It was a pleasure to have Howard Dresner, the founder and CEO of Dresner Advisory and a highly regarded software industry analyst, join us for our 2019 Prophix Conference in Nashville a few weeks ago. He attended both as a presenter and as an observer interested learning more about our product and customers. Howard had overwhelmingly positive things to say about the event. He summed it up by saying, “the difference between Prophix and others in this space is that your customers clearly actually like you!”. That sentiment was echoed by many at the conference. The comments and feedback from customers, prospects, partners, special guests and staff was practically unanimous in its positivity. 99% of the audience rated the conference as a 4 or greater out of 5, and 99% said they would encourage others to attend next year given their experience.
All the Elements Came Together Seamlessly
There are a lot of different factors to consider in holding a successful conference – the logistics and theming, agenda and content, speakers and sponsors, and last but not least the attendees. The reason the feedback for this years event was so strong is directly related to how well all of these elements came together. The venue and the set-up was really well suited to being able to mingle, connect and socialize. Nashville as a location contributed to that feeling in being a fun place that was easy to get around, with a lot to do and see.
Reframing the Usual – “User Conference” to “Prophix Conference”
The event was based around our brand principle of “Reframe the Usual” and threaded throughout the various keynote and breakout presentations. The result was that the content felt connected with the various speakers referencing common key points and take-a-ways.
There were several parts to this event that involved us “reframing the usual”. We chose to have more external speakers present so that the content wasn’t only about Prophix and our technology but also provided a forum for an exchange of thought leadership on broader topics relevant to the audience.
Similarly, this year we reached out to various partners – Sage, RSM and AWS – and arranged to have them participate as sponsors. This helped to underscore that our customers are part of a broader, growing community of companies.
Another aspect highlighted at the conference was the CSP (Continuous Success Package). By providing “white-glove” treatment for CSP customers at the event we emphasized the added value this program provides to those that sign up.
Also new in 2019 was the involvement of prospects. For many organizations mixing prospects with customers can be a risky proposition. However, we realized that our existing customers are most often our strongest advocates and having prospects exposed to the overwhelmingly positive experiences of existing users would be a good thing and made sense to do.
At the end of the day this event was extremely positive because we reached a larger audience than ever before (480 attendees!), with content that resonated, in a setting and environment that fostered the building of an even stronger relationship. And as a result, this will have a real, material impact on our business, both in the near and longer term.
The Prophix Conference team is already starting work on plans for the 2020 event, one that will have an even larger, more diverse audience (i.e. customers, partners and prospects) while still retaining the key element Howard Dresner commented on as a differentiator for Prophix – the intimacy and genuine connection between our staff and our customers. Thanks to everyone on the Prophix team (you know who you are!) who worked so hard to make this event such a tremendous success.