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Opticon 2015

After two action-packed days of knowledge-dropping, networking, and nitro margaritas, Opticon 2015 has come and gone. In the last 48 hours I’ve been inspired and challenged. Educated and excited! A little bit exhausted … and extremely entertained. But don’t just take my word for it.

This post tells the story of Opticon, as it unfolded through attendees’ eyes.

Best of Opticon 2015

On Wednesday night, Opticon Eve was upon us. While some tuned into the NBA finals, others were gearing up for the two days to come.

DAY ONE of Opticon kicked off with a huge announcement…

From Optimizely CEO and Co-founder Dan Siroker: Optimizely Personalization – a new product built to reinvent an old idea and, in the Optimizely tradition, make it easy and accessible for all.

Optimizely CEO Dan Siroker announces Optimizely Personalization.

Optimizely CEO Dan Siroker announces Optimizely Personalization.

Excitement-filled applause echoed throughout the room (and across the interwebs).

After the keynote, Shana Rusonis shared the findings from our first industry Benchmark Report.

Shana walked through the methodology behind the report and gave an in-depth presentation on some of the most surprising and meaningful results.

Optimizely's Shana Rusonis shares the findings from our first industry Benchmark Report.

Optimizely’s Shana Rusonis shares the findings from our first industry Benchmark Report.

Meanwhile, the live chalk mural was off to a strong start.

This chalk artist extraordinaire was just getting started...

This chalk artist extraordinaire was just getting started…

Next up was Marc Andreessen…

Attendees flocked to the main stage for a fireside chat with Marc Andreessen, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Marc answered tough questions on the future of technology, the term “disruption”… and killer robots.

Dan Siroker and Marc Andreessen on stage during a fireside chat session.

“I’m a big fan of reality, why should I care about virtual reality?” – Dan Siroker to Marc Andreessen, during their fireside chat.

The rest of the afternoon was packed with engaging sessions on all-things-Experience-Optimization. (Stay tuned, we’ll be sharing full recordings and slides for each session soon!)

Panelists from Abercrombie & Fitch, Trulia, Scripps Network, and WiderFunnel shared wisdom on how to build an "optimization dream team" at any org.

Panelists from Abercrombie & Fitch, Trulia, Scripps Network, and WiderFunnel shared wisdom on how to build an “optimization dream team” at any org.

session

Panelists from Fareportal, Pinterest, Credit Sesame, Everyday Health, and Optimizely talk mobile app optimization.

When not attending sessions…

Opticon-goers participated in intimate Optimization Roundtable discussions, chatted with peers in the Expo Experience, ate It’s-Its, and, kicked back to enjoy some San Francisco sunshine.

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.01.17 AM

Chillaxin', Opticon-style.

Chillaxin’, Opticon-style.

Energized with new optimization knowledge (and fueled by ice cream) attendees took to the lawn to show off their bocce ball and corn hole skills.

The competition heats up on the outdoor bocce ball court.

The competition heats up on the outdoor bocce ball court.

And as the competition heated up, so did the Opticon Bash…

With a rockin’ DJ, a live graffiti artist, and (my personal favorite) nitro margaritas.

Bartenders mixed up some interesting (and delicious) cocktails.

Highlights from the Opticon Bash.

Pro-tip: No party is complete without a Bubble Man.

The Bubble Wizard in his element.

Meanwhile, back at the live chalk mural…

#WOW

#WOW

Caffeinated and ready for action, DAY TWO kicked off with excitement and…

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 9.54.17 PM

…MORE ROBOTS!

In her Thursday morning keynote address, Mary Hamilton, Managing Director of the Accenture Technology Labs, spoke about the transformative power of emerging technologies and hyper-connectivity in the way businesses deliver experiences to customers.  Think: wearables, virtual reality, self-driving cars, eye-tracking… and more.

Mary Hamilton addresses the audience during her keynote.

Mary Hamilton addresses the audience during her keynote address.

We also celebrated the 2nd annual Optie Award winners!

The Opties are comprised of nine categories that highlight cutting-edge Experience Optimization programs.

Optimizely CEO Dan Siroker and Markis Taylor, winner of the Developer Extraordinaire Optie Award

After Mary’s keynote and the Optie Award ceremony, Opticon-goers split off to (grab snacks and) attend the day’s sessions of their choosing.

Panelists from 99Designs, Demandbase, Hipmunk, and Optimizely hosted a packed session on the 21st Century Marketing Stack & Team – discussing tools, martech, and team structures that today’s successful marketing organizations are investing in. Jon Miller, Co-founder and CEO of Engagio (formerly of Marketo) hosted a session on Account-Based Marketing; and Netflix’s Patrick McGrath spoke on programmatic ad buying and optimization.

(Reminder: Stay tuned, we’ll be posting session recordings soon.)

Opticon

As DAY TWO came to a close...

It was time to say fond goodbyes to Opticon 2015, and the connections made over the course of the conference.

A sincerest thank you…

To all who attended (in person or in spirit) for making the past 48 hours such an inspirational, educational, and truly memorable experience for all who participated. Can’t wait to kick it again with all of you next year!

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.07.30 AM

Until next year: Peace, Love, and Experience Optimization!

Learn more about the announcements we made at Opticon: 

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