Hi to everyone who attended Saturday's Joomla Day in Melbourne,
this is Claudia, who welcomed you at the registration desk. Most certainly I am the only non-Joomla person posting in this forum! However, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Saturday's event and share some observations from the point of view of an outsider who somehow had to "volunteer" because she's married to Joomla-fan Matthias and seized the chance to spend some of his rare time with him on that occasion.
As you know, there were more than 130 people attending and I found that everyone I met - and I met many of you being at the front desk and looking after drinks and food during the breaks - was extraordinary nice with interesting stories to tell and so many diffent ideas for what to use Joomla!
I was positively surprised and encouraged by the relatively large number of female attendees who even came down from Canberra. This is great to see in a domain that is still very male dominated. They - together with Dinah who is organising Sydney's event and came down to present in Melbourne - will certainly serve as role models for young girls thinking about a career in this area.
It was also good to see that families can get involved in Joomla, like one father who brought along his two sons. (Or did they bring him
) Speaking of fathers and sons: I learned that Joomla users can be as young as teens - well, at that stage they can even be core developers! (Good on you, Sam! That's amazing!) And they can be a bit "more advanced" in age. I loved seeing that and - as a non-IT person - again am very encouraged by that!
It was good to see the group somehow grew together during the event which is a success indicator and something which is obviously very typical for the Joomla Community - being open, helpful, community orientated.
Reading through the survey sheets you filled in I'm very glad to see that you all seemed to have enjoyed the event very much. We got many, many feedback forms back which is a really good sign. I'm sure Matthias, Patrick, John and Malcolm will acknowledge and act upon your suggestions - like allowing more time for such an event with maybe hands on workshops or more time for presenters, questions and networking, etc. Feedback is very helpful for improving next events. So, if you haven't provided yours drop them a line or make a post. Maybe next time they will allow themselves more than six weeks to get such an event up and running.
I also pay respect to Matthias, Patrick, Malcom and John who organised the event - from website, registration, advertising, venue, insurance, technical equipment, presenters, especially sponsors, etc. So much time and energy went in and they also carried every single apple, banana, waterbottle, napkin, milk, coffee and sugar container - not to mention table cloth, T-shirt, signage and rubbish bag, powerplugs, cable, etc. - from the shops to the cars to the venue, etc. And their work is not over yet, with many things to follow and put up on the website. I know they loved every support they got and are excited about the great feedback they receive!
Sponsors played also an important part and it is indeed thanks to them, that fees were so low which I guess everybody appreciated especially when getting so much in return with great presenters sharing their expertise. I can imagine some of you might be a bit nervous hearing sponsors mentioned but their contribution truely supported this event.
I know in your "Joomla world" posts are only three or four lines long. One more indicator that I am a happy outsider here (also someone whose a journalist and loves to write). I quickly stop here. Thanks again for making my job on Saturday easy. And thanks also for the nice comments I got from many of you about our boys who were the youngest attendees and truely very good and patient with their parents.
(As Matthias said, Andrew Eddie must have thought the Joomla Day was held in the local kinder and not in one of the lecture theatres of Melbourne University with a three and five year old enthusiastically waving at him while skyping with you from Towoomba
. Just joking - I'm convinced everybody agrees that the event had a very professional aura.)
All the best to you and good luck with your Joomla projects!