JNUC 2016

New Contributor III

Dear JAMF Nation,

I am pleased to announce that on April 6, 2016, the registration site will launch for the 2016 JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC). For the sixth consecutive year, we will host JNUC at the historic Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 18-20, 2016.

Prior to the registration site opening and issuing our public press release, I wanted to first write a personal message to you, JAMF Nation, informing you of several changes to this year’s event — and more importantly, the reasons why.

Back in 2010, JAMF founders, Zach Halmstad and Chip Pearson, had a vision to bring together a community of JAMF customers for the sole purpose of connecting with and learning from each other. Zach and Chip did not want a ‘marketing event.’ They wanted a gathering for JAMF customers, where the content came from JAMF customers. For those of you who have attended frequently, you know JNUC has become a lot like a reunion, where friends gather to hear stories — some related to our profession, and some not. In short, JAMF Nation has truly become a community.

As JAMF's new CEO, the 2015 JNUC was my very first. I never experienced the intimate gathering of only 100 people back in 2010. I have only known JNUC as the largest gathering of Apple administrators in the world, with more than 1,000 attendees last year. Despite it’s size, it still had a community appeal.

For those who joined us last year, you had an opportunity to meet several new members of the JAMF leadership team, connect with over one hundred new JAMF team members, and witness many informative presentations from JAMF Nation members, including the amazing IBM story of 30,000 Macs deployed in less than four months (having now grown to over 50,000 Macs, as documented in this IBM paper.

During JNUC 2015, you also witnessed first hand, after six years, we have now hit capacity in our current venue at the Guthrie Theatre. Yet JAMF is adding more than two thousand new customers every year. To accommodate this growth, and your desire for even more educational sessions, JNUC requires additional space — which of course requires more investment. The unfortunate reality is that all investments in the JNUC event comes directly out of JAMF’s capacity to invest in your product and support. Thus, we are at a crossroads.

After months of consideration, JAMF has decided it is necessary to share the cost of JNUC with its attendees in order to improve the quality and scope while protecting investment into your product. To be clear, JAMF has no intention of profiting from JNUC. We are not morphing it into a marketing event. Our intent is only to charge enough to help cover the costs of hosting this large gathering. This year’s JNUC prices will encourage early registration, allowing JAMF to plan the best possible event for attendees. The prices will be as follows, based on registration deadlines:

  • $499 if registered before May 4th
  • $599 if registered between May 5th and July 12th
  • $799 if registered between July 13th and October 11th
  • $999 for those registering after October 11th

JAMF’s desire has always been to keep attendee cost as low as possible. At $499 for early registrants, it continues to be one of the most affordable conferences in the industry. However, we understand that, for over half a decade, it has been one of the very few free technology events. The hard truth is that, with its size and scope, continuing to provide a free event has proven an immense challenge. That challenge is exacerbated when combined with JAMF’s desire to maximize our spending on your product development and support.

When I joined JAMF nearly one year ago, the first improvement I wanted to make was to maximize our investment in product development. In fact, at JNUC 2015, I promised you that JAMF would grow its research and development organization by 60% year-over-year by March 2016. Now that March 2016 has come and gone, I am pleased to report that we have surpassed this goal and grown our product development by 100% since the same time last year.

The result of this growth will be directed toward more new product capabilities delivered with higher levels of quality in 2016 than any year in JAMF history. I can tell you now that in 2016, JAMF will deliver substantial improvements in cloud computing, enterprise integration, scalability and performance, patch management, classroom and school management, usability — for both IT admins and self-service users, and of course, support for the latest Apple releases on the day they become generally available. And you will be able to see and touch all of this new functionality at JNUC 2016.

Proof of our increased product development is already visible with the release of Casper Suite 9.9 on March 31st. As you know, Apple recently announced iOS 9.3, which includes many new features like Managed Home Screen Layout and Managed Lost Mode, as well as substantial functionality to serve the education market like Classroom app and Shared iPad. I am pleased to tell you, with Casper Suite 9.9, JAMF is first in the market to support all of this new functionality, as well as adding iOS and OS X capabilities independent of iOS 9.3. Casper Suite 9.9 represents the first of several feature-packed releases we have planned for 2016, which is possible because of our increased investment in research and development.

