Few days ago I attended one of our technology partner’s user conference with content, engagement, learning tips and gamification on the agenda. I have to say, it was quite efficient.
One of the drivers was to have people in the room engage with each other. I couldn’t agree more on the importance of communication within the attendees. These kind of events hold as much value in the attendees as it does in the speaker chair. However, if you don’t facilitate the engagement there can be a big gap. While the attendees are all using the same tool the versatility of the software, one like etouches for example, can lead customers to achieve a different goal with different means.
The attendees need guidance from the speakers on how to use the software to the best of its’ abilities for their needs. However, sometimes that is easier said than done.
Expertise is Granular
As human beings we seek improvement. That’s been our driver since the beginning of our existence.
Attending this user conference, I was looking for answers to my day-to-day challenges by asking; what can I do better and what are some new options? I was seeking expertise from people that understand my problems and could grant me some solutions.
Instead, what I found is that expertise is very granular. My fellow attendees were limited in their use of the software and were still facing huge challenges. The speakers on the other hand, were over knowledgeable on the software capabilities but had a disconnect on some basic needs of the user.
Disconnect is Vast
When the gamification took place (they asked us to build a small case study, based on guidelines given, while using the software) the disconnect was clearly shown and the urgency to fill the gap.
The idea of the exercise was to show what the software can do, which is the right goal, but I was shocked by the under performance of the attendees. Guys, software is our ecosystem! How can you afford not to embrace that? People were only using 20% of the capabilities, when they should be using at least 75%.
Would you buy a 10 room house if only two people are going to live there ? No, that sounds like a luxury to me. In comparison, would you buy a software platform if you are only going to use one function of it? You shouldn’t, but people continue to do so. The event game is changing with new technology, so dive in, but don’t buy software if you are only going to scratch the surface of it. You won’t feel the gain.
Connections Need to be Made
The bright side is that our industry is now willing to move to the next stage of technology with a lot of courses and training offers from vendors, professional institutes and even universities.
Our young professionals, so called millennials, are already living and breathing with technology. That is something that event event organizer should take into account. Figure out how to build the necessary expertise between the event process with veterans’ knowledge and technology with millennials’ skills. This process will take a joint effort with vendors and clients working together to build it.
Moral of the story: expect to be an expert.
Focus on these four takeaways and you will be on your way to becoming an expert of your software:
1. Set Goals: You need to make sure that you set your expectations before you purchase anything. Ask yourself: what goals, metrics or challenges do I want my software to accomplish? This will ensure that you are investing in the best software for your needs.
2. Combining with your Ecosystem: When you purchase new software you need to know how it is going to impact your current environment. For example, if you purchase etouches Pro and use eBudget it may affect your finance department. You need to think of these things ahead of time and figure out how to combine your new tools with your current ecosystem in place.
3. Get Training: You need to know how to properly use your product and use all of it. Make sure you spend the right amount of time training with your team on how to use every aspect of the software. Picking one person to be your “leader” of the software will also be helpful when others have questions.
4. Connect with Users: Other people are using the same tool that you are, so use that to your advantage and connect with them. Many vendors now set up times for users to get together and learn new techniques from each other. Being able to connect with other users may have you start to think of different ways that you can use your software to benefit your company.
Have you ever had a similar experience happen to you? What guidelines did you follow to become an expert of your software? Tell us below!
Written by: Nicola Rossetti