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DNN World 2011, Orlando, FL

By Dave Gambino

We've just returned from DNN World, Orlando. What a conference! We've come back with a healthy measure of the contagious enthusiasm shared by the DNN Corporate team and the 400+ attendees. 


DNN CEO Navin Nagiah highlights Engage's True Value TruSite project in his keynote. (Photo: Oliver Hine)

We think DNN Corp’s C.M.S. strategy (in this case, “Cloud, Mobile, and Social”) has the growth of the DNN framework headed in the right direction. In addition to providing us training sessions and product insights, DNN shared their vision of aggressive growth and expansion. They’re very proud of the “ecosystem” that supports the DNN open source framework and spoke at length about it. CEO Navin Nagiah (in a very welcome about-face from the company’s stance last year) sees the DNN user bases of the free community edition and the licensed editions as Yin and Yang, each needing the other to thrive.

We had the pleasure of being invited to the DNN Partner Advisory Council meeting. Personally, this was my favorite meeting at the conference. It was an opportunity to meet and mingle with people who do what we do, who struggle with the same problems we struggle with, and who have ideas we wanted to hear. It was particularly interesting to hear perspectives from all over the world (the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, etc.) about their experiences using and selling DNN. The best part was that most of the senior executives from DNN were in attendance and in listening mode.

Jason Stone and Kevin O

Kevin and me at the Partner Advisory Council Meeting. Mmm, cookies! (Photo: Will Strohl)

Presentations by Engage’s COO Kevin O’Brien and Lead Software Architect Brian Dukes were well attended and well received. Kevin’s True Value case study popped up throughout the conference (it’s cool story and a white paper is on the way).

Brian Dukes presenting on DNN 6 UI/UX Patterns

Brian Dukes speaking on DNN 6 UI/UX Patterns.(Photo: Oliver Hine)

Brian had a rapt audience chanting “boo” whenever the phrase “HTML tables” came up in his speech (feel free to adopt the practice). His presentation slides are available at Slideshare.

As with any conference, the real value lay in the personal connections. It was a pleasure to connect (and re-connect) in person with DNN celebs like Shaun Walker and Scott Wilhite, as well as former Engage colleagues turned DNN Corp stars Chris Hammond, Ian Robinson and Cuong Dang.

The highlight for Engage’s team was the reception of our t-shirts. We went with a tongue-in-cheek Star Trek theme and it hit a high note with the tech-entrenched attendees. In case you missed the back-patting tweet that summed it up: “Bill Spencer @tactic9 says of Engage T-shirt schwag “Best t-shirt EVER!” #DNNworld.”

Engage Sponsors Table

Kevin and Brian work the Engage table. We handed out over 250 tees. That's a lot of handshaking.(Photo: Oliver Hine)



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