Monday, November 9, 2015
Thanks to everyone who attended the first BRAINSTORM! What can I say? We were humbled by the numbers, the engagement and the feedback. We have not stopped talking about it in the office, with most of the discussion centering around what we need to do for the NEXT BRAINSTORM! I am barely getting caught up on sleep and we're chatting about round 2.
I spoke to FOUNDATION in my opening address, the foundations of our company, our service commitment, our product development and our overall philosophy. I think that our first full-blown user conference now has a solid foundation with BRAINSTORM 2015.
If you were not able to attend, here are some quick facts:
- we "sold out" (approx 150 attendees) at The Cathedral Centre (a unique conference venue in downtown Toronto)
- 24 sessions over 8 periods and 2 days
- a lot of one-on-one meetings
- a fun Open House at the CampBrain office on Weds night
- a packed, spirited night at Mill St. Brew House in the Distillery District
Here's a picture of the geograpic diversity of the crowd:
Here are some of the things I loved about the experience:
1. The one-on-one's - at some point, I looked around and saw about 8-9 one-on-one's happening, CB staff listening and personally helping people through their items. There is nothing quite like sitting down, looking at a screen together and working through an issue.
2. The opportunity for ALL CB staff to be involved - due to the proximity to our office, everyone got involved in some way. Planning for and participating in BRAINSTORM was a fun, engaging and inspiring process - it gave everyone at CB a huge boost.
3. Meeting everyone - Josh, Jeff and I get to meet many clients when we travel to conferences. For our support and product development crew, I cannot express the value in personally meeting you, our customers and friends. Seeing you, listening to a description, chatting through something together - nothing replaces the opportunity to do that in person.
4. Development team excitement - we had members of our development team in every session, listening, taking notes. Of course, they also led many sessions and enjoyed the social gatherings! That was enormously valuable and directly lead to the team deciding to complete a couple features and get a release out on Thanksgiving (US). They knew those features would make an impact right away and they wanted them in your hands ASAP!
We surveyed those who attended afterward and here are the rankings of various elements (on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest/best):
- Venue (4.5)
- Food (4.5)
- Social nights (4.7 for Weds and 4.2 for Thurs)
- Hotel (3.8)
- Valuable learning experience (4.5)
- Organized and well-run (4.7)
- Feeling cared for (4.8)
Finally, here were some of the comments from our survey:
"I appreciated the opportunity to meet up with my peers. Camp conferences are directed at counselor staff rather than admin staff, so this was a good opportunity to network and share ideas."
- John Izenour, Camp Beech Cliff
"The CampBrain staff is amazing - everyone was helpful, engaging, thoughtful, warm and friendly. I could not have asked for a more welcoming environment for a camp conference. I would recommend the conference to anyone using the product - there is plenty of information so that whether you are new to the product or have been using it for a long time, you will leave with something valuable - not to mention the friendships and connections that can be made with colleagues."
- Wendy Fisher, YMCA Camp Sloper
"I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to attend! You guys really thought of every detail and made sure that everyone felt welcome, cared for and important. Every single CampBrain staff was so nice, knowledgeable and just plain awesome. I really like the all-inclusive aspect of it. I learned so much. Thank you for showing us your passion for what you do! We all need to strive to love what we do as much as you all!"
- Stefanie Tywater-Christiansen, One Heartland
"I really appreciated the one on one times - those were fantastic. I felt like I left with a few new tips and tricks from each session. I was excited to get back to the office and start making improvements to our existing set-up!"
- Erin Sunstrum, Camp Wanapitei
We put an album of pics on our Facebook page.
Thanks to everyone for a fantastic time and here's to BRAINSTORM 2016!
Love your Software,