This year's User's Forum reportedly attracted a record crowd of nearly 700 attendees -- that's double from last year's event which attracted about 350. I think one reason attendance keeps going up is because the quality of the sessions keeps improving every year plus there are other ways that Interactive Intelligence demonstrates its commitment to its customers through this educational and entertaining event.
Besides being an ideal launching pad for the introduction of new products, the three-day event offers in-depth educational sessions designed to help Interactive Intelligence customers make better and more effective use of the company’s products, including its flagship all-software, all-IP contact center platform, Customer Interaction Center -- version 4.0 of which is due out next month. It also provides users with networking opportunities, so that they can learn from each other -- as well as the opportunity to talk with Interactive’s top software developers, support engineers, product management team and technical sales consultants. It also gives attendee's a chance to provide feedback directly to Interactive Intelligence about its products and support -- and this is a company that really listens to its customers.
Because Interactive Intelligence has widened its offerings as a contact center solutions provider in the past two years, with the acquisitions of accounts receivable management solutions provider Latitude Software and insurance solutions provider Acrosoft, the User Forum is also becoming more diverse in nature, not just in terms of the the make-up of the sessions being offered but also the professionals its attracts. For example the Forum now features sessions geared specifically for companies operating in the Accounts Receivable Management (debt collections) and Insurance industries, which means some of the sessions tend to be more industry-focused. That’s not to say there aren’t lots of "general" sessions geared for companies operating in a wide range of industries.
Today I did a mix of covering sessions and conducting live interviews with Interactive Intelligence officials, partners and customers – however I did not get to cover as many sessions as I would have liked, due to the fact that the fierce storms and tornadoes in the mid-west completely messed up my travel and caused me to miss almost all of the first day of the show. (I was supposed to arrive Monday night in time for the show on Tuesday -- but I got stuck in Detroit on a layover due to my flight to Indy being cancelled. I spent the night in Detroit and tried to catch an early flight out on Tuesday, but unfortunately that flight was severely delayed and I did not arrive in Indy until around 2 p.m. -- total bummer because the show opener tends to be ones of the best parts of the show! My heart goes out though to those individuals and families who have suffered tremdnous and unspeakable losses in communities such as Joplin and other towns impacted by the recent rash of tornadoes)
I plan to publish several articles about the event over the next day or two but for right now I have to get some sleep because I'm about to keel over!!!