First time attending a user conference? Or has it been a while? A user conference differs from others because it’s meant for you, the user, to go home with more confidence to use your database in a way that will transform your organization.
And with MC LIVE! right around the corner, I have a few pieces of advice to get the most out of your experience:
1. Download the app
First thing’s first: You’re going to want to download the 2018 MC LIVE! app. Having all of the important event information (schedule, floor plan, surveys, etc.) at your fingertips makes life easier when you’re heading from session to session.
Pro tip: Download the app before heading to Indianapolis and create your personalized itinerary! We'll send an email directly to all attendees with instructions once it's ready for download in the Apple and Google Play stores so you can get on that.
2. Make a list of questions beforehand
Like I said, we’re hosting this conference for you to get the absolute most out of your software. If you have any questions about how to use a feature, if there’s an easier way to accomplish a task, etc. - NOW is the time to ask!
And you’ll have a couple opportunities: Either during a training session, or visit the MC LIVE! Study Hall for some one-on-one help.
3. Make a list of goals beforehand
Similarly, writing down your goals and figuring out how you’ll accomplish them before you arrive in Indianapolis will set you up for success. Make a game plan (again, personalize that app itinerary!) so you know you’re making the most of your time with us.
4. Sit with someone you’ve never met before
With five meals together over three days, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to introduce yourself to a fellow product user. Get outside your comfort zone and sit with someone new!
Just think: You’ll be in a room with hundreds of professionals from similar (member-based), yet different (industry, size, region, etc.) organizations who use the same products as you. You never know what you may learn from each other!
5. Put faces to our names
Or - sit with us! We’re completely jazzed to have the opportunity to hang out with our users for a few days. If you see a Clicker (MemberClicks employee), don’t hesitate to introduce yourself! (Trust me, you’ll know who we are.)
6. Introduce yourself to speakers
Now you’re just making all the friends. MC LIVE! is an intimate enough setting to where you’ll easily be able to approach our speakers before and after their sessions. Some will hang around for the whole event as well, so if you’d like to follow up with a question or exchange contact information, don’t be shy!
7. Join the party!
Each year we take a night to gather and celebrate you, your accomplishments, and what it means to be a member-based organization. This year we’re heading to Howl at the Moon - Indianapolis’ premier piano bar! I know, I know - conferences can be tiring, but I promise you won’t regret coming out for this one! Take a look at what we have in store for you here.
8. Talk to the exhibitors
As with any conference, we’ll have a few sponsors on-site who are eager to chat with you - and I would encourage you to do so! Even if your organization isn’t in the market for anything in particular, you may be down the road and you’ll want to have a good contact for it. (Or you may find that you actually ARE in need of something!) Learn more about our sponsors here.
9. Attend a FUGA Shack session
I can’t recommend it enough: The Feature Usage Gap Analysis (FUGA) Shack is one session you want to fit into your schedule! In these sessions, you’ll receive your organization’s individual FUGA report - which is basically a report card for your database - and uncover all the features you may be missing out on! In fact, here are eight reasons to set aside time for FUGA.
10. Bring a coworker and tag team sessions
Starting to wonder if you’ll have time to do everything you want over these three days? That’s the unfortunate circumstance of a good conference - so many great sessions, so little time! But fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to register a colleague so you can divide and conquer!
If spending the money to register someone else from your organization may be out of the question, I’ve got you: Send me an email and I’ll send YOU a promo code!
11. Explore Indianapolis
If you have some time (and energy) left, explore Indianapolis! After all, part of the fun of traveling for work is getting to go to new places, right? The JW Marriott is right next to some great spots - the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and White River State Park to name a few.
12. Know when to put the laptop away
My final piece of advice: Know when to simply sit back and listen. Our training sessions are hands-on so you’ll probably want your laptop out and your database open there, but recognize when it’s time to put it away and truly be present. During keynotes? Breakouts? In between sessions when you could be mingling in the hallways? It’s a personal preference, but I encourage you to figure out what’s right for you!
If you’ve gotten through all that and realized, “Shoot, I haven’t actually registered for MC LIVE! yet” - like I said, there is still time! Click below to learn more and to register.