Last week we attended and exhibited at a RICS User Conference in sunny Bonita Springs, FL. [RICS Software is a Point of Sale software vendor that we work with integrating their software with e-commerce websites for the specialty retailer.] The people were friendly, the weather was beautiful – particularly after a cold and dreary Midwest spring –and the food was phenomenal (steaks, lobster – they went all out for their conference). While I could easily fill a page on the food alone, given that this isn’t a food blog, I’ll stick to the highlights of the conference.
It was wonderful to see some of our specialty retail clients and meet potential clients. It was also great to meet a lot of the RICS’ folks that I talk to on a regular basis. It became clear to me while I was there how similar our philosophies are to RICS’s views. They really focus on how they can better serve their clients and make the experience better. That shared philosophy is probably what makes us such great partners.
A couple of the highlights included their keynote speakers.
The first speaker, Dave Carroll, an award winning singer-songwriter, professional speaker and social media innovator based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada gave an inspiring presentation about Customer Engagement. Back in 2008, Dave and his band flew United Airlines from Chicago to Nebraska for a week-long tour. While in Chicago, some passengers witnessed guitars being thrown on the ground by baggage handlers. When he arrived in Nebraska, sure enough, he found that his $3,500 guitar had been damaged.
After multiple go-arounds with United with no success, he wrote and posted 3 songs on YouTube to get the attention of United Airlines; the first of which garnered over 13 million views! In the end, United agreed to compensate him, but it was a little late on their part, the damage had already been done. Dave’s was a great story about customer service and how important it is to make things right – along with the power of social media. Read more about his story here. Fortunately for us, we got to enjoy Dave’s company for the duration of the trip as he sang songs around the campfire and we toasted s’mores over the fire. (Here I am, back to the food again.)
Kyle Lacy, Senior Manager of Content Marketing and Research for ExactTarget(a leading provider of interactive marketing solutions) talked about something that we feel very strongly about as well. He discussed marketing through Mobile Media and more specifically, Responsive Design (making sure your site resizes to different screen sizes of mobile users). He said that if you’re working with a developer who is not doing Responsive Design, it’s time to make a change. We agree!
Kyle also discussed other marketing strategies and the platforms you can use. In regards to social media, he stressed the fact that you need to be on the various platforms – and not just because your kids are. He talked about tying email marketing, mobile media and social media together to reinforce your brand.
All in all, it was a great conference. The time spent with RICS, the customers and other vendors (Hewlitt-Packard, Honeywell, and Infintech to name a few) was time well spent.