With all of this development, rest assured, I still stand firm in the commitment I made to you at last year’s JNUC: At JAMF, quality is more important than time. To support this commitment, our development processes have been bolstered to make sure that products are truly ready when we make them available to you.

Now, back to the topic of JNUC. Last year, I enjoyed meeting and speaking with many of you. In each discussion, I asked, “What about JNUC is valuable to you?” Predominately, you told me relationships and content from customers. However, you also told me you’d like more content from JAMF. You wanted topics to go deeper. Some of you long-time Casper Suite experts felt you had seen everything, and wanted a deeper technical understanding and visibility not only into what Casper Suite does, but what it will do in the future.

Considering this, we are committed to provide you greater information, training, and value than ever before. At JNUC 2016, in addition to customer presentations, JAMF employees will offer tracks that provide education on:

  • All new functionality offered in 2016
  • All functionality in planning and development for 2017
  • Deep dive technical sessions delivered by JAMF’s team of experts

In addition, JAMF will offer shuttle services to visit our new headquarters in Minneapolis and participate in our new usability lab — where you will have an opportunity to direct the user experience for future product. And we will offer simultaneous Casper Suite certification courses through JAMF Education Services, giving course attendees the opportunity to attend JNUC keynotes and social events at no cost. Our registration site will contain details regarding all of these plans. In short, JNUC 2016 will be the best single week of Casper Suite training available anywhere.

We understand the JNUC fee may cause some past participants to miss the 2016 event. We deeply regret this. While the size and scope for JNUC may cause a short-term logistics problem, we are excited about turning the challenge into an opportunity to improve your experience. Our JAMF team plans to over-deliver on the promise of content and experience I'm making in this post. In addition, we will offer complimentary passes to customers providing presentations at JAMF. This incentive will attract case studies on the best and most innovative Casper Suite implementations in the world.

Regardless of whether JNUC is free or for fee, only a small subset of JAMF Nation is able to attend each year. At JAMF, our first investment priority is development and support of product that impacts 100% of JAMF Nation. With the new changes, we will be able to grow JNUC in the future without limitation and deliver you the best event and product experience possible.

In closing, for those able to attend JNUC 2016, my hope and plan is that you'll say, other than purchasing Casper Suite, it was the best JAMF investment you ever made.

Thank you,

153 REPLIES 153


Thanks for the heads up, Dean. Looking forward to it!

Contributor III

Wow. Never been, and now never going to.
Between travel costs and registration, that would now sink my PD budget for the entire year.

Honored Contributor II
Honored Contributor II

Totally understand. The size, scale, content and community at JNUC more than justifies a fee. I'll look forward to seeing everyone this year!

Valued Contributor

Oh no!

Valued Contributor

I'll probably have more thoughts on this later..

On one hand, any change is hard to accept. While this would probably put it on par with the rest of the Apple admin community conferences in terms of face value price, it is unfortunate to see the impact on the EDU field, especially as many have already set their budgets for the next year.

On the other hand, something like Microsoft Ignite is $2200 plus room and transportation. If the content of JNUC begins to evolve, include more technical sessions, labs, certification classes, more speakers, it's hard for the price to remain the same.

Release Candidate Programs Tester

Regrettably, the timing on this change may mean a lot of JAMF customers in education may not be able to attend JNUC 2016 now. A number of budgets may have included the assumption that going to JNUC 2016 cost $0 (plus travel costs), like in previous years. Those prospective attendees may not be able to include in those budgets the extra costs now associated with purchasing a conference ticket. Even the ones that can may wind up paying a higher ticket cost because of the lengthly approval process that many educational institutions have to deal with.

Would it be possible to offer different rates, depending on assumed budget limits? PyCon has a model for this which has worked well for them:


Valued Contributor III

In my current situation, I simply cannot afford this. I've had to self fund every JNUC i've been to.

Flights vary around the $600 for me alone. Hotel, even if I AirBnB things again that's another $200. Food, travel and this. That's a lot of money just to get there and around. Just not financially viable for me for the foreseeable future.

