DrupalCon 2022: From Ghent to Portland in two weeks
After over two years of not being in a position to attend in-person conferences, April 2022 brought not just one, but two Drupal events. The first one is already behind us, while the second one still awaits and is ready to start on Monday, 25 April in Portland, Oregon. Tickets, flights and accommodation all booked, just waiting anxiously to get there.
This will be Agiledrop’s first time sponsoring a DrupalCon in North America (at least when it comes to in-person events). The idea to be present at Drupal events beyond just attending but also doing something more dates back to 2017 when it was our company’s first time sponsoring a DrupalCon. It was the one in Vienna, and we proudly presented ourselves as coffee sponsors. As it was successful, we have continued to do so, predominantly in Europe, and now in the era of virtual events in the US as well.
Why is the 2022 DrupalCon in Portland different for us? Because it will be our first time sponsoring an in-person event outside of Europe. Nervous? Sure. Excited? Definitely. Fresh from Drupal DevDays, the main Drupal developer-oriented international event in Europe, I’ve noticed two things.
Everyone, and yes, I mean everyone, was happy to be back, to see familiar faces, meet friends, colleagues, fellow contributors,... On the other hand, interactions were somewhat awkward, at least for the first two days. Lockdowns and the absence of physical contact have definitely had some influence on how we started off at the beginning of the event.
Come the second social event, I would have to say, everyone was back to their usual self – open, kind, welcoming and friendly. Exactly the things I’d gotten used to before the whole Covid situation. And I have high hopes for the same good spirits to also follow suit in Portland. Truth be told, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t.
Why is Agiledrop sponsoring Drupal events? And why for the first time also a DrupalCon North America? We were a team of 20 people back in 2017 and that grew to nearly 80 full-time employees at the beginning of 2022. We were focused on Drupal back in 2017 and we are still concentrating on it as vigorously as back in the day, if not even more.
Someone might think this is naïve thinking, but we’ve managed to grow thanks to Drupal and the community around it. It is logical for us to give back. And we will continue to do so. It kind of goes hand in hand.
We contribute and the Drupal community gives back through an almost inexhaustible demand for Drupal talent. The talent we have and create by utilising our established process of Drupal onboarding for young and aspiring developers. Maybe I should go into more detail about it, about how it works and what it entails, but this should be a topic for another blog post. Considering we have been growing steadily for the past couple of years, I believe it is safe to say that it works.
Back to Portland. The accommodation has been booked, flights secured, marketing materials (almost) prepared, my colleague and I just have to get there. After Seattle in 2019, this will be my second DrupalCon on US soil. And to be honest, I have very fond memories of the conference.
Leaving aside the fact that I managed to close one of our clients there, I couldn’t have wished for a better first-hand experience with DrupalCon North America. From meeting some familiar faces from Europe in Seattle (which is always fun), to receiving an echidna for my unbelievably lousy hockey skills, to witnessing for the first time in person how the Drupal community breathes across the Atlantic ocean.
What are my goals for this one? And Agiledrop’s goals? I would really like to see our agency’s booth get noticed. From there on everything else will come. Come say hello!