rate of business cards is a leading indicator of the number of conversations you participated in over the course of the event.

At the Sitecore Symposium, CEO Mark Frost challenged marketers and technologists to “elevate the experience.” And it left me thinking, what is the “experience” between a brand and a consumer—especially prior to purchase—but a conversation? And how can marketers and technologists curate that conversation with the consumer to elevate the experience?

Explore my four, short lessons in the art of conversation by reading my full Sitecore recap blog.

DEG CMS Engineering Team Lead Jeff Rondeau presents to a full room

Nick Nelson, CMS Business Analyst

Related Content: Make It Simple & Personal

The tagline of this year’s Sitecore Symposium was “Elevate the Experience,” emphasizing to marketers that a customer’s experience of a brand is just as important as the product or service they’re offering. As one session pointed out, 80 percent of customers believe this, according to Salesforce State of the Connected Customer, Second Edition.

But an overarching theme I noticed during the majority of sessions I attended was that part of an “elevated” experience meant a simple one.

Sitecore’s component-based nature obviously provides a plethora of capabilities. We can give end users a billion components, but if they’re difficult to use then what’s the point? And if CMS users struggle with adding those components to pages in the first place, they may try to find difficult workarounds, implement them incorrectly, or not use them altogether. Then all of our hard work during development goes out the window.

Discover how simplification and personalization go a long way in elevating the user experience in my full Sitecore write up.

What was your favorite part of Sitecore Symposium this year? Let us know in the comment section. And learn more about our Sitecore partnership.

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