Key Insights from SUGCON 2023

30 March 2023

By: Sagittarius

Category: Blogs

This year was the 8th Sitecore User Group Conference (SUGCON) in Europe, which took place on the 23rd and 24th of March at the Meliá Costa del Sol Convention Center in Malaga, Spain.

With SearchStax, we were proud to be gold sponsors and speak at SUGCON Europe 2023.

SUGCON brought the user community together and provided the perfect platform to gain new knowledge and inspire everyone with the potential of Sitecore’s composable technology solutions.

The one-and-a-half-day agenda was full of education and sharing of knowledge from the whole community. We asked our Sagittarius delegates and speakers what their key takeaways were from SUGCON 2023.

Ian MacArthur, CEO of Sagittarius

This year’s SUGCON felt totally different. The beachfront location and sunshine gave it a different energy, but the community audience’s psychological shift was palpable. Last year, the heavyweight developers in Hungary still seemed sceptical of Sitecore’s bold move to a composable cloud-based stack. It was evident that the organisation’s acquisition and marketing pace was leaving the technical lovers of monolithic behind.

The XP offer has many years of vibrant life left, but we are firmly at the start of the transition into a different type of Sitecore world. SUGCON 23 marked a step-change in the way that engineers have embraced the new roadmap and are already making moves to mash-up, hack, accelerate and enhance Sitecore’s new product range for the benefit of brands and their end customers.

There was a tonne of talks worth sitting in on. From my perspective as a CEO, I’m drawn to proof-of-concept work that is solving real-world challenges for the customer of tomorrow. It’s my role to spot these movements and trends and ensure our own clients leverage both the technology and approach to building faster time to value and return on their investments across marketing and technology.

I’m always bowled over by the opening plenary, and Steve – Stathis Tzikakis (live from Paris) and David O’Flanagan didn’t disappoint. It was refreshing to hear them acknowledge that they are circling back around the partner enablement to ensure the community is fully tooled up to maximise the potential of the composable stack.

Another stand out on the main stage was Javier Velasco from Vercel, giving a clear picture of Next.js and its role as a game changer in the next phase of engineering innovation. Towards the end of day one, Pieter Brinkman gave a brilliant demo on how easy it is for marketers and content managers to work in XM Cloud and build out website changes in minutes – and he proved it.

And finally, I really enjoyed Sebastian Winslow and Jesper Balle using Sitecore Search in anger and getting to grips with the amazing things it can do on behalf of a large real estate / rental business in Europe. 

Overall a great conference – congratulations to Tamas and his team at Sitecore for another sterling show. I look forward to seeing more from the community in 2023 and predict SUGCON 24 as a barn-stormer.

Sean Carter, Head of Sitecore Development at Sagittarius

At SUGCON 20223, you could literally feel the energy and passion for all things Sitecore! The sessions were great, but the importance of meeting people cannot be overstated – some that I knew only virtually before, some that I have worked with, and others whom I met for the first time at the conference.

Highlights included a keynote from Sitecore CEO Steve – Stathis Tzikakis, who was joined remotely to discuss Sitecore’s vision. In a genuinely inspiring chat, they laid out Sitecore’s plans. While highlighting the innovation around Composable DXP, they revealed plans for Sitecore 10.4. They also acknowledged the importance of the development community in helping Sitecore “create valuable, integratable, forward-looking products”.

In Jason Wilkerson’s talk on “SXA MVC & Headless SXA – a MOVING tale…” he compared and contrasted MVC and Headless approach for development using this popular Sitecore accelerator. This session was humorous but also thought-provoking and valuable!

I really enjoyed meeting our Partner SearchStax and co-hosting a talk with Sitecore legend Peter Navarra from SearchStax around “Search Success Stories”.

On day two, Sebastian Winter‘s hosted a “Sitecore Components in Action” session, demonstrating the end-to-end creation of dynamic API-driven components in XM Cloud. This was using the new low-code SaaS tool in XM Cloud – great deep dive into brand-new tech with great potential.

In Niels Kühnel’s and Chris Nash’s session on “Integrated Analytics: Unlock the Power of Composable DXP Data with advanced tracking”, they introduced the importance of integrated analytics and treated to an early preview of Relevant Edge’s Open source Tracker Extension,, was exciting from both a developer and marketer perspective

And last but not least, our very own Kingsley Hibbert and Mathew Evans treated us to a thought-provoking roundup of the challenges around DevOps that supports the new tech landscape 

and the need for continuous delivery.

Aaron Ingram, QA Lead at Sagittarius

SUGCON 2023 was an excellent opportunity to learn and grow my knowledge. Such easy access to many MVPs and product specialists offered a unique opportunity to garner first-hand information. 

A couple of highlights for me were; The Crafting rock-solid secure composable Sitecore SaaS-based applications with Vasiliy Fomichev. His knowledge and presentation skills made an already exciting topic more captivating; I gained a much deeper understanding of security and how it can best be managed, also gathering a better understanding of how best to test it. 

As well as the Life at the Edge with Vercel and Next.js with Javi Velasco, showing what is an exciting high-speed future within the industry. 

Another fascinating talk was Andy Cohen’s Innovations in Deploy, showing the speed at which things can be done with a few live on-the-spot demos, which is always exciting to see because of the associated risk. 

On the second day, I enjoyed the Virtual Closing Keynote with Scott Hanselman, his views on the world of Sitecore and the world, in general, were fascinating to listen to. I took what I felt was a lot from a concise speech with the Grappling with the Many Heads of Headless with Chris Sulham making the world of headless just that little more transparent and more understandable in bite-size chunks. 


After many successful events, this year’s Sitecore User Group in Malaga, Spain, didn’t disappoint. Our Sagittarius team came away with new insights and knowledge (as well as sharing some of their own with the wider Sitecore community). We enjoyed attending and engaging with local Sitecore marketers and developers and are looking forward to next year’s SUGCON already. What’s next for Sagittarius? Sign up for our email newsletter here to keep up with our events and communications.

About Sagittarius

As one of the only pure-play Sitecore agencies in the world, Sagittarius is proud to be a Platinum partner and award-winning digital agency that helps brands create online experiences that convert.

Sagittarius is home to over 100 leading-edge digital experts based in 7 offices across the UK, US and the GCC. Sagittarius is proud to represent the Sitecore Community with Strategy and Ambassador MVPs, Members of the Partner Advisory Council and our Customer Value/ Impact Award at the 2022 Sitecore Partner Excellence Awards.

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