March 4th, 2016 San Diego, CA

Conference Details

We can't even express how excited and honored we are to be able to host this excellent schedule for uWestFest 2016. The list of people that will be speaking is monumental and a significant testament to the maturity and growth of the Umbraco community here in North America. We can't wait to see everyone at the conference. Sign up today, if you haven't already.

March 4th


Everyone has to register before the event in order to pick up their name tags. You'll also get a supercalifragilistic (yeah, it's a word) t-shirt to take home! Don't forget to come by the registration table.

Room 1

Keynote: Umbraco HQ and Beyond

Niels Hartvig
Chief Unicorn - Umbraco HQ

Straight from the horses (ehem, I mean Unicorn's) mouth, hear what's currently going on with Umbraco and the community and what's in store moving forward with the State of Umbraco Address.

Room 1

E-commerce Your Clients Give a C**p About

Søren Spelling Lund
Founder - uCommerce

Your clients care about solving their problem, which in e-commerce terms is to sell.

In this talk you'll get practical insight into how you can use Umbraco 7 to create e-commerce stores your clients give a crap about; regardless of which platform your client uses.

You'll get concrete techniques and examples based on real-world experience from dozens of existing Umbraco stores, you can leverage tomorrow in any store to increase sales and delight your clients.

Room 2

Building Grid layouts Based on a Framework

Heather Floyd
Sr. Umbraco Dev - Scandia

The Grid Control in Umbraco 7 can revolutionize the building of modern responsive websites, but does represent a bit of a departure from “traditional” Umbraco website building practices. In this session Heather will present the best practices and lessons she learned while doing two sizeable grid-heavy builds. She’ll cover:

  • How to think differently about specifications, design, and architecture when utilizing the Grid
  • Using the Grid with strongly-typed models
  • Creating complex custom widgets – without Angular knowledge
  • Elegant error-handling for Grid widgets
  • “Grid on Steroids” – Customizations of row settings and the rendering framework file
  • Tools and tips for grid-building ease

Room 3

Use Case: Southwest Power Pool

Andrew Watt
Director of Software Development - Aristotle Interactive

You have a client that wants a document repository on steroids? A full service search and deeply integrated events and membership area? Then Umbraco is the management tool for you. In this session you’ll learn how Umbraco accomplished these goals and more for Southwest Power Pool, a company that keeps the light on for millions! Andrew Watt will show the complexity of each challenge and discuss how his team built the frontend and back office to meet and exceed each goal.


Coffee & Snacks

Room 1

Umbraco and the Need for Speed

Matt Shull
Director of Labs - Aristotle Interactive

Site speed is a critical part of a great user experience. In 2014, 40% of users abandoned a site if it didn’t load within 3 secs. In 2015, users demanded more and expected sites to load within 2 seconds for both desktop and mobile. So what does that mean for 2016 and beyond? How can developers use Umbraco to ensure that their sites meet and exceed user expectations?

Fear not, in this session you’ll learn how to meet those expectations. This session will discuss current performance techniques and how to include them into Umbraco. We’ll look at live websites using these techniques and what performance challenges our team encountered during the development, how to set site speed metrics for a project, and how to test site speed to make sure you’re meeting your goals. Whether you’re a beginner level or advanced - developer or designer - there’s a lot to learn on how to deliver your content to the user at a high speed.

Room 2

Pushing the Limits - Umbraco Media

Kevin Giszewski
Umbraco Dev - University of Notre Dame

Imagine having 15k+ images that need to be keyworded, protected behind a username, automatically cropped and live in the cloud. This session involves pushing the limits of the core technologies that power Umbraco.

We will explore how to search and archive all of those images without the need for a database along with some of the challenges that were overcome. In the end you will come away with a feeling that anything is possible with Umbraco.

Room 3

Reshaping Requirements with the Grid - Verifone Media

Heather Alvis
Sr. Business Analyst - Scandia

Come find out how we've reshaped our workflow to take advantage of the Grid Layout. Using Verifone Media as an example, Heather will cover methods she used to document requirements and define scope of a project that heavily utilized the grid. In this session:

  • Discover why the grid's flexibility is useful & attractive to content editors
  • Learn how the flexibility of the grid can simplify project specs
  • Learn how to build replicability into project process
  • Explore ways to define widgets so they reduce scope creep
  • See how we used the grid in a production site

This session is primarily geared toward project managers, business analysts and client-facing individuals. The information provided should help you develop and manage proposals, requirements, estimates and scope to improve communication with clients and your team.

Room 1

Hi-end Personalization with Umbraco

Theo Paraskevopoulos

Personalization is a hot topic in digital marketing. Done right, it can lead to a dramatic increase in traffic and conversions. Although light-touch personalization can increase user engagement (“Welcome back, John!”), richer rewards can be reaped from advanced use cases, such as using social mining to make product recommendations or tracking abandoned carts.

Commercial CMSs rushed to fill this gap a while ago, rebranding themselves as "customer experience platforms." Umbraco has taken big strides in this area as well though. With a flexible API and packages such as Personalization Groups and (my very own) Pipeline CRM at our disposal, we can now compete for briefs which require complex design or content personalization.

