Recapping the 2017 Kentico MVP Summit

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In June, we hosted the annual Kentico MVP Summit at our home office in Brno, Czech Republic. A weeklong event focused on getting MVPs as much as info as possible, the summit covered a wide range of Kentico and Kentico Cloud topics. In this article, I’ll give you a little glimpse into what we discussed and what to expect for the rest of 2017.

The Kentico MVPs are a pretty awesome bunch of developers. They answer questions, provide solutions, review new functionality, and selflessly help the community every day. Why do they do it, you may ask?  A common answer from the group is “I just love working with Kentico and telling people about it.” At the heart of it is PASSION. Passion for Kentico, development, and helping their fellow developers.

To make sure the group is up to date and super-charged with Kentico know-how, we created the Kentico MVP Summit. Introduced in 2015, this multi-day event is designed to educate the current MVPs on what’s new with the platform and how they can use it within their projects. But it’s not all about them! The summit is also about YOU!  We give the group all this new information so they can turn around and help the community and show them some great ways to leverage the platform.

Let’s learn a little more about the event….

What is the Kentico MVP Summit?

To help the MVPs on their quest (I’m assuming for some sort of global, CMS domination), Kentico hosts an annual MVP summit to connect with the current year’s members and discuss all things Kentico. Ranging from 1-5 days, the summit is all about getting the group the information they need to talk about and help others with the platform. Starting in 2015 after the Brno Connection, the first summit lasted 3 days and took place at the Kentico Mothership in Brno. During the event, the group met with product owners, lead developers, and helped shaped many aspects of the MVP as it is today. And maybe a wine tasting and hockey game, mixed in.
 
2015 Summit - Hockey
 
Since the first event, we have continued the event in Las Vegas after the 404, and most recently in Brno last month. While the Vegas event was a good one, the MVPs had limited access to key Kentico staff. Because of this, we decided to move the summit to our headquarters where the full staff of developers, marketers, and other key members would be available.

2016 Summit - 404

What did we do?

Each summit is a little different, but have some recurrent themes. Reviewing the MVP program is a given, during which we discuss improvements that can be made to the program. These include joint marketing efforts, access to betas, and other processes that help the MVP machine keep rolling. 

In addition to the program talk, we tend to cover a lot of new and upcoming features of the platform. The 2017 Summit featured the following topics:

• Kentico Cloud Deep-dive
• Upcoming Kentico 11 features
• Q&A with CEO Petr Palas
• MVP Program review

2017 Summit - Petr Palas

If any of you are familiar with the group, you know it’s not all business all the time. Some of the best conversations within the group are done over a beer (or 12) and there were certainly many chances for that over the week. The MVPs put a hurt on the Brno Pilsner supply, as well as on yours truly.



This year’s summit also aligned with our annual summer picnic, so the MVPs got to attend and enjoy in the fun. Volleyball, zorbing, and slipping on the dance floor were just some of the activities they took part in, all while helping Kentico celebrate 13 great years in business.

2017 Summit - Company

What’s next?

As I stated before, the MVP Summit is not a single-focused event. While there are a lot of good times had by the group, the summit is really about empowering the group with Kentico knowledge. When the MVPs leave, they have tons more information on new and upcoming features, best practices, and how to use Kentico to its fullest. This means you should see a lot of interesting content coming from them in the next few months. Because each MVP has a different perspective and skillset, you can expect some great articles on how to accomplish challenging tasks while implementing the platform. And because they met with every Product Owner in the company, they can cover nearly every aspect of Kentico EMS.

2017 Summit - Lunch

Kentico Cloud was a big part of this year’s summit, and it’s sure to show in the MVPs activity moving forward. The group discussed upcoming presentations, videos, and projects they plan on completing to cover our Headless CMS. And because the MVPs have such a diverse skillset, this will include NodeJS, PHP, and other .NET platforms.

Wrapping up

The 2017 Kentico MVP Summit proved to be a great week. There were a lot of great conversations and discussions, all in the company of some truly amazing people. I wanted to thank everyone for attending and I’m really excited to see what the group does with their new knowledge. Their content is sure to benefit the community and show you how to do some amazing things with the product. Get ready, my friends. It’s going to be Legend….wait for it……

2017 Summit - Group

Oh, you want to know more about becoming an MVP?

I figured an article about the MVP summit would certainly spark some interest in joining the program. We are always on the lookout for new members and would love to grow the group. We make our selections each December for the following year, so be sure to get your nomination in by then. Just remember, it’s not about doing X, Y, or Z!. It’s about having passion about the platform and helping the community. Good luck!
 
 
 
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Bryan Soltis

Hello. I am a Technical Evangelist here at Kentico and will be helping the technical community by providing guidance and best practices for all areas of the product. I might also do some karaoke. We'll see how it the night goes...