We went big at Drupalcon Baltimore this year. We were a Silver sponsor of the overall conference, sponsored the nonprofit summit, and half our team attended. We learned a lot and had a great time exploring Baltimore. Here are some reflections on our experience this year.

(1) Our Chief Operating Officer Hannah Del Porto participated in this year’s prenote. The prenote is a sort of bizarre Drupal-inspired hour long variety show that kicks off the conference every year. Watching Hannah dance and sing while dressed up as a koala bear gave us all great joy.

(2) On a personal note, this GIF I made of Hannah participating in the aforementioned prenote is probably the greatest piece of art I ever created.

(3) In his keynote talk, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert said that the upgrade path for Drupal 9 will be much simpler than what we’ve seen previously. Traditionally Drupal has not prioritized backward compatibility when releasing major new versions, meaning that upgrading between versions is extremely difficult. Millions of Drupal 6 sites are struggling with this problem right now. It sounds like Drupal is finally taking steps to create smoother upgrade paths with D9.

(4) At our Brick Factory booth we demoed our new Drupal page building module, Stacks. Having invested a ton of time in developing the module, it was great to get such a positive response from people we showed it to. The positive reception confirmed that we are on the right path.

(5) Shane and Ron have made it an annual tradition to have ping pong duels at Drupalcon. For Shane, finally beating Ron in a full game was a personal highlight. Ron wasn’t as excited by it and is disputing the results.

(6) Our Client Services team had a fantastic meal at Woodberry Kitchen. Highly recommended. And props to Simo for trying oysters for the first time. Here is some food porn from the night.

(7) Pantheon and Lullabot hosted a party at the Maryland Science Center on Wednesday night. It is a great venue right on the inner harbor. We loved the dinosaurs (!) and the awesome tornado exhibit.

(8) If you want to win friends at a tech conference, free beer (and beer mugs) is a solid approach. Props to EY for what I thought was the best swag at the conference.

(9) I’m a bit biased, but I thought our Baltimore “Hon” inspired t-shirt was pretty great too. We had people standing in line at our booth to get them.

(10) In addition to participating in the prenote, Hannah also gave a talk on building happy, healthy client relationships. She did a great job.

(11) It was clear from Hannah’s session that people are really passionate about their PM software. Hannah got about ten minutes of question/discussion about it after her talk.

(12) The DrupalCon team is amazing. Being new to sponsoring, we had a lot of questions and they were really responsive and accommodating to all of our needs. Leaving us a hand written thank you note for being a sponsor at the end of the conference was a great touch.

(13) We went to a bunch of sessions!  These sessions were particularly awesome.

(14) We can’t wait for DrupalCon Nashville.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. For these clients and others, Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, helps manage crises, creates and implements online marketing strategies, and manages the development of custom applications and software.