Being TYPO3 at CMS Kickoff 2024

Categories: Event Report Created by Benni Mack
Swimming pool surrounded by peach-colored multistory building and blue sky.
The event was hosted at The Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach in Florida, the only hotel in this area still open from the Gatsby Era in the late 1920s. Photo: Tom Hagerty / flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED)
TYPO3 continues its mission to network with other CMS vendors and the broader content management realm. In January 2024, I ventured over the pond to join the North American group of leaders in content management systems at the CMS Kickoff 2024, event hosted by Boye & Co.

Boye & Co, founded by Janus Boye, is renowned for its CMS Experts network, a hub for CMS professionals. This community, spearheaded by Janus, emphasizes collaboration and knowledge sharing in the CMS industry, offering a platform for experts to connect and stay updated on the latest trends and practices in content management systems. Their CMS Experts group holds many annual events in various regions around the world. I was thrilled to be able to attend CMS Kickoff 2024 on 16-17 January this year, to meet other experts from the global CMS community.

 TYPO3 Core Team lead Benni Mack visited CMS Kickoff 2024 in St. Pete Beach, Florida, USA, 16–17 January 2024 as part of the Meet TYPO3 initiative. See upcoming Meet TYPO3 events.

The Atmosphere

The event was hosted at The Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach in Florida, USA, the only hotel in this area still open from the Gatsby Era in the late 1920s. Due to its central location, the exterior color and high rise, it’s also called the Pink Palace, just a few steps away from the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico. It has the perfect spirit for meeting with 50+ attendees. The CMS Kickoff is a vendor-neutral international conference that brings together masterclasses, talks, interactive discussions, and genuine networking opportunities.

The Program

The CMS Kickoff 2024 program featured a variety of sessions addressing current trends and future directions in content management systems. Various stakeholders from CMS vendors such as Contentful, DotCMS, SearchStack, and Kentico attended, along with content management agencies and end-customers who exchanged stories of their experience and current requirements.

Key topics of the sessions included the role of Generative AI (GenAI) in content creation, the impact of flexible CMS page builders on teams, and strategies for preparing content teams for change. Other sessions delved into content modeling for multichannel strategies, real-world use cases of GenAI, and the balance between buying or building a CMS. The conference also explored novel concepts like earnfluencing, which combines earned media with influencer marketing, and the future of content management in the context of visual workspaces.

One other special format was the The CMS Idol, where six vendors were allowed to demo their CMS in front of a jury for a total of 6 minutes, highlighting their key features. The winner was Directus — a CMS with a different approach for working with content and other kinds of data.

The Socializing Part

The event had a lot of moments to get to know people from the industry. As it was my first time attending the CMS Kickoff,  and as the only representative from Germany, it was great to meet many new people from the same industry who love their job in content management, and who are equally passionate about investing in their teams and getting more productive.

In the evening we had dinner at a nearby Italian place where Janus ensured that everybody was able to get to know new people. We enjoyed the CMS Quiz, which tested our knowledge on things like how far back in time Web Content Management really goes, and when terms like Headless CMS were coined.

My personal takeaways were threefold:

  • GenAI: Rather than just building it in every tool, we also discussed possible future outcomes related to generated content by AI, and where the limitations are in sectors that are highly regulated - which is still a topic with little clarity.
  • Page Builders: The rise of new systems shipping a Page Builder comes with a tradeoff — we are losing the structured data that CMSs are built for. Even though it may be best suited for short-living landing pages, organizations tend to overuse it due to its simplicity. But the reasoning behind the use is that requirements are not always clear.
  • Content management affects Content teams, their strategies, and is a key part of the digitization process for millions of organizations that need the help of experts to identify the value in the large amount of content already produced by humans — and not AI — to date. Even though TYPO3 has a large developer community, the developers should never forget for whom they are building and tailoring the system.

A Melting Pot

The CMS Kickoff 2024 was more than just a conference; it was a melting pot of ideas, cultures, and technologies. As the only German and TYPO3 representative, I not only gained valuable insights but also had the privilege of sharing my unique perspective with a global audience. I left the event enriched, inspired, and more connected to the vibrant community of CMS enthusiasts.

Additional contributors for this article
  • Copy Editor : Felicity Brand
  • Content Publisher : Mathias Bolt Lesniak