The Community Brands conference, Xperience 18 which occurred May 6, 2018 to May 9, 2018, was a great success! It was a great opportunity to gain some knowledge about new membership management applications, connect with partners, reconnect with friends and establish strong relationships with new friends.
This conference was an important one for me personally and professionally. The last time I attended this conference, previously known as (AUDC) the Avectra User and Developer Conference, was in 2011 and was my litmus test to gauge how far I have come back from all of the obstacles I had suffered over the past 7 years. Did I still have the same support and relationships previously being a customer to now being a business partner or competitor? I needed to know if I would be treated differently.
I have found an obvious truth that I have always known in the back of my mind, the people I have formed these solid relationships with do not change. They are the same person no matter what hat they put on. In my estimation, that is where they excel in life and in work. That is what I wanted to be known for and the value proposition I want my company to be known for and provide. I will react the same way within a meeting as I would at a restaurant. It is just who they are.
While there were tremendous stories of support throughout the Community Brands Xperience18 conference, this is the moment that stood out to me. While meeting Catalyst Fire clients at the Catalyst Fire Customer Appreciation party on Monday night at ESPN Sports Zone, I met Megan Scanlon of Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Megan Scanlon, an existing Catalyst Fire client and a newer Real Magnet customer, had the majority of a particular email list in Real Magnet suppressed. We are not sure how it happened but it happened. I was shocked because I knew having a large portion of an email list suppressed could result in a loss of confidence for CLSI customers — as well as the potential that CLSI may lose confidence in the Real Magnet application. If the right people at Real Magnet knew about this issue they would jump on the challenge immediately.
I know many team members from Real Magnet, now an integral part of Higher Logic, from my previous days of working at an association. Over that time, David Jovel and I had become good friends and I happened to have his cell phone number so I texted him — “Sorry David you offered so I reached out. =)”. Mind you this was at 8 pm on Monday night. He and his wife just had a son and it was probably getting close to his son’s bed time. I texted him this challenge and included Megan on the text. He responded in 14 minutes! 14 minutes on a Monday night! David wanted to get that resolved right then or at least identify a course of action. Megan sent David her username and got the plan in motion to help fix the problem. That was amazing but not surprising because that is the type of person David is. He has always done the right thing and been an advocate for the customer.
I reconnected with so many people that I now consider friends and hopefully business partners. Countless stories like the one I just mentioned involving people like Doug Brown, Jeremy Whitehurst and Aaron Henselin from Catalyst Fire, Craig Dellorso from Confluence Global, Mark Lowry from Higher Logic, David Caruso and Ronald McGrath from High Road Solutions, Diane Traynor from Cooper Consulting, Nilufer Uslu from Dovelox, Angie Lucas, Hind Barchar, Howard Pollock from Community Brands and countless more that I have not mentioned have always gone above and beyond the call consistently and with lightning quick results! 7 years later and the key players all responded the same way. It didn’t matter if I was a customer, a friend or a business partner, I was treated with the same level of respect and sense of urgency. That is special!
That is the thread that bonds all of them. They don’t change. They are the same in real life as they are at work. That is what made my conference a success. They care and in turn I have felt supported in my jump and journey to starting and running my own business. That is the value proposition I hope to be known for! That is how I have always operated in life and how I will run my business. I want everyone to succeed and I hope I can follow the same trail of success that they have worked extremely hard to establish.