The Fall is a common time of year for annual user conferences. Salesforce.com had their Dreamforce conference recently and I know of many more happening now or shortly (Hannon Hill and Pardot). User conferences are an amazing time to bring together customers, prospects, partners, and employees to spend time face-to-face and talk about best practices, the past year, and what’s on the horizon.
For companies thinking about or doing an annual user conference, here are some notes:
- Splurge for a great venue — with people traveling to the conference it’s important to invest in the facility and make it memorable (I highly recommend auditorium-type seating with power outlets and great wifi for everyone)
- Find ways for attendees to intermingle and meet new people (mixers, receptions, consistent Twitter hash tags, etc)
- Give the conference a consistent name (user conference, users conference, user’s conference, or users’ conference — it doesn’t matter as long as it’s consistent)
- Put the attendees first name in big letters on their badge (it’s common for the first and last name to be the same size and hard to read amidst all the other text on the badge)
- Let customers do most of the talking and presenting during the sessions (avoid the tendency to have employees do most of the presentation)
Annual user conferences are great way to bring an eco-system together and I highly recommend them.
What else? What are some other notes from user conferences you’ve attended?