After stimulating discussions at DrupalCon Copenhagen, a ’new breed of Drupal events’ came to life: the Drupal Executives Meetup (DrupalCXO).

Its first incarnation took place in Brussels on 8-10 October 2010. The main organizer of the event was Kristof Van Tomme (Pronovix) and he got a lot of help from Rudy Van Hoe (Microsoft), Michaela Kraft (Microsoft) and Jakub Suchy (Dynamite Heads). The goal of the event was intensified networking, sharing best practices and building collaborations among Drupal companies to keep the pace in a rapidly evolving, almost turbulent market.

The target audience reacted very quickly: from the available 60 places there were hardly any left 3 days after that the meeting was announced! Finally, 64 Drupal executives and freelancers attended the meeting, representing 55 Drupal companies (generally with 10 to 30 employees) and over 700 Drupalistas mostly from Europe, from about 15 different countries as main office location, but with a much wider market range.

The format of the event (Open Space Technology), introduced to this public and facilitated by Kristof Van Tomme, also required active participation; and the meeting was actually as innovative and collaborative in character as the Drupal community itself. Several participants published blog posts on the event already, which provide a comprehensive review of the sessions, the meeting conclusions as well as the personal experiences and hopes:

There were numerous action points defined at the event, among which there is still vivid public discussion for example on Drupal marketing resources for enterprises (Enterprise Marketing Resources, Infographics) and Drupal training (research-and-academia, curriculum-and-training). As a concrete outcome of DrupalCXO, there is a survey launched on “Software Used in Drupal Development” to map what software Drupal companies use, how efficient they are and how they could be improved. (Everyone who contributes as a survey participant will also get the summarized version of the aggregate data.)

Almost 400 tweets were also sent on #DrupalCXO during and after the meeting by not only those who were there, but also by those who could not make it. And it could have been hundreds more if it had not been limited by the engagement that the sessions required... It is also evident from the meeting feedback that the sponsors were very much appreciated both for their contribution and their attitude to the event: each 7th tweet mentioned @Microsoft and said big thanks for helping in the organization and providing its facilities for DrupalCXO, and each 9th thanked @Acquia for sponsoring the Saturday evening program and actively participating at the event. There are over 60 pictures on the meeting and its venue on Flickr, and there will also be some interviews available soon, which were made at DrupalCXO. And the future? Well, the informal network that the attendees built at the event (and even before) provide a good basis for future collaboration, and there will surely be places where the discussions can continue (see upcoming events) and take a novel energy even with those who missed this opportunity! Please don’t forget about the next DrupalCXO either: it will be scheduled for sometime around the Drupal Business Days (26-27 May, 2011), somewhere close to Helsinki… (To be announced later) In the mean time, if you are a business leader, you can join the DrupalCXO group on LinkedIn.

About the author

Márta Maczel

Operational Manager (Hungarian branch)

Marta is responsible for the management of daily operations, including office and project administration, human resources and financial management, at the Hungarian branch of Pronovix.

Before entering the corporate world, she was involved in international research projects and contributed to the advancement of science also via her participation in policy-making. She was active in nonprofit organisations, attended and organised multiple events, and took considerable part in the establishment and management of a world wide organisation.