According to technology analyst group, Forrester, trade shows and events are ranked as the second most effective marketing investment behind your company’s website. The events referred to in that ranking include user conferences.
User conferences are a special event focused on one set of users of one software solution. These two facts alone give the conference its own significance that sets it apart from other professional events.
It is all about the product, and, most importantly, you.
User conferences aren’t simply about the “how-to-use” the product but offer several different learning opportunities for you and your staff like:
- Hands-on training
- Basic and advanced workshops or sessions
- Round tables
- Peer discussions
- Software demonstrations
- Professional development
- One-on-one consultations
And most of all, user conferences are fun! Especially when they are hosted in a lively destination city, like Las Vegas.
Jackrabbit’s BOOST West Conference is held every year in Las Vegas and our clients look forward to coming back year after year.
Because of how critical software is to you and your organization, every user conference should focus on four goals.
Top 4 goals when attending a user conference
The biggest motivation for attending.
A user conference provides opportunities for all types of learning: learning the software; learning from other users; learning from product demonstrations; and learning from software partners. A user conference should be a great value – big bang for your buck.
Of course, this also means that you must be engaged to reap the benefits. Leave the distractions aside and focus on the sessions in front of you – you get out what you put in!
The most popular reason for attending.
Networking is where the fun happens at a user conference. Meeting new people in your industry sector – and other sectors, too – and reconnecting with those you already know is inspiring and exciting.
There’s also the huge benefit of getting to know your software provider’s team members face-to-face.
The newest reason for attending.
Social media has changed everything. Whether you know it or not, you are constantly looking for content to use on different social media channels to set your business apart, to appeal to your potential new families and to educate the families you serve.
Content can come from any and every conversation and session that you have at a user conference. Stay receptive to the content you’re exposed to and the new ideas that it presents.
The right content will separate you from your competitors and will give you a competitive advantage within your industry sector. Even talking about the experience you’re having at the user conference can increase your visibility.
The most critical reason for attending.
Attending a user conference and then keeping all of the great information you learn to yourself is wasteful for you and your organization. Hoarding the information definitely reduces the ROI of your attendance and limits your ability to put what you’ve learned to good use.
It also keeps others in your organization from benefiting from your experience. You are the conduit between the conference knowledge and your organization. The sharing part is that important – really. Use the responsibility of bringing valuable information back to others to inspire you to learn even more.
Focus on the goals
Because the user conference is focused on you and the product, it’s important that the company offering the conference lines up speakers and presenters who can honor the four “goals” above. It shouldn’t be about the star power of celebrity names over providing the best possible content through speakers attendees can identify with.
The user conference is a sacred time for you, the user. Everyone and everything about the event is there for your benefit. It’s simply your job to be a sponge so that you can gain every possible benefit from the software.
User conferences are a benefit to the host as well. Software companies (like Jackrabbit) who offer such events, are showing that they are invested in their clients’ success. Not simply as users, but as professionals and leaders of their businesses.
Jackrabbit team members take in what they learn from clients through the conference to make the software even better. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Interested in attending Jackrabbit’s user conference?