BBCon 2016 (Blackbaud Conference for Nonprofits) is soon here. We are back in Washington DC again this year and whether you are a first timer or a regular, you will surely be as overwhelmed as I was by the choice of content available. That is why, once again, I have sifted through the breakout sessions looking for my top tips.
As you may have noted there is one session less in my list this year. I won’t be speaking formally at any breakout session but all is not lost. I shall be at BBCon so if you would like to hear me speak, just approach me and either hover creepily beside me listening to my dulcet English tones or (somewhat more appealingly) engage me in conversation.
Anyway enough gratuitous self-promotion and on with my list of sessions.
My choices are split into two concise categories and one less than concise:
a) Sessions whose speakers are amazing
b) Sessions that talk about software development and NXT development
c) Sessions that probably have amazing speakers but what really bought it for me was the description (because I cannot remember having heard the speakers before).
Raiser’s Edge NXT: Moving to and Mastering the Next Generation of RE
I always recommend Bill (and not just because he acknowledges me in his book Fundraising with The Raiser’s Edge). He is always a joy to listen to. He not only has an in depth knowledge of Raiser’s Edge 7 and NXT but his ability to convey that information in an interesting and thought provoking way sets him aside from everyone else who works with these products.
Moving forward to meet your growing needs: a solution discussion for Large Raiser’s Edge 7 customers
Other than Jim who I have heard speak, I cannot say that I have heard these speakers before. However this is such a recurring issue among our clients that it is definitely worth addressing the challenges and solutions faced by large organisations. I would be very interested to hear how NXT, Luminate CRM and BBCRM overcome the limitations that RE7 has faced for larger organisations. I am looking to hear about;
- how processes have been automated because it is just not practical to enter data manually
- how systems can be integrated because larger organizations typically do not only have systems from one company
- and also how organizations can better utilize their volume of data to analyze their fundraising performance.
Raiser’s Edge NXT Roadmap
This is always a must. The fact that there is no Raiser’s Edge 7 roadmap is, of course telling that the focus is and always was going to be on NXT. (That being said I do hope to hear about any snippets of information about RE7 – not everybody is ready to move just yet and much of NXT life is still lived through the eyes of a hosted RE7 instance). The roadmap sessions are often the ones that swing it for Blackbaud. People will go away feeling either elated or underwhelmed. Let’s hope the former.
Bill and Ed’s Excellent Adventure in Raiser’s Edge
I have already sung Bill’s praises but if Bill ever had any competition then it was from Ed. Back in the day of the RE Geeks, I often felt as though I were in the shadow of Bill and Ed whose combined tower of knowledge and eloquence put my own expertise to shame. Aside from the speakers it is also good to have a session format that is a little more informal than many other sessions. The demonstration and discussion format (the demonscussion?) really does work when covering more complex topics requires clear visual aids and clarification.
Integration with Blackbaud SKY API and SKY UX
Build an app using SKY UX and SKY API
I have grouped these two session together because they clearly have a lot of overlap. I can only assume that integration refers to connecting with other systems whereas building an app is enhancing the existing application. Maybe the order of SKY API and SKY UX will also have some bearing on the emphasis each places within their sessions.
I have only heard Dan speak (Integration) at previous sessions and indeed have worked with him during the API discovery process. If his session is anything to go by his past performance then this will surely be a very interesting session. There is so much that can already be done with the Sky API and the team have only just touched the surface. I am excited to see what they have produced in these sessions. Who knows they may even demonstrate our own SKY API Chimpegration product! Now that would definitely be worth viewing.