National Space Symposium: New Website Design and Drupal Power

26th National Space Symposium: New Website

A new website has been launched for the 26th National Space Symposium, the Space Foundation's largest event of the year. Designed, built, and managed in-house, the new website showcases agendas, speakers, exhibitors, co-sponsors, education programs, press, and The Broadmoor Hotel venue for the event.

The National Space Symposium website has been a great team effort with input from everyone. The original design was produced by Paul Parson, also the designer of the official poster this year (yep, that was designed internally this year as well, generally outsourced). The theme source files were produced by Luciana Mendes and myself. I developed and configured the Drupal aspects of the website. Julie Howell took on project management tasks while also refining content with media gurus Janet Stevens and Carol Hively. Graphic Designer Bonnie Grahalva took time to resize 140+ logos for the initial website push (thank goodness). VP, Marketing and Creative Services, Jim Vaughan, kept us all focused, and opened creative doors as we progressed. More names could be mentioned. To be honest, everyone at the Space Foundation had an important role in getting things on the site (almost 50 people).

Website content is managed by about nine team members at various degrees, no web experience required for most. For example, our speaker/agenda editor is able to quickly select speakers for events, and those speakers will be listed in the agenda, while the agenda event is also listed on the speaker page (all from a single checkbox check in the agenda event form). If speaker names or titles change, that content is also updated in many places on the site instantly. The same goes for co-sponsors, location names, and other items. Thanks to the awesome team members who are passionate about this, I'm able to focus on building features and new projects instead of worrying about what word is missing on some page. Progress!

NationalSpaceSymposium.org is the Space Foundation's first Drupal website, initially developed by eye9design last year, and revamped in-house this year. Other Space Foundation websites developed this year include Space Foundation Education Programs, Strategic Space Symposium, and the Global Space Development Summit. A new website is expected soon to replace the current Space Certification program, and soon the Space Foundation website itself.

The National Space Symposium event has me very excited. This will be my first year attending/assisting with the event, with about 8,000+ people expected to attend this year. At the office I hear stories of how I won't sleep for three eventful days and nights, followed by days of not getting out of bed, and well worth every ache and pain! Awesome.

The National Space Symposium website isn't 'finished' yet (is any website ever finished?). We have plans to add several features, garnishes, and polishes to the site this year, followed by large leaps next year. I look forward to help set the bar and watch our competition scramble to keep up.

About Christopher Stevens

Me, wearing a tieChristopher is a web developer/designer who loves renovating and empowering over-sized web projects and exploring the unknown. He is powered by coffee, electrons, and passionate people.

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"We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the earth."
--William Anders