With the Amazon Web Services annual conference last week (see the TechCrunch article), and all the great enhancements they announced, it reminded me of the power of an annual user conference to catalyze internal teams. There’s nothing like a hard and fast date to sharpen the focus and rally the team. Once a critical mass of customers is reached — say 200 — every software company should run an annual user conference.
Here are a few thoughts on different internal departments and an annual user conference:
- Sales – Annual conferences are a great event for prospects and partners to both build rapport and close more deals. The human element of hearing success stories and meeting happy customers is incredibly powerful.
- Customer Success – Most customer success teams help customers over the phone and the Internet without a face-to-face component. The annual user conference provides a mechanism to connect the sound of someone’s voice to the actual person, and build the relationship further.
- Product Development – Engineering teams often struggle the most with hard deadlines and deliverables as product development is part art and science. An annual user conference is one of the best ways to get the engineering team focused on a major upgrade.
Annual user conferences are a great way to build community and focus the internal departments with a firm deadline. Entrepreneurs would do well to incorporate an annual user conference once they have modest scale.
What else? What are some thoughts on annual user conferences to catalyze internal departments?