Valued Contributor

I agree with @rtrouton. This could have a huge impact on Edu participants. When the cost of the conference was zero (or close to zero), it wasn't hard to justify the cost of a flight and hotel room. Now, we have to add at the minimum $500 to this overall cost and it could be difficult to justify. And I work for a prestigious independent school with an actual budget for PD and conferences. I know many of my public school colleagues are going to have a very hard time reconciling the increase in cost.

But, nor should JAMF have to pick up the entire cost of the conference. I've been quite surprised for years that it remained free but always assumed that the higher-than-average licensing cost for Casper allowed for JAMF to put on a conference for its customers.

I'd like to see a kind of financial aid process that would account for different budget levels. I probably wouldn't use or quality for any financial aid myself, but I worry about attending a conference where the audience has been pared to only orgs that can afford to attend.

Valued Contributor

Regrettable, but still sounds like a fantastic bargain compared to other such conferences. Does mean that I'll likely have to chose between JNUC and the PSU MacAdmins conference, doubt I can get approval for both, but completely understandable in my opinion.

Legendary Contributor III

@deanhager, thanks for the update on JNUC 2016!
Honestly, I'm surprised JAMF was able to keep the JNUC free for as long as you guys did. It can't be cheap to host something the size of the conference as its been, at least within the last 2 years as it grew quite substantially.

On the other hand, its a little unfortunate it needed to jump to $500+. Going from $0 to $500 comes across as a little bit of a steep jump, even though in reality its still pretty reasonable when compared to other conferences. I think however, had it gone to $300 or $400 for this year, then went up a little each year, it might have been more palatable in the long run. The "free" aspect was always a selling point when I had put in the request to attend with my employer - basically an immediate approval since they knew the cost would only be airfare, hotel and some food expenses. I'm not certain where this will land things for some folks now, including myself, so it will be interesting to see.

Still, JNUC's a fantastic week, there's little arguing that. Assuming I don't have other commitments again this year during that timeframe that prevent me from going, I'm going to try to register to attend.

Valued Contributor

While I fully respect the decision to begin charging, I find the timing to be very troublesome. This change, and the timing of it, will make it very difficult for much of your core target audience to be able to attend, myself included. Like @damienbarrett, I fear what the conference will become after alienating so many.

New Contributor II

I must echo the Education folks as most of us budget a year in advance and are lucky to get those funds encumbered by January of the next year. That said, $500-600 per person is a rather difficult fee to eat up, especially when your budget is tight as is and your wallet holder is extremely fiscally responsible.

That said, one of two things will probably happen with regards to my organization - My co-administrator would not be able to attend and I am the only one to attend since the budget was pre-approved without the registration fee. The other (although highly unlikely) would be that my wallet holder consumes too many alcoholic beverages and shockingly agrees to pay the registration costs while still allowing my co-administrator to attend. I am more than likely seeing option #1 to be more realistic.

I am hoping that there is some sort of a follow-up to this for Education folks, though highly unlikely.

New Contributor II

Well @deanhager, just like most of the other members of JAMF Nation who work in education, I'm sad to say that I will more than likely not be able to attend this year due to the attendance fee. This announcement was made really too close to budget deadlines (our FY16-17 budget is already submitted) and trying to find another $500 in our training budget is probably not going to happen.

While I understand the need for the fee (JNUC has grown and needs more room/infrastructure), I wish that this announcement was made earlier so education could plan for it accordingly. I'm currently writing an email my Executive Director to notify him of this change and hope that something can be done.

Contributor II

I do understand why the charge I do expect it will not be as crowded this year. While I was able to justify the expense before it will be a lot harder now. Not sure I will be making it this year.

