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Top 3 highlights from the 2018 Sitecore Symposium

by Ethel Crosby October 24, 2018

A few weeks ago, I attended the Sitecore Symposium, Sitecore’s annual conference. This year, it was held in Orlando, Florida, and brought together over 3,000 attendees from more than 53 countries. As one of the global leaders in enterprise digital experience management software, Sitecore is used by many of our clients and other large companies worldwide.

The theme this year was “Elevate the Experience.” I’ve been fortunate to have gone to many of these conferences over the past five years, and this year was by far my favorite. It was also my first time attending the Sitecore MVP Summit since earning my Sitecore Most Valuable Professional award earlier this year.

I left this year’s conference inspired, informed and connected. There was a ton of great content and conversation throughout the week, but my top three highlights included the following:

  1. Empowering Women in Technology – Sitecore MVP Women Panel and #MoveTheDial
  2. Building Customer Trust – Importance of Security and Privacy
  3. Sitecore Community & Networking

Women on the Sitecore MVP Empowering Women in Tech Panel

1). Empowering Women in Technology – Sitecore MVP Women Panel and #MoveTheDial Initiatives

It was an honor to speak alongside other Sitecore MVP women on a topic very dear to my heart – Empowering Women in Technology. Sitecore’s Chief Marketing Officer Paige O’Neill moderated our panel discussion. Leading up to our panel, I enjoyed getting to know the other talented ladies and sharing our personal and professional experiences across our diverse, global backgrounds.

Women on the Sitecore MVP Empowering Women in Tech Panel

During the panel, I spoke on the barriers that women in tech feel, such as internal barriers of ‘imposter syndrome’ we put on ourselves. It’s so important to push through the nonsense and focus on making ourselves better. I channeled my inner Angela Duckworth and talked about the importance of having grit to be successful. I truly believe that we all have a growth mindset, and our ability to learn can change and improve over time if we push ourselves and put in the effort to make a difference.

For more information, see Wendy Derstine’s blog post detailing all the topics covered in our panel, and visit the newly launched Women of Sitecore community website.

#MoveTheDial at the 2018 Sitecore Symposium

It was great to see Sitecore’s support for our Women in Tech panel. The conference also hosted a special Women in Digital luncheon with guest speaker Jodi Kovitz, CEO and Founder of the #movethedial movement, and a panel of more inspiring stories from female executives. The energy and support from both women and men at the conference was encouraging. I commend Sitecore for taking positive steps toward addressing diversity and inclusion in our industry.


2). Building Customer Trust – Importance of Security and Privacy

As a security-minded professional who recently worked on getting my agency awarded ISO 27001 certification, the increased focus on security and privacy resonated with me. Since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect earlier this year, privacy has become the standard expectation for many companies, including our clients. You need to build a relationship with your customers based on trust and prove you are a good steward of data in order to continue working with them – or be considered for future engagements.

Mark Zablan, Sitecore’s Chief Revenue Officer, led a keynote and panel discussion around building customer trust, one experience at a time. Mark shared his three steps to building brand trust:

  1. Transparency: be transparent with how you use data and what it delivers.
  2. Accessibility: keep your messaging consistent and accessible.
  3. Personalization: bring consumers into the journey with moments over time.

One North's 2018 Sitecore MVPs Mike Skutta and Ethel Crosby

3). Sitecore Community & Networking

The Sitecore community continues to grow year after year, and it’s great to meet and network with a good mix of Sitecore clients and partners. At the conference, you can finally tie a face to a name for the people you’ve read blogs from or interacted with online.

Sitecore throws a great party at these events! I had a fun time with the rest of the One North team (John Simpson, Jeff Hirner, Ryan Horner, Mike Skutta, and Chris Elston), our clients and other Sitecore MVPs exploring the magical Harry Potter world, riding the Hulk rollercoaster several times at Universal Studios and exploring Pandora’s Avatar world and rides at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Dinner with One North Clients at 2018 Sitecore Symposium

I also really enjoyed attending the Sitecore MVP summit for the first time. The MVP sessions went much deeper into the technical details, and it was great to get more insights directly from Sitecore’s product teams.

In my next post, I will discuss the product highlights covered at the Sitecore Symposium. Sitecore has a strong roadmap ahead to keep its software competitive. I’m looking forward to the upcoming Experience Platform 9.1 release.

In the meantime, I recommend downloading Sitecore’s newest whitepaper, Why Upgrade to Sitecore XP 9.1. You may also want to consider carving out some additional budget for a Sitecore upgrade next year, as there are improved features and better security in store.

Ethel Crosby
Director of Technology Operations & Offerings

As Director of Technology Operations and Offerings at One North, Ethel is responsible for the management and execution of leading digital technology solutions and product management, continuously identifying new strategic technology opportunities for One North and its clients. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Ethel once zip-lined, upside down, in a rain forest in Costa Rica.

Favorite movie quote: “With great power comes great responsibility.” – Spiderman

Favorite hobby: I love to cook. Delicious food makes everything better!