Why Should You Never Miss User Conferences?

If you’ve been to one or even maybe two user conferences, why should you make the investment to come again?

“It’s been so amazingly helpful. So well put together, so on the mark with everything.” says Cynthia McConnell, JCC Metro West.

We fully admit to the reasons you give for considering skipping this year.

  1. We do some similar content from year to year.
  2. We have some of the same activities from year to year.
  3. Some of the same people attend.
  4. Face-to-face time with support team members is at a premium.
  5. We charge a fee for our user conference.

But here’s the truth: The reasons that we’ve heard for not attending the user conference are actually reasons you should be attending.

Here are facts to support this.

#1 – Similar content

Each time we present similar content, we include updates and enhancements that we’ve made to particular areas of the software. We also include tips for unique circumstances or shortcuts that we’ve learned from you.  In other words, we change up the sessions each year with newly-discovered nuances and new enhancements.

You may also get new benefits from similar content – depending on what you’re focused on in any particular year.

Let’s say that you’re in the eCommerce session. (Side note: We ALWAYS have an eCommerce session because it is the area of our software you ask the most questions about.) You may have been focused on learning more about improving how you post tuition fees last year, whereas, this year, you may be concerned about the new scanner update that is coming later in the year.

So you sat through similar eCommerce sessions but reaped different benefits from them.

Third-year attendee Drenna Plunkett (Twyman) from Sandhills Academy of Gymnastics shared that “In just 2 hours, I learned 4 new things that I had no idea Jackrabbit was able to do to benefit me and my job.”

Lisa Duckworth sees tremendous value in the User Conference because it is when she can learn the parts of the system that she could be using but doesn’t have time to learn in the midst of her business daily routine. “Attending User Conference gives me insight into parts of Jackrabbit I’m not familiar with on a daily basis.”

#2 – Same activities

We repeat activities from year to year because you’ve told us they work. We have requests each year to continue round tables, one-on-ones, and open mic sessions. We have requests to make time when customers can just sit around a table together and get to know each other and talk about their businesses.

These requests make the decision to continue several of our core activities outside of our learning sessions. We stand back and watch the magic happen as groups of customers at their round tables talk about how they use Jackrabbit and how Jackrabbit saves them time and increases enrollment. We also see  customers lingering at  tables after dinner with our Support staff, deep in conversation resolving a challenge or finding a way around something unique the customers need to do.

These sessions can also be vastly different from year to year because they are driven by what you ask.

Jeremy Limberger of Tumbebus Central described the value he got from his first year as an attendee: “At the conference last year, we talked to people who would say ‘what are you doing? You’re wasting so much time! These are the things you need to do.’ We did them and we saved time, increased profits and retainability with customers. It has changed our lives, really.”

Drenna from Sandhills continues her comments “I come because I’m learning, learning, learning constantly. And that makes me a better employee, makes my job better and makes our business function so much easier.”

#3 – See the same people

This is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a huge plus!

Talking to other users about how you each use Jackrabbit is one of the #1 reasons customers attend – and love – user conferences.

But even better than a single conversation in one year, is the continued conversation threads that develop by seeing the same folks year after year. You continuously help by comparing and showing each other how you leverage Jackrabbit for specific needs.

We fully admit that you learn easier from each other. So we’re happy when we see one customer teaching another a really cool way that they can do something that will help them out tremendously.

Please don’t discount the value of this. If you’re not seeing benefits from conference conversations with other Jackrabbit users, perhaps you’re not talking enough at the conference.

Courtney Bromwich from Sawnee School of Ballet notes the value of learning with her peers. “It’s extremely valuable to be here with other studio owners and gym owners. Everybody’s dealing with the same issues and problems and have some good solutions to offer.”

Mitzi Perkins and Jeremy Limberger of Tumblebus Central Alabama love User Conference because “People are always helping you figure it all out! We get to talk to like-minded people in the same business and pull ideas from those who do exactly what you do.”

#4 – Limited one-on-one time with Support

Our Support team is always busy at user conferences. There is no way to avoid it. Every year we add more opportunities and every year the time slots are filled. Our Support team members even use dinners and evening sessions with folks so that they don’t leave with unanswered questions.

They set up post-conference phone calls or plan site visits.

So needless to say, if you express a need, someone will make sure that you have a way to get your questions answered.

Kathryn Torres of JCC Metro West described the value of the one-on-one: “The 45 minute one-on-one with a support team member was invaluable. We were able to send questions ahead of time so she could prepare for us and we were able to build on those things to learn more.”

Haleigh Pritchett from Fusion Dance Company noted, “The fact that they are spending quality time with us and breaking down every step that we need is so beneficial to us as customers.”

#5 – Conference cost

Once upon a time, we did not charge for our user conferences. But that taught us that it’s much more challenging to provide things like printed conference guides, copies of presentations and amazing content when there are absolutely no fees coming in. Our intent with our fee is to cover what we spend to host conferences. Truth is, we never break even because we always want to provide you with the best experience possible and keep the cost something that we feel like most of you can afford.

Our charge is far below what most software-related conferences cost. If we went back to free conferences, we would have to reduce our cost to provide it and we don’t want to limit who we can have at the conference or the materials we can provide to you.

Gina Smith from Miller Street Dance Academy in Jackrabbit’s headquarters city of Charlotte NC, notes that “I always look to see when there is going to be another training in our area. It’s well worth the time and the money. There’s just so much information there.”

First-timer, Lauren Lorentz de Haas of Triangle Youth Ballet on coming again, “I have to come back to another conference because I’ve learned a lot about what I don’t know.”

There is no doubt that our user conferences help customers of all levels.

  • New users learn so much from seasoned users and seasoned users learn from each other.
  • Everyone learns something new each year from our sessions or from our service provider partners who are at the conference.
  • Most everyone we hear from can name what made the conference worth the cost. Whether it’s learning from another customer about setting up a report in a specific way, learning how a new feature in post tuitions fees will reduce time it takes posting fees even more, or learning that our payroll partner’s services will save them an amazing amount of time and money, most attendees see savings (or more revenues) for their business that double, triple, or quadruple the actual cost of attending the user conference.
  • Most attendees return to home full of new ideas, great solutions to challenges and lots of Bunny love – and maybe even a cool bunny item that they found on their conference room chair at the conference!

Conference attendees from dance studios, gyms, swim schools, cheer gyms, music schools, performing arts schools, and learning centers talked to us about what they find so appealing and so valuable about our user conferences. Click the links below to hear directly from some of our clients about the benefits gained from attending a user conference.

Importance of the Jackrabbit User Conference

Why Attend the Jackrabbit User Conference

User Conference Continues to Educate

Jackrabbit Changed the Way We Do Business

If this sounds like a Jackrabbit love-feast, it is. We love our customers and we love helping our customers love their software even more. And that’s what the user conference is all about.

About the Author:

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After studying graphic design at the University of Georgia, Jill held several positions in media and marketing including Art Director, Editor and Marketing Director. As a student of dance, she has spent plenty of time in children’s activity centers and puts that experience to work for her in the work she does with Jackrabbit. In addition to her interest in dance, Jill also enjoys sports, gourmet cooking, entertaining, singing and spoiling her five grandchildren.

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