Legendary Contributor III

Hmm. It never occurred to me how this would affect EDU customers, since I'm not in that sector, but have to agree. With already constrained budgets, its likely the EDU conference attendee numbers will drop precipitously. That's very unfortunate. One of the great things about JNUC has always been its ability to draw in Casper users from all areas, not just large enterprise customers, and even people globally due to the free cost in the past. And heck, I've even met a few potential Casper Suite customers, as in, not yet users, but hoping to find out more before making the jump. The new attendee fee will probably keep potential customers away since its not likely many will be able to justify spending the extra money just to see if its the right solution for them.
I guess what I'm saying is, this could actually affect pulling in future JAMF customers. Impossible to know for sure of course, but its a possibility.

Honored Contributor

I actually attended the JNUC in 2010 as a non-customer (I was only exposed to Composer at the time). Ultimately, the university I was at didn't buy in, but it was a very interesting tool for sure and one that I pushed harder for because I was able to see what it could offer. Had the conference cost money I definitely wouldn't have gone so there may be an effect on potential customers. A shame the timing on this announcement will effect customers. I guess those are just the growing pains of changes though.


It's likely I've been to my last JNUC with this announcement. Even if budgeted which it won't be, just the manner in which our district handles PO's. It could start the process in this date range, and not get approved until another date range. Typically my cost was less then the third tier registration, which then doubles my cost now.

Guess my next question is..is how much are my seats going to cost me now at renewal time.

Contributor III
Contributor III

@deanhager Thanks for the post! Will organizations participating in the Training Pass be offered any sort of incentive or discount for JNUC 2016?

New Contributor II

Bummer... Can I still show up for the Bottle Share?

Contributor II

I understand the need to expand however this is unfortunate to hear. I would have to echo what other edu customers have been saying, going to JNUC was always an easy sell because it was free in the past. @mahughe your question about seat costs also came to mind especially when you are talking about 10,000+ licenses.

Release Candidate Programs Tester

Little steep for K-12's. Used to be an easy sell to administration 'FREE', now, not so much.

Valued Contributor

I echo many of the statements about how surprising it is that JNUC has been free for so long. My only complaint is, even if I was able to get approval to attend this year, I could get the approval through our system/processes in 30 days.

I really wish JAMF would extend the timeline for early registration so the $499 price was at least 45-60 days out.

New Contributor II

Will the sessions still be recorded and posted online later, like in past years? Or will there be a fee to get access to them?

New Contributor III

I echo many of the other EDU customers. I wouldn't even be able to get this approved until after July 1. This means I wouldn't be able to get the early pricing, even though I plan on attending this year. I hope we can extend that pricing a little more.

Legendary Contributor III

@brockma9 JAMF will of course need to respond, but I highly doubt there would be a fee to see the sessions online later. That would kind of be adding salt into a wound to do that. As has already been posted by @deanhager JAMF isn't looking to reap profits from this, just cover their costs so they can devote more of it to actual development in the product, which basically all of us have been clamoring for the last several years. And it sounds like we will be getting a good dose of this year!

Just wanted to say though, I'm with @mconners on the shortness of the early registration being problematic. Had JAMF been charging all along for JNUC and most of us already had a recurring line item in the budget to attend the conference, it probably wouldn't be too much an issue, but dropping this on us and expecting people to scramble to meet the early reg deadline in the next 30 days to get the lower cost seems a bit unfair. I can foresee scenarios where customers attempt to push this through, but due to the inherent slowness of budget bureaucracies and approvals, just slightly miss the deadline and the price jumps $100, making it less likely to get approved.
I can understand JAMF's need to have early registration fees in so they can determine how much they can spend on the conference, but I hope that JAMF will make a surprise announcement that they will be extending the early registration to end of May or beginning of June, so another few weeks to a month.

New Contributor

A link to pictures with your fancy new office in the same post about charging a substantial (from free to $500 up to $1000) fee for your conference....

Too bad, I really enjoyed going in the past years but understand that it could be very expensive to run.

Does charging for the conference mean better WiFi?

New Contributor III

What effect will this have on Mini-Events? Will you still be posting Session Videos on the web?

Contributor II

We literally just mentioned this to the boss man and he said he'd have to wait until he sees his budget for next year - so we're probably already in the $800 or higher range. And that's not likely to end well for us in Edu. Sad to say that my 4-year JNUC streak has probably come to an end!

