Two firsts in one trip! I had never been to the first edition of a Meet Magento event or to the Baltics, so I was really excited about the opportunity to speak at Meet Magento Baltics in Riga.
Riga, the capital of Latvia, is also the biggest city in the Baltic states, which include Estonia and Lithuania. Riga’s historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so I chose to stay in the heart of Old Town which was simply breathtaking.
This city made us glad we no longer have to rely on camera film!
A more modern experience for sure, but one of the most unique libraries I have seen was in this city. Sadly, we did not have time to explore it, but perhaps we will be back next year. Of course I explored it online. It will have to remain a forthcoming attraction for now.
MM Baltics was hosted by Scandiweb, an international agency with headquarters in Riga. Scandiweb has their own PWA solution which has certainly been a hot topic at various Magento events I have attended recently.
The event started with an elegant speaker dinner on the banks of the Daugava river. It was an amazing dinner and a great opportunity for focussed conversations and getting to know people, many for the first time. I was delighted to have 2 team members from Scandiweb at my table so I could learn more about the city and Scandiweb's approach to a Meet Magento event. Speakers were greeted the next day by a makeup artist! Males and females alike were prepped and powdered much to the delight of this familiar face, Sander Mangel - love that shine! :)
In true event fashion, the event MCs flight was delayed. Maris Skujins stepped in and did a wonderful job getting to know speakers and running the day-long agenda. It was my first opportunity to meet Maris and Glebs Vrevskis, as well as Evija Riduze-Skujina after communicating with them by email for some time. Their work has expanded into the US and we look forward to working with them in future. We met lots of community members for the first time which made this particular event especially interesting, not that meeting old friends is not!
Leendert van Delft of DHL delivered a really entertaining talk called “Power up your potential: Generation CX.” I’d love to hear him speak at other events. This was certainly one of the more energetic talks I have been at.
The same for Jonathan Ribas of Zadiq and Voltaire and Matthias Boulliung of Nescafe. Their talks are amongst the best merchant accounts I have heard and I look forward to learning more from them in the future. I especially loved how eager they both were to chat later and I sat in on Jonathan’s talk once again at Magento Live Europe in October 2019.
It was surprising to hear that Latvia has a higher number of certified Magento devs per capita than France, the USA, the Netherlands, and the Baltics. What’s more, Latvia has a higher number per capita than all of those added together!
Meet Magento Baltics also stood out as the event with the largest Magento Logo ever! :) You can imagine, lots of pictures were taken here. All of the talks at this event were in English and networking was easy for us for sure.
We had time to visit the large Central Market the following day. There were various outdoor as well as indoor areas with a host of merchandise including food, clothing, produce, sweet treats and amazing bread. We found one of the best suppliers of black rye bread and we could not get enough. To our surprise, the assistants at wine bars, even at the "food court" at this market were extremely knowledgeable about wines and accurate with descriptions. It certainly broadened options and altered my preferences. I had to go home with two of my new favorites. The weather was surprisingly crisp (well below 50F) closer to our departure from Riga, but I will always remember the warmth of the Scandiweb team and folks we met in the delightful city of Riga.