Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
And get a sweet little promo while you’re at it!
Stepping back to 2008, it was a very different time. Sites were responsive more by accident than by design, nested tables ruled supreme, and then there was Internet Explorer. MySpace was checking out, Facebook was becoming the hot thing. But the web was starting to mature. Bootstrap, jQuery, SVN, .NET, and self-hosting – if you were cool – were all the tools of the day. Event Flash worked! Amidst all this, the echoes of “Java is dead”, “PHP is dead”, and of course, “iPhones will never take off”.
Well, that’s where we started. Let’s have a little look-see at the evolution of the website over the years.
🚀 2008 – Going big from the beginning: We kicked off the first WebExpo with some of the great Czech names like Riki Fridrich, Michal Špaček, Jakub Nešetřil etc. at the campus of Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (ČZU). Most locals would agree it’s in the backwoods. But honestly, looking at our website, it really fits the time and place perfectly.
🎤 2009 – Speakers stepping up: With the second year of WebExpo, we were lucky enough to welcome on stage some of the big international names like Molly E. Holzschlag (R.I.P.) and Christian Heilmann.
🚗 2010 – On the road: The team organised a roadshow with Czech speakers stopping in big European cities like Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest to show what treasures we have in the technology field in the Czech Republic and spread the word about WebExpo.
🏢 2011 – New place, new face: WebExpo is moving a step closer to the city centre of Prague to the campus of the University of Economics (VŠE). And it’s also the moment when the history of Vitaly Friedman and WebExpo begins to be written.
👑 2012 – Long live the (networ)king: Networking has always been one of the cornerstones of the conference. This year we hosted a workshop on this topic and then set our attendees free to practise the new skills through the Networ_king game app.
🇬🇧 2013 – Global variables: After 5 years it was just about time to move to the next level. We decided to go global and switch the conference fully to English. This brave step was a pivotal moment in our history, and it actually encouraged a number of other professionals to start organising their conferences in English.
🏃♂️ 2014 – Catch them all: We admit it was a little crazy to have 7 different locations in the city centre of Prague but we believe it was an unforgettable experience for everyone who attended WebExpo 2014. It was like a little conference scavenger hunt. The bright side was that the minimum of 10,000 steps a day was definitely met.
👠 2015 – The first lady: 2015 was the year of changes. Michal Illich became the new owner of WebExpo. And the first lady Šárka Štrossová fully overtook the organisation of the conference. By the way, she is the one to thank for moving all the venues under one roof of the Lucerna Palace.
🤡 2016 – Design comedy: Sometimes we agree with crazy ideas like hiring a student in the final year of graphic high school to design our website. And we all remember what happens after graduation – last crazy summer! So believe it or not Šárka had to make sketches of two speakers because we couldn’t reach him. This year we also started using the Conference mobile app Eventee.
💡 2017 – Random encounters: While nomading in Bali, Šárka met a guy in the coworking space. He seemed quite normal but something was off. Then she noticed his iPhone 7, it had a 3.5mm jack! And that’s how Scotty Allen made it to the WebExpo stage with his talk about how he built his own iPhone.
🤖 2018 – Kids and ice cream: Hosting big names at the conference is amazing but what about the new generation? Not sure if there was any connection between Šárka’s roadshow with an ice cream truck promoting WebExpo and the new target group. But this year we successfully launched the kids workshops.
🚃 2019 – The coolest stage ever: Speaking on the WebExpo stage is already cool enough but when you have a talk in a fancy T3 Coupé tram riding around Prague’s city centre, that’s the next level. Another speciality of this year was the competition Code in the Dark by Avocode at one of the parties.
😷 2020 – Let’s just say we had a virus…
🎭 2021 – Should I stay or should I go: Being able to organise a hybrid conference after 2020 was quite challenging but on the other hand such a reward – familiar faces after a long time no see, great atmosphere and the sparkle of hope everything be back to normal soon. The 2021 website reflected the 30 years anniversary of the first website going live.
☀️ 2022 – Summer edition: In summer it’s really a challenge to make people sit in the conference hall, but for once, we wanted to try what it’s like to have a party on the boat or just chill after the conference in the park. The summer outdoor parties just hit the sweet spot.
👶 2023 – Nothing will stop us: After a year of no conference and two years in hybrid mode, it’s so great to welcome everyone back in person. And because we didn’t want anything to stop our attendees from coming (not even their babies) we opened the kids’ corner with babysitters.
🔮 2024…to be continued
So how many times have you attended WebExpo? One visit? 10? Well, whatever number it is, just remember the number 1️⃣5️⃣ for today!