Protech Users Conference 2009

I attended the Protech Users Conference last week in Washington DC. Here are some random thoughts on what I saw:

  • Jeremy Epstein was the keynoter. One interesting point he made is that with all of the social media now available, you can no longer “command and demand” people’s attention. You have to give them a reason to pay attention.
  • In one of the sessions, a Protech consultant pointed out that “Programs follow rules, people execute exceptions.” That’s a nice way of saying you shouldn’t force your AMS to manage all of the exceptions to your business rules. I’ve written about this in the past.
  • Protech is now offering a hosted AMS solution through Cetrom. That’s good news for smaller associations. I wrote about this recently.
  • Protech plans to integrate their AMS product with a2z and QuickBooks by the end of the year.
  • One very cool thing that Protech used was an audience polling system via text messages. So Protech could present a question, the audience could use their cell phones to respond, and the results displayed in realtime on the screens during the sessions. Pretty high “gee whiz” factor.

One criticism I have of the conference is that the sessions are too heavy on Protech presenters. Put another way, there aren’t enough “users” presenting at the users conference. Protech needs to work much harder at getting their customers to present.

But overall, I’m pleased to see the Protech Users Conference continue.

Full disclosure: EDM is an independent third-party consulting firm. This means we have no financial relationship with any of the vendors mentioned in this blog. We provide unbiased opinions on what we see.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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