In this combined use-case and technical session, I will discuss the benefits and pitfalls of personalization, and present examples of this fast-moving practice. We will then do a technical deep-dive, looking at code samples and integrations that help us deliver highly personalized user experiences with Umbraco.

Room 2

If you build it, Will they come?

Sunday Coulter
The Segal Group

You have just built the best Umbraco site ever created... or did you?

Sure the code is rock solid, the visuals are smokin’ hot… but guess what? Your visitors really don’t care about that... or do they?

These are just some of the questions that WILL BE ANSWERED in this presentation focused on the importance of bringing ALL the pieces of web site creation together. We all know Umbraco is the best CMS on the planet, but what other tools can we use to measure our users’ experiences and how can we use this data to make the sites even better? I will not be touching on the Umbraco admin UI/UX for this talk, others have covered that, my focus will be on the introduction and exploration of tools that will give us, as site builders a better understanding of the full spectrum of responsibilities of building AMAZING WEB SITES.

Room 3


Merchello & Aptitude




Room 1

Error Handling Like a Pro

Pete Duncanson
Founder - Offroad Code

Errors happen and they tend to happen when you least want them to, after launch. Join Pete as he wades through the murky world of sensible error handling and logging that goes beyond just throwing it into a Log file that no one ever reads. Backend to frontend is gets looked at in Pete's usual opinionated style.

Room 2

Skrift - The Community Driven Resource

Skrift & Reddesigns


Room 3

DevOps: Code Deployment, Content Deployment and more!

Mark Bowser


Room 1


Bob Baty-Barr
The Segal Group

With 20 plus years of marriage, family, career and the never ending pursuit to find the fountain of youth, I have been in the rat race, started and failed as a small business owner, earned a black belt and have learned to be a loving husband, father and member of several communities. This session will share some of my personal highlights and low lights while exploring why the elusive topic of work-life balance has become such a hot button topic.

Room 2

Favorite / Must-have packages and techniques



Room 3

Setting Up Your First Site

Blake Smith
Sr. Front-End Developer - DiscoverTec

Walk through a step-by-step process to setup your next Umbraco site. This use case will demo some of the basics and look at a way to give your content editors a little more control.


Afternoon Break

Room 1

Umbraco 7.4

Per Ploug Hansen
Umbraco HQ

Whoa! Come get the latest with this major release that makes life so much easier for developers and an even better experience for our editors!

Room 1

Closing Comments

Paul Sterling
Umbraco HQ

Paul talks to us all about the future of Umbraco in the US and how we can come together as a community.

Sponsor Party
March 3rd

Come Celebrate!

This year we're putting on a special "night-before" party hosted by our Gold Sponsor. You're not going to want to miss this event!

uCommerce will be on-deck with some fantastic specials, drinks, hor d'oeuvres, and a great big 'ol fun time. It truly is a great opportunity to network and get to know all of the key players in the Umbraco community.



Master Class
Feb 29-Mar 3rd

Get Certified

There's no better way to be a part of the Umbraco community. get certified and officially trained by the best-of-the-best from Umbraco HQ. The schedule and registration is available at the link below. Sign up today and get a free uWestFest ticket in the process. It's a win-win!


Sign Up Today!

The Speakers

It just keeps getting better. This year's line-up of speakers is a testament to the growth and prosperity of Umbraco here in the US. We are so proud to announce this phenomenal group of people and are confident that you will get an immeasurable value by listening to, and absorbing, the experience that these individuals hold. Come join us in San Diego for the best ever uWestFest.

Featured: Niels Hartvig
Umbraco HQ

Chief Unicorn

Straight from Umbraco HQ, hear what's currently going on with Umbraco and the community and what's in store moving forward with the State of Umbraco Address. #soua

  • Søren Spelling Lund
    Founder - uCommerce
    More info
  • Heather Floyd
    Sr. Umbraco Developer - Scandia
    More info
  • Kevin Giszewski
    Umbraco Dev - University of Notre Dame
    More info
  • Matt Shull
    Aristotle Interactive
    More info
  • Heather Alvis
    Sr. Business Analyst - Scandia
    More info
  • Theo Paraskevopoulos
    Co-Founder - GrowCreate
    More info
  • Sunday Coulter
    The Segal Group
    More info
  • Kyle, Janae, & Erica
    More info
  • Pete Duncanson
    Offroad Code
    More info
  • Mark Bowser
    More info
  • Bob Baty-Barr
    The Segal Group
    More info
  • Blake Smith
    More info
  • Per Ploug Hansen
    Umbraco HQ
    More info
  • Paul Sterling
    Umbraco HQ
    More info
  • Andrew Watt
    Aristotle Interactive
    More info
  • Jason/Alan
    More info

Location & Venue

We are so excited about the location for the event this year. San Diego is a spectacular city and the University premises will be an ideal location for our wonderful community to network. Can't wait to see you all there!

We have a special rate with a brand new hotel which is really close to the venue. Check out the link below and some other resources for food and entertainment.


University of San Diego - School of Peace Studies
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Hotels & Stuff

Hilton Garden Inn (Preferred Rate)
4200 Taylor Street
San Diego, CA 92110

*we do not have personal experience with any of the above establishments.