We’re deep into the process of planing our annual user’s conference. I really underestimated the power and importance of user’s conferences before we put on our first one a few years ago. There’s something incredibly powerful about spending a day or two with customers, learning how different clients use your product, and talking about the future vision. It really is a great morale builder and helps nurture and deepen relationships.
Here are a few general items we think about as part of our user’s conference planning:
- Charge a reasonable fee that barely covers costs but still allows for a great event
- The venue is extremely important and should be recently renovated and professional (don’t skimp on the venue!)
- Have as many clients speak as possible — customers love to learn from other customers
- Provide a back channel for clients to communicate including a Twitter hashtag
- Line up the conference dates at least six months in advance and solicit speakers for the agenda
- Get partners/resellers involved in addition to customers and employees
- Include a happy hour or field trip to help foster relationships
- Buy the best internet access you can afford and get backup options like 4G wireless
- Make it fun!
What else? Have you been to a user’s conference that was especially memorable?