Blog, Digital Marketing, Ecommerce, Leadership

Road to Imagine 2019: Expectations, Tips, Predictions

Magento’s ecosystem is unlike any other in ecommerce, with its 800+ technology partners, 350 systems integrators, a community of over 315k developers, and over 4,400 extensions in the marketplace. Imagine, Magento’s annual conference, is the one time a year that brings together the entire network and industry leaders to inspire, educate, and collaborate.

Months before the first item of booth swag is packed for Imagine, the event hype starts on social media with the hashtag #RoadToImagine. As you follow the conversation, the excitement and anticipation for the event become contagious! For Blue Acorn iCi, Imagine allows us to look back on how far we’ve come with Magento, from creating the initial Magento U training to winning Partner of the Year. This year, with Crane Stationery, Blue Acorn iCi is a 2019 Imagine Excellence Awards finalist for the Best Hybrid B2B/B2C Implementation. Come visit us at Booth #122 to learn more about the Crane Stationery implementation and to check out our exciting giveaways.

The Blue Acorn iCi team has attended Imagine since its inaugural event nine years ago—it’s a can’t miss for us! As we pack our squirrels, choose our breakout sessions, and prep for the Imagine insanity, we asked our team members who attended last year’s event to provide their insider tips or predictions for this year.

What tips do you have for first-time attendees?

“Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with as many people as possible, especially outside of sessions and booths. Everyone attending Imagine has some kind of experience or a bit of knowledge about ecommerce that you may be able to pick up from conversations at breakfast, in line for coffee, or over a beer at 2:00 am. Make sure to connect on LinkedIn with your newfound friends and peers, especially if they taught you something at 2:00 am–you may need to follow up.” – Kevin Krizan, Lead Project Manager

“If it’s your first time attending, join the conversation on Twitter now. The chatter going on there will help you network with other attendees and hear about parties and sessions each day. Following the #RoadToImagine hashtag gives me the same joy as a kid counting down the days until Christmas! Also, learn the layout of The Wynn—you might be walking the long way around :)” – Emily Wilhoit, Director of Partnerships

“Wear comfortable shoes and drink more water than you think your body can handle. Talk to anyone you bump into. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from a 2-3 minute convo with someone else using Magento.” – Shane Estes, Senior Account Executive

“I’m sure everyone says this but make a plan before you get there and set some goals. There is so much to do and so much to take in that it’s necessary to have a plan of attack. Inevitably I always end up wishing I spent more time with other vendors or frustrated I missed a key session, but if you have a plan in advance you can at least be prepared.” – Josh Brinson, Solutions Engineer

“Run through the agenda and get familiar with the various locations. There is a lot to do and take in at Imagine. It can become pretty overwhelming quickly for a first-time attendee. Spending some time running through everything can really help you make the most of your time at the conference and get the most out of your Imagine experience.” – Bill Lorimer, Client Success Manager

What do you expect to be a hot topic this year?

“Obviously the Adobe acquisition will be a hot topic with a ton of potential. The Adobe approach is really going to open the Magento box and provide endless options for the front-end customer experience for our clients. I can’t wait to see the ideas and experiences that come from the new partnership.” – Josh

“I think the hot topics this year will be Adobe and whether or not this will be the last Imagine event. I think everyone is going to want to know what improvements Adobe will make and how much Magento is going to change.” – Dedric Guest, Director of Engineering

“Headless headless headless. If you need a refresher on headless before Imagine, read this.” – Emily

What do you predict will be announced this year?

“Roadmap for Adobe integrations and defining future plans for Magento Open Source.” – Shane

“I’d expect to hear about an entry level Adobe + Magento packaged offering… probably some lightweight Adobe Target + Magento commerce solution.” – Emily

What were your biggest takeaways from last year’s Imagine and how have you seen them come to fruition?

“The release of the B2B functionality within Magento 2.2 was a huge topic of discussion. There were a lot of useful sessions around this major release. I’m looking forward to future releases where they further improve this functionality that benefits a lot of clients.” – Bill

Who were your favorite speakers last year and who are you looking forward to this year?

“I’ve been to five Imagine events and would have to say that Magic Johnson was my favorite. He didn’t stay on stage at all but wandered the audience, calling people out and interacting with attendees. He was hilarious. And really tall!” – Emily

“My favorite speaker, hands down, was Jamie Foxx. It was awesome to hear a different perspective from a great comedian on his ecommerce business. Chris Guerra, CMO at Blue Acorn iCi, was pretty good too talking about B2B!” – Dedric

Our very own Kevin Eichelberger, Founder and Co-CEO, Blue Acorn iCi, will be speaking at Imagine on May 14th at 11:15 am PDT. During his session, Experience Driven Commerce with Adobe, Eichelberger will cover how Adobe and Magento can work together to enable experience-driven commerce effectively. 

The tools now available, if applied properly, make it possible to create consumer intimacy by delivering the right content to the right person at the right time during the ecommerce journey. Attendees of this session will have a better understanding of how to create an immersive and fluid brand and user experience from click to home, and how to create unique reasons for consumers to buy.

If you’re attending Imagine this year, we’d love to see you! Send Emily or Jordan an email to set up coffee, lunch, or just to say hello!

Miss Adobe Summit this year? You can check out our keynote recaps on our blog, or watch the keynotes and conference sessions on demand here.

Shannon Kenneally
After graduating from Clemson, Shannon started her career in marketing, focusing on content creation and engagement. As Blue Acorn iCi’s Media Marketing Specialist, she keeps clients and customers up-to-date on the latest trends and news in the ecommerce world. In her free time, she enjoys running with her dog and checking out the local breweries in Charleston.
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