When I headed to TotalConnection 2013, I didn’t know what to expect. Sure, I’d attended many conferences in my career, but this marked my first vendor-hosted user conference, and boy, what an amazing difference!
Perhaps I’m biased, as SumTotal’s customer communications manager, but I think it’s our customers that make this event standout.
Here are my top 5 reasons, in no particular order:
- Customer Presentations: I got to hear firsthand from our customers of the creative ways they’re addressing their HR and human capital management (HCM) challenges, and specifically how they’re using our technologies to achieve their goals. From keynotes from Praxair and Howden (view case study) to breakout sessions from Lowe’s and City of Boise, it was great to see the excitement customers felt in sharing their stories and the engagement from the audience in learning new ideas. This year’s agenda is shaping up to be equally, if not more, informative and entertaining.
- Customer Videos: There’s nothing I like better than having an opportunity to share our customers’ successes, and I’m grateful that many customers feel the same. A handful of them, including McAfee, Good Samaritan Society and Tokyo Electron, sat down with me in front of a camera to talk about their business challenges and how they’ve overcome them. View other customer videos.
- Customer Innovation Awards: You can’t be in the HR business and not understand the importance of recognizing people for a job well done. That’s the idea behind SumTotal’s Innovation Awards. Last year’s 20 finalists and six winners, including Duke Energy and Univar, demonstrated how to create outstanding value with HR programs and technologies. I can’t wait to see the variety of submissions we get this year. Submit your application before August 18.
- Customer Appreciation Event: Who doesn’t want to unwind a bit after several information-packed days? Last year we celebrated our final evening at BB Kings – the photos say it all. This year, prepare for an awesome beachside “Cirque du SumTotal” celebration. Circus/street performance acts with the smell and sound of the ocean? I can’t wait!
- Customer Connections: I think you’ll be hard pressed to find an event more aptly named than TotalConnection, because that was the real value I took away. It offers fantastic opportunities to connect with peers, customers, partners and SumTotal executives and experts.
In a world in which relationships are increasingly built virtually by phone and the Internet, there’s something to be said about having a chance to put a face to the name. I had the pleasure of doing just that with dozens of customers last year. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with them and making even more connections this October. I hope to see you in Miami!