After a four-year break, this year’s TYPO3 Conference was an extra special event. “The vibe is back,” announced TYPO3’s Ric van Westhreenen on social media. “TYPO3 is still on fire!”
A mix of technical topics and higher-level challenges opened T3CON23 to a broader audience than ever before. With topics like security, trust, and digital sovereignty, marketers, project managers, and other non-developers had plenty to get their teeth into.
Award-winning business author Nicholas Janni’s opening keynote, Leader as Healer: Activating Whole-Self Intelligence, set the standard for a program of innovative and engaging content. “An absolute privilege to listen to,” remarked Neon CEO and fellow T3CON speaker Deepa Mann-Kler. It “made my day” for sesamnet CEO Paul Keller. More talks followed, including Alexander Veit’s insights into Analytics You Want vs. Analytics You Need, and a podium discussion on AI and content.
Read on to relive the conference — or catch a glimpse of what you missed.
A beautiful venue for community and exchange
TYPO3 GmbH designed this year’s event from top to bottom, picking Areal Boehler as a unique venue. Situated on a former steel-production site in Düsseldorf, Germany, the convention center is a piece of German history and a fantastic setting for a conference.
After the enforced distancing of the pandemic, the space was designed to provide what everyone had been craving, and something particularly important for TYPO3: a sense of community. T3CON23 was carefully structured to foster interpersonal exchanges.
“What distinguishes TYPO3 events above all,” remarked Jerome Grad from exhibitor toujou, “is the casual, yet professional, discussions that take place at any time. They are (especially for newbies) the perfect complement to the expert lectures.”
An engaging and inclusive program
To make T3CON23 feel inclusive, welcoming, and engaging for a broader variety of people, the organizers chose to focus on higher-level topics that affect the web industry at large. Attendees responded with social-media posts about “mind-blowing insights” and hashtags overflowing with enthusiasm: “#inspired #typo3 #awareness #focus #greatTalk”.
Talks ranged from technology (Practical Integration of Text, Image and Language in TYPO3) to philosophical (Agency and Digital Service Providers in a Harmonized World), legal (Government and Digital Sovereignty), and beyond.
A series of lightning talks created interaction between the attendees during breaks on the main stage. Exhibitors presented concise insights and best practices in five-to-ten-minute talks in acoustically isolated bubbles.
Single track, higher quality, better focus
The warm reception also extended to the new single-track format. It ensured attendees could focus their attention on the main stage and the highest-value content.
In previous years, T3CON was multi-track, with a main stage for the principal sessions and six to eight smaller rooms covering other topics. “We discovered multi-track led to a lot of confusion,” says Luisa Fassbender, one of the event organizers. “People would miss out on talks and were forced to choose between multiple interesting ones.”
The lightning talks were carefully selected to match the program segments on the main stage. For instance, Neil Peretz’s presentation on Balancing Digital Freedom, Privacy, and Consumer Protection was followed by a lightning talk on Implementing Consent Management by dkd. The podium discussion on Government and Digital Sovereignty was complemented by a lightning talk on Measuring Digital Sovereignty in TYPO3 Applications by CPS that introduced the “especially exciting” Digi.Souv.Score for evaluating your own digital sovereignty.
Finally, graphic recordings of each session provided visual aids that summarized each talk. This helped attendees cement the knowledge they had just acquired.
Valuable networking opportunities
The exhibition area was filled with booths from industry experts, solution providers, and sponsors. It was positioned so that attendees could track the program's progress while engaging with booth exhibitors.
Since T3CON23 was designed to facilitate extensive networking, each day included multiple breaks. The lightning talks and the exhibition booths also fostered new connections and active engagement — to say nothing of the black-tie TYPO3 Awards Gala, which we’ll cover in a separate article.
TYPO3 is a community-driven project, so it is hard to understate the importance of forging personal connections. As Digital Zombies founder András Ottó put it, “The knowledge exchange and networking opportunities were truly invaluable, and I came away from the conference with fresh insights and a renewed passion for TYPO3.”
Just wait till next year!
A couple of feedback items will be top priorities for next year’s conference:
- End customers: This year’s T3CON audience skewed toward the TYPO3 Community. This makes sense, but next year, we’ll work on inviting and encouraging more end customers to attend.
- Acoustics: Areal Boehler is large and stunning, but its high ceilings meant it could be a bit noisy at times. Next year, we’ll test our acoustics more thoroughly.
If you didn’t make it in 2023, you missed out on something great. But rest assured, if you come next year, you’ll enjoy an equally exciting program of talks, along with the chance to gather connections and impressions to last a lifetime. The dates for T3CON24 will be announced soon!
“One of the most profound lessons I will carry with me is the enchanting power of collaboration, sharing, and growing together,” developer Phindiwe Nqanqaru wrote after this year’s conference. “Witnessing the seamless cooperation among various companies and organizations left me in awe. It is the future that I ardently envision.”
Feel free to save and share your favorite pictures from this year's TYPO3 Awards Gala. Make sure to name Markus Luigs as the source.