By Chris Bucholtz Vendor-organized shows and conferences have two ways to go: they can be educational, or they can be commercial. I think we’ve all been to the latter: the orgy of self-promotion in which attendees are bludgeoned by a barrage of logos, up-selling pitches and executive glad-handing. At a certain point, even the people …
By Chris Bucholtz
One of the unexpected pleasures of my job is to act as the session chairman for SugarCon 2012. I get to solicit, pick and otherwise decide what will be in the breakout sessions and the keynotes for the event (which is coming up April 23-25). As a social media aficionado (not an expert!), I’m trying to throw some social aspects into the show; that’s led to the unconventional process we’re using to generate ideas for the sessions.
A lot of vendor-sponsored shows are done for the benefit of the vendor. That flies in the face of the whole idea of CRM and being customer-centric, and SugarCon’s been perhaps the least guilty of this in the past. Taking it to the next level, we’re making sure the content of the show is what the attendees want by allowing the attendees to program the show.
Here’s how it works: if you go to the show page, and click on sessions, you won’t see a formal agenda yet – you’ll see the list of submitted sessions. If you click on the session you’re interested in, you can vote on it if it sounds like something that will float your boat. We’ll give those greater scrutiny than others when making the final cut. And if there’s a session you’d like to present, or one you’d like to see, throw it up there. Voting goes through Feb. 15, so you still have time to make your voice heard and influence what SugarCon 12 looks like.
To be honest, we’re not letting them program the entire show – only because you need some lead time to get on the calendar of people like Guy Kawasaki, Paul Greenberg, Paul Gillin, Michael Fauscette, Brent Leary, Jesus Hoyos, Esteban Kolsky, Chuck Schaeffer, Dr. Natalie Petouhoff and Michael Wu. I went out and pleaded, cajoled and wheedled ahead of time to get them on board – well, to be honest, it was easy. All these folks are proof of my theory that anyone who succeeds in CRM must be at heart a good, friendly person, and they were happy to throw their hats in to our three-ring circus.
But SugarCon 2012 is not about my theories – it’s about you, the CRM user. Take a peek at the site, make a contribution to our session ideas, and get your spot reserved today. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you in San Francisco in April!