The 2014 Ingeniux User Conference has come to a close. We would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed this year, as we take a step back and reflect on our third annual User Conference.
On September 24-26 we welcomed more than 90 Ingeniux customers and partners to Seattle to engage in interactive lab workshops, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, and networking events. For those who couldn't attend this year, as well as all of those in attendance, here's a recap of our third annual conference.
We kicked off the conference with an Opening Reception at the Pan Pacific Hotel. A team of Ingeniux staff was there to welcome User Conference attendees with an Ingeniux tote bag full of conference materials and swag. Guests could also pick up a bottle of wine, made and bottled by Ingeniux CEO Jim Edmunds, along with an Ingeniux wine glass.
Sponsor tables lined the walls of the event space this year, where conference sponsors could provide information and meet with conference attendees. Representatives from our sponsors were on hand to share information about their products, services and partnership with Ingeniux, as well as catch-up with customers they'd worked with in the past.
At 7 PM guests began trickling out of the Opening Night Reception and heading down to SIFF Film Center for a special screening of Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Ingeniux has been a proud sponsor of the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) for more than two years. Each year during our User Conference we offer a private screening for conference attendees, along with free popcorn, drinks, and Theo chocolate bars.
Day 1: "Turn On Your Mobile Device"
Thursday morning began with a brief welcome message from Ingeniux CEO and founder, Jim Edmunds. Jim began by telling all of the guests to "turn on" their mobile devices, something you don't often hear at the start of a presentation. He was introducing the User Conference community website at uc14.ingeniux.com.
The community site features full conference schedule and details, as well as a My UC where users can customize and plan their conference experience. The site was executed in Ingeniux's Cartella collaboration management software, and features a responsive design that automatically reformats to fit desktop, tablet, or mobile browsers. On the site you can find a directory of attendees, photo galleries, a discussion forum, and downloadable presentation slides.
The morning's keynote featured Shauna Causey, a well-known Seattle marketing executive, a non-profit and startup advisor, and former VP of Marketing for Decide.com.
In her keynote, Shauna discussed how critical social media strategy has become for maintaining a strong brand and transforming an organization's relationship with its customers or constituents. She shared success stories of what happens when organizations have a well-executed social media program, and a few horror stories about what can happen when social media is ignored or abused.
Shauna noted the evolution of social media awareness just in the last few years. She found that many of the companies she worked for were resistant to open and transparent communication with customers, and had to convince them to take a risk with engaging customers openly and transparently through social media. The response from customers was immediate and overwhelmingly positive, transforming the company culture and the way they interacted with their customers.
Thursday's mid-day keynote address featured Joseph Busch, founder and principal consultant at Taxonomy Strategies. Joseph reinforced what many Ingeniux customers already know, that taxonomy, and meta-data generally, is a powerful tool for making information more accessible and more relevant to an audience.
Joseph discussed the challenges associated with defining and setting-up an effective taxonomy strategy and system, and some approaches to doing this successfully, such as developing an organizational strategy for content that "makes sense" and evolves to remain relevant over time. Joseph showed examples of taxonomy use-cases, such as faceted search and big data, and continued the discuss in an interactive lab session later in the afternoon.
Before founding Taxonomy Strategies, Joseph was an early developer of commercial semantic technology applications based on latent semantic indexing (LSI) and other methods, and the Getty's program manager for standards and research databases. Originally however, Joseph was trained as a librarian.
After a full-day of keynote addresses, break-out sessions and lab exercises, it was nice to do some networking and let off a little steam at Thursday night's network event. The Networking Event was held at The Garage, in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, the current epicenter of Seattle night life. The Garage is a favorite for Ingeniux company gatherings and included a private bar, bowling alleys, pool tables, and a dinner buffet.
Day 2: The BIG News
Friday morning, Ingeniux CEO Jim Edmunds took the floor to present his third annual keynote highlighting Ingeniux deployments and product innovations. His presentation included a very exciting announcement: Ingeniux CMS Version 9 is now officially released and available to our customers. The announcement was met with applause and a small flurry of social media activity.
Jim provided a technology roadmap overview for upcoming releases for both CMS and Cartella. Nathan Eggen, Director of Product Development, then took the stage for a hands-on demonstration of new product features.
For those wanting a closer look under the hood, this year's conference debuted the Ingeniux X Lab, a set of interactive working sessions in a computer lab staffed by Ingeniux engineers. In the Lab, attendees had the opportunity to spend hands-on time in CMS Version 9 and Cartella. One of the most popular sessions in this track was Converting Your Site to CMS Version 9, in which Ingeniux developer Will Atienza reviewed the requirements and process for upgrading to Version 9.
Breakout sessions took place all day Thursday and Friday. We had some amazing customer and partner presentations this year that were engaging, thoughtful, and highly informative. Session topics included site redesign, optimizing your CMS for online marketing, building Cartella modules, site design and much, much more.
Thank you to everyone who attended the 2014 Ingeniux User Conference!
Attendees can find photos from the conference and parties on the community website, along with presentation slides, directories, and announcements. For those who did not attend, many conference materials will be available on the Support Site.
Hope to see all of you next year!
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