It’s still surreal that I just ran the fourth Midwest PHP conference with Kelly, Mike, John, and Wyatt. As with every year it was an emotional roller coaster. In the end it was a fantastic event bringing 230 attendees together to learn everything from PHP7, Drupal, WordPress, Elastic Search and many API sessions rounded out Midwest PHP 2016.
This year’s event we felt was leaps and bounds a head of year’s past. This year Midwest PHP moved from being at a college venue to Hilton Minneapolis. The decision to move from our venue for 2014 and 2015, University of St Thomas, didn’t come lightly. A number of factors were investigated including dates, ease of access for both speakers and attendees, and also visibility of sponsors. Though we loved the University of St Thomas and their staff, we ultimately decided it was time for us to move to a new venue.
So how did we decide to move to Hilton Minneapolis? We knew of a few technology conferences already making use of the space, it offered a prefect flow to provide our sponsors the visibility they previously didn’t have, and also provided us the flexibility we needed for our schedule. By also moving to the Hilton it provided our out of town guests an easy way to get to and from their hotel rooms to the conference as well.
Along with moving to the Hilton Minneapolis another big move that the organizers decided to make as shifting the conference from a Saturday / Sunday event to a Friday / Saturday event. We opted to move to a Friday / Saturday event at the advice of not only speakers but also many attendees as well. By moving to a Friday / Saturday, this meant our attendees didn’t have to give up their entire weekend to attend the conference.
What does the future hold for Midwest PHP 2017? Well, we are actually working on that already. The Monday following Midwest PHP 2016 we already started visiting other venues to see what they can offer us. Our organizers have also started compiling a list of sponsors, topics, and other enhancements we would like to target for 2017 as well.