How many conferences can one business actually justify? If you’re a vendor or consultant, you’ll be eagle-eyed, watching your inbox for the next “big event” in the tech world. But for many application and technology users, the constant stream of conference invitations can be a little overwhelming.
That said, with the rapid pace of change and innovation in the IT world, it's important to take advantage of opportunities to hear directly from our suppliers about their plans for future development and, more importantly, their commitment to supporting existing offerings. It also is hugely valuable to hear from other users of the same systems and learn from very different businesses how they are using and optimizing the same technology.
There’s another reason user conferences like COLLABORATE
and events like Oracle OpenWorld
are growing in importance: increasingly, businesses are inviting stakeholders from other disciplines to be involved with IT purchase decisions and implementation. Having a range of disciplines or departments represented at these major conferences can enable procurement or finance staff to pick up on ideas that pure IT people may miss as they circle the exhibit hall with tech-shaped goggles on!
How do you make the most of these events? When briefing delegates to attend, it's important to set objectives and expectations ahead of time. Sift through the agenda and ensure you’ve diarised all the key sessions you want to attend. Be sure to take notes, ask questions and request speakers’ presentations. Make sure your team members have a commitment and process for sharing what they learned, so the entire team benefits even as you divide and conquer the agenda. In the exhibit hall, take time to talk with suppliers who understand your challenges. (Pro tip: it’s OK to supply a secondary email address to vendors so as to have sales messages directed away from your main inbox.) At the same time, don’t try to do too much; 4-5 sessions a day is plenty for most mere mortals and will allow you to keep yourself fed, hydrated and rested. Learning can be hard work, and it’s hard to process new insights and make connections between concepts if you’re hungry and exhausted!
As a third-party independent software vendor, More4Apps attends events such as COLLABORATE and Oracle OpenWorld for all the reasons listed above, and for one other critical purpose: lead generation. There, we said it: we want to meet new customers. Quelle horreur! With 20 years’ experience working with Oracle EBS, the More4Apps team has developed a suite of clever end user products that add value and features for EBS at a fraction of the price of custom development or consultants. We’ll be at OpenWorld 2019, COLLABORATE 20 and other events for years to come, as they’re simply the best place to start a conversation with the customers we exist to serve.
I hope to see you there!
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About the Author
Derryn Brenan is a marketing manager with More4Apps. Derryn joined More4Apps after a 20-year career in advertising management. Her expertise is in multi-channel marketing strategy, and she also serves on the OATUG Communications Committee. www.more4apps.com.