I am sitting in the plane on my way back to the UK following the Blackbaud conference in Washington DC. There were no new announcements about the generation eight products (few seem to refer to it as The Raiser’s Edge 8), no new major applications and no new major personnel changes (that I was made aware of). However there was a new branding. The new logo should represent a more open Blackbaud. At first I was unsure about the design. It seemed somewhat cartoon like but now it has grown on me. To put the record straight the tag-line is not as in this post’s title but rather “Your purpose -> Our passion”. I ought to remember it. The free WIFI from Blackbaud at the conference used this as the username and password. Instead I managed to use each permutation available. If we take this tag-line at face value what can we expect?
The tag-line certainly invokes a collaborative spirit that has been developed over the last few years. Businesses can come in all shapes and sizes. In the long run though, those that embrace their customers and work with them must surely benefit. There are industries where a dominant player can afford to alienate its customers. The not-for-profit sector is as far removed from that as any and ensuring that they are at one with their clients’ needs will undoubtedly win them a lot of business.
And so to the conference
And what a conference it was. 2200 attendees and my first US conference in 7 years. My presentation was well received. The session room was the largest available other than the keynotes which was somewhat intimidating. A room for 300 was not what I had prepared for but with 2 giant screens showing my presentation and a microphone booming my message to the farthest reaches of the room I hope I managed to convey my ideas.
Twitter was another first for me. This saw my first twittering conference (@zeiddev). There were some out to win the iPad given to the most #bbcon tweets. On my Android phone that was unlikely to be me. Instead I contributed wherever I could instilling my own level of sarcasm into the conversation.
It was just great to meet up with old friends, meet face to face with virtual friends including clients and to make some new friends, acquaintances and hopefully clients.
My passion? Is it to cheesy to say working with Blackbaud’s products? Yes of course it is, but now that I have said it, I need to stand by it. Their purpose? Just keep up the work, building quality, well documented applications, listen to your clients more and be attentive to their needs and, oh yes, bring me back for conference 2011.