I suspect attendance will transition to mostly private businesses and maybe some private schools sprinkled in. Hopefully we can still view the sessions from our offices back home.

New Contributor III


Valued Contributor II

While the main knee jerk reaction is the cost, you did state that last year we maxed out capacity and needed more space, and out of that, JAMF needs to pass on the cost...

During JNUC 2015, you also witnessed first hand, after six years, we have now hit capacity in our current venue at the Guthrie Theatre. Yet JAMF is adding more than two thousand new customers every year. To accommodate this growth, and your desire for even more educational sessions, JNUC requires additional space — which of course requires more investment.

Yet it's still at the Guthrie, despite the cost being passed on.

I am pleased to announce that on April 6, 2016, the registration site will launch for the 2016 JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC). For the sixth consecutive year, we will host JNUC at the historic Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 18-20, 2016.

Contributor II

I am not in EDU so budgeting for us is different but I have to say that $499 for the JNUC is more than fair.

Contributor III

Our budget requests for '16-'17 had to be submitted already, so I guess I'm out as well.

Contributor II

@deanhager Will JAMF still post session videos post conference, and will there be a charge for them?

New Contributor III

Yes @lashomb , our intent is to post the videos post conference as we have done in the past. And we do NOT plan to charge for them :) I only have one caveat to this. During JNUC 2016, we will likely have double the number of sessions we've had in the past. In addition to the customer sessions, which we would post as normal, we will have a mix of sessions offered by JAMF employees. This will be made up of (1) new product offerings; (2) future product offerings; and (3) technical deep dives. While we haven't come to conclusion on exactly which sessions would be posted, we will likely be most sensitive to posting #2, future product offerings. Plus, of course, it will be difficult to duplicate in video the hands-on access that attendees will have :)

Valued Contributor III

Rules me out..I do admire that it was free for so long. Our k-12 district cannot justify $499, when we spent in March for CJA class. EDU scholarships sound great or even $250 for edu would be palatable...I would even self fund at $250...barring that, I may have to sit out this year.@deanhager , will videos still be posted?

New Contributor III

This seems like an unfortunate move and like others have suggested it will likely favor those from larger organizations who have the professional development funds to cover it. It is well out of reach for many of the attendees in edu or who self-fund their trip or who just have much smaller professional development budgets. Whereas these attendees might be the ones who could benefit most from the content and resources at JNUC.

What also doesn't really add up is how "JNUC requires more space" and there is a need to "pass on the cost" but yet it is being held at the same venue again this year. Although I have to agree that the new office space looks great and 2,000 new customers per year seems like an incredible amount of growth.

I think some kind of tiered pricing structure where sponsors and "corporate" attendees can help offset the cost for others as well as provide financial aid options (and maybe students rates) would be a great benefit to the wider Apple IT community. As the number of large Apple IT conferences has decreased, I've noticed that I'm seeing more and more familiar faces, which an awesome thing but I'd also like to see new faces too!

With the loss of the IT track at WWDC and MacWorld/MacIT I think it opens up a great opportunity to spin-up more local groups and conferences related to Apple in education and the enterprise but I hope the organizers don't forget about keeping their events accessible to the widest range of attendees who would could really benefit from it.

Valued Contributor II

Seriously: Since the move to the Guthrie, JAMF paid MANY thousands of dollars just for food I'm sure (cuz it's awesome), not to mention everything else.
How many people did you meet who just wandered around there for three days BECAUSE the food is great, beats workin' and why not, it's free?
Locally, especially.
I'm thankful it was free for this long, and look forward to the added space down at the new headquarters for hands-on labs and if the crowds are a little smaller, I will not mind.

Valued Contributor III

In my heart I'm with @Sandy on her position. JNUC is totally worth $499. Even the food is great! That being said, $499 proves to be a high sticker price when I have to fight hard to get the travel and time off approved by a school board. If I could get the sticker price down to $250 or $300, I might have a shot...at $500, it's doubtful.

New Contributor III

This sucks even more so for those overseas AND Edu, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. Flights and lodgings were prohibitive as it was, but now I will struggle to justify this cost :(

It looks like I'll have to give X World a shot this year.