Ektron Synergy 2014 - What to Look Forward to
Ektron Synergy 2014 - What to Look Forward to
It's almost time for Ektron's 7th Synergy Customer Conference, a semi-annual gathering of Ektron customers, partners and employees to exchange ideas, learn about the current and future direction of the CMS platform and to experiences. I have been a lucky attendant at each of the previous six Synergy Conferences and I can say without hesitation that if you are currently on Ektron, or thinking about moving onto the Ektron CMS platform, you would benefit tremendously by attending Synergy.
Who Will You Meet at Synergy?
This year's location returns to Boston, MA, the site of the first two Synergy events. Boston is an incredible venue that is in close proximity of Ektron's headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire. Thanks to this, many Ektron employees are expected to join the Conference, which is always valuable because the employees have a wealth of valuable information to share - everything from architectural recommendations to tips on how to approach a unique customization. In fact, specific employees are made available through the one-on-one program, which are scheduled times when customers can sit down with e-Gandalf (James Stout) or other expert Ektron resources and ask them for their thoughts and insights into a variety of Ektron-related topics. My advice is to sign-up quickly, as these time slots fill quickly.
In addition, the show is sponsored by some of the most experienced Ektron partners in the world, which means that customers who attend have access to some of the most knowledgeable people in the planet at developing and deploying Ektron solutions. Partners are often the best sources of information to turn to when wanting to learn about general trends, or how other customers have tacked and solved specific problems, or special applications of Ektron in unique industries. Ameex is very proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the show and will have a booth located right next to the main Ektron booth on the floor.
Finally, many of the more than 500 expected attendees are actual customers who have deployed and rely upon Ektron as their main CMS platform. I am always surprised at how much I learn from watching what other customers are doing with their investments in Ektron. This year, seven separate Ektron customers will be presenting their sites, how they developed them and what business results were achieved as a result. It has always been my experience that actually hearing the full story of a web site's development results in a series of interesting "lessons learned" moments, so I always try to attend them.
What to Expect
With the successful release of Ektron 9 earlier this year, much of the product discussion will be about the new Content Marketing Platform, an exciting new tool built upon the Ektron 9 platform. I have seen some previews of the product over the past several weeks and think that many people will be impressed with how powerful and easy it is to implement truly compelling content marketing capabilities. With a diverse array of hosting, development and deployment options, the Content Marketing Platform will dramatically increase any company's abilities to profile, segment and target specific content to site visitors, driving increased conversions and positively affecting the bottom line. In the past, to achieve the full gamut of these capabilities required integrating Ektron with other systems and tools; with the Content Marketing Platform, everything can be neatly integrated, built, delivered and measured directly within Ektron. I am also looking forward to learning more about the release of Ektron 9.1, which is primarily focused on addressing feedback received from customers and partners who have deployed on the Ektron 9 platform.
Keynote speeches are always a valuable aspect of Synergy - past conferences have featured industry experts like Ethan Marcotte (father of responsive design), Luke Wroblewski (originator of the "mobile-first" design philosophy) and experts from Microsoft and Forrester Research. This year's presenter is Joe Pulizzi, from the Content Marketing Institute. His presentation, "The power of Epic Content", is sure to focus on the need to develop and deliver persuasive content through personalized channels, like Ektron's Content Targeting capabilities. That's an especially compelling message, given the concurrent focus on how to use Ektron's platform to actually deliver that persuasive content. Equally interesting will be the Opening Keynote presentation, featuring some of the top brass at Ektron - Bill Rogers, Tim McKinnon and Bob Canaway - as they discuss Ektron's evolution, the direction of the CMS platform and provide valuable insights into how to get the most from your Ektron investment.
Synergy is also known for technical and hands-on educational opportunities for customers. A quick review of the Agenda ( https://synergy.ektron.com/Agenda/) shows that there are three tracks of educational sessions offered this year - innovation, marketer and developer. In each of these tracks, innovative presentations are planned to educate customers about how to improve their Ektron effectiveness. In fact, the last day of the conference is dedicated solely to training - Wednesday's agenda features developer and marketing strategy training classes.
There are a lot of interesting sessions to attend, including the use of responsive design in Ektron, tips and tricks for driving more sales through your site, case studies from more than five customers, search strategies, globalization and localization advice, inbound marketing suggestions, tips for integrating with other systems, using MVC and much, much more. Walmart will even be there to showcase their WalmartOne social web site, built upon Ektron. It's clear that there is no shortage of business, marketing or technical sessions to participate in at this year's Synergy.
Of course, no Synergy show would be complete without having some fun, too. This year, a Boston Harbor cruise aboard the Odyssey is planned for Monday evening. The cruise will allow attendees to have truly unique photo opportunities of the Boston skyline, a delicious dinner and time to have fun getting to know fellow attendees. In addition, customers who are willing to tell their Ektron story may be invited to hang out with Bruce, the Ektron Marketing Shark.
Stop by the Ameex Booth for a Special Show-only Upgrade Offer
As mentioned earlier, Ameex is a Gold Sponsor of this year's Synergy event and will have a booth on the show floor, near the Ektron booth. We will have a very special upgrade offer for customers seeking to upgrade to Ektron version 9, so please stop by the booth and ask for Brian Browning or Dan Venkatesan to learn more about these show-only special upgrade offers.
To learn more about Ektron's Synergy event, or Ameex's offerings, please contact your Ameex sales representative.