A Successful First Community Conference in Chicago!
On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, SmartSimple hosted our first community conference in Chicago. Held at the offices of the Chicago Community Trust, the day was jam-packed with informative and interactive sessions involving both the SmartSimple team, current clients and people looking to learn more about what we’re all about.
|COO Mike Reid talks about our machine learning tool, Janus.|
“I was really excited to see a full house,” says Sarah Harris, Operations Manager at SmartSimple. “We’d never done anything like this outside of Toronto, Canada, so we were thrilled at the level of interest!”
The purpose of the conference was twofold – it gave our team the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions with current and prospective users, and it provided a networking opportunity for those in the Chicago granting community, opening doors and making introductions. “It was great that the people who came out were not just interested in what they could lean and share with us, but also interested in looking for ways to stay connected to each other outside of conferences like this,” adds Sarah.
Also along for the ride were COO Mike Reid, President Cameron McLean, Director of Strategic Accounts Todd Lapin, and Technical Community Manager Eric Lauer, who facilitated the various sessions throughout the conference.
|President Cameron McLean talks to attendees.|
Discussion was lively throughout the day. Everyone was very eager to share their thoughts and experiences. “Since it was a mix of current and – hopefully! – future users, talks tended to focus on how people are using our software, lessons learned and new ideas for future upgrades. Current clients were happy to share their best practices with those currently implementing – or considering implementing – our solution, offering tips and tricks they’ve picked up along the way,” continues Sarah.
One of the highlights was the opportunity to show off our soon to be released “email anything” upgrade, which everyone was excited to learn about. There was even a contest, with attendees offering up their suggestions of what this new feature should be called. We’ll let you know soon what we picked!
“The best part was having the opportunity to hear firsthand exactly what this specific community needs to succeed and how we’re helping them achieve those needs,” concludes Sarah, “I specifically love hearing how different organizations have worked to get outside users onboard and excited about using SmartSimple.”