This was the third year of the CMS Expo in Chicago and it took another leap forward. Rather than getting lost in downtown or suburban Chicago they’ve moved to the suburb of Evanston, right on the lake and next to Northwestern University. It’s a good fit for a conference of 300 to 400 people.
Was it worth going? Absolutely. I’ve only missed one Expo out of the four and wouldn’t make that mistake again. Here’s what stood out to me this year:
- More Drupal and other CMSs. Although the people and sponsors were at least 50% Joomla, this was the first time that it became a true CMS event. Drupal was there in a big way. WordPress were disappointingly absent as their Wordcamp San Francisio coincided with the event, but a host of other smaller CMSs attended.
- Cloud, cloud, cloud. We had the sponsors’ booth next to Acquia and I couldn’t help but notice that they promoted Drupal Gardens almost to the exclusion of their other products. I’m not sure whether that’s because they thought it was the best fit for this audience, but it was hard to avoid the cloud everywhere I went. CloudAccess were getting ready to launch demo.joomla.org and lots of other companies had cloud-hosting products.
- An industry is growing. Many companies still only support one CMS which means we currently have lots of separate industries. However, nearly all the companies in attendance realised that smart companies are now supporting several CMS platforms.
- CMS Expo broke even for the first time. These events are always expensive and risky so that was a big step forward to ensuring the Expo’s long-term stability.
My CMS Expo Presentations
I must remember in future to only step forward for very specific topics. I spoke about training your clients after a project and that was much easier than my other far-more-general topic, writing good content for the web. Daniel Baron was kind enough to include one of them in his article Favorite classes from the 2010 CMS Expo.