Viles with Conference ExchangeGreetings from 38,000 feet! I am currently traveling home from Providence, Rhode Island where I attended a day-long educational conference hosted by Conference Exchange, the vendor some of our clients use for abstract, registration and speaker management. Annually, Conference Exchange holds a user’s group meeting with educational sessions on how to use the product, previews of features that are new or in development and scheduled one-on-one time with support staff.

As a new user of their product, I still have quite a bit to learn about its capabilities. Knowing more about what the product can and cannot do will help me better understand how to develop our client’s systems to suit their needs. In addition, learning more about what is coming down the pipeline was both exciting for what it holds for our clients and reassuring that the Conference exchange team is growing and expanding to meet the needs of their clients.

While the educational portion of the meeting was helpful, the most beneficial part was meeting with the support staff who work hard on our systems. When I arrived in Providence, the Conference Exchange team hosted attendees at a local restaurant and I was seated alongside my corresponding support staff. We talked a little about our projects and the company, and a lot about each other. This opening “getting-to-know you” event was great for both new and seasoned “users,” and gave me the opportunity to develop a rapport with my support staff that I believe will make my communication with them in the future more effective and meaningful.

Regardless of the vendors you choose for your clients or yourself, if you have an opportunity to meet your contacts in person, I highly recommend it.