As a Quickbase user, there’s nothing better to get you hyped up and ready to tackle your next project – and ultimately do what matters most in your job – than attending EMPOWER2018. If you’re looking to learn more, convince your boss, secure budget or plan your agenda, then this post is for you!
Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to EMPOWER2018 – your one-stop-shop for the who, what, when, why, and how of Quickbase’s annual user conference.
In the months leading up to the event, this blog post will be updated regularly with the latest news and contests, and all information you need to make the most of it. So bookmark this page and check back often.
Our event emcee, Davin Wilfrid, shares some advice on how to make your experience the best it can be:
Convince Your Boss
Your manager wants to know that attending EMPOWER is worth your time away from the office and their travel budget – and that you’ll return with skills and ideas to share with your colleagues. If telling them that you’ll have over 45 unique breakout sessions to choose from, an exhibit hall packed with resources, and Quickbase staff at your disposal isn’t enough, we have good news – we put together a justification letter to help. Take a look, customize it, and you’ll have them agreeing in no time.
Purchase Your Tickets
Once your boss is bought in, it’s time to get your tickets. If you’re new to Quickbase, consider adding Pre-Conference Fundamental Training to your registration. If you’re a more experienced builder, compete in our annual App-a-Thon and your might walk away with the $5000 grand prize! Only planning to attend the main conference? The registration page has all the options available to you. If multiple Quickbase users from your company are planning to attend, you’ll save 10% when you register four or more attendees!
Traveling to Austin
The JW Marriott in Austin, Texas is the home base for EMPOWER2018. It’s only a 15-minute drive from Austin International Airport and just steps from some of the city’s the best attractions – including the Sixth Street Entertainment District and the Texas State Capitol. For more information, rates, maps, or to reserve a room at a discounted rate, click here.
Preparing for your time at EMPOWER
How to use your time well
Since you’ve promised to return to the office with new ideas, make sure you write your goals down before the event, and reference them throughout the conference. In order to do this successfully, you should prep ahead of time so you are thinking about these goals from Day 1 at EMPOWER. Here are some ideas to think about:
- How to further maximize your company’s investment in Quickbase
- Learn new ways to improve existing apps, or come up with new app ideas to improve efficiency of your team
- Learn how new Quickbase product innovations can help drive your team or business in 2018 and beyond
Don’t forget to set aside some time for breaks. Plan to network with others – there is a lot of fun activities planned throughout each day and night of the week. Make sure to leave some time to relax and explore Austin!
Planning your agenda
You can look forward to inspiring keynote sessions, including the Quickbase product roadmap, 45 unique breakout sessions, meals, networking, and much more throughout your time at EMPOWER. Go into the event with a plan for which sessions you want to join; you don’t have to register for sessions ahead of time. Each session is first come, first served, but there will be repeats of the most popular sessions on Thursday, June 7th in case you don’t get a chance to participate in everything you want on Tuesday or Wednesday. We recommend having at least two options per time slot to make sure you’re getting into a session that is relevant to your goals.
When planning your goals, think about what you want to get out of the event and which session topics will help you achieve your goals. There are three session tracks this year:
- Smart Planning and Deployment: Understanding your processes is critical to Quickbase success. This track is ideal for app builders looking to define business processes and app requirements, integrate disparate systems, learn best practices for rolling out a no-code platform, get users to adopt the platform, and more.
- Mastering Quickbase: Instruction for users of all levels to help get the most out of Quickbase. This track will include topics on functionality how-tos, new product features, workflow automation, integrations, account administration, and leveraging Quickbase resources.
- Driving Strategic Growth: Innovate faster and stay ahead of the competition with Quickbase. This track will help you calculate your ROI, understand how to use Quickbase as a strategic platform, learn about data and security updates, and much more.
We’re pleased to announce that the first round of breakout sessions have been announced! You can check them out on the EMPOWER site: www.empower2018.com. Don’t forget, the calendar of sessions will be posted on empower2018.com and in the EMPOWER2018 app once they are announced, so be sure to check back there for quick reference.
During the event
Get ideas, capture them, bring them back to your company
You joined a session where you learned an amazing tip about a workaround for an app building challenge you didn’t know how to solve before. This would be a great time to document the tip on your goal list from before! Or maybe you got an idea of how you could change an existing app you’re using to be more effective. How about an idea for a completely new app? Maybe you can better understand a new product feature or integration that will help you make a bigger impact on your team. Any of these scenarios warrant documenting your learnings and ideas so you have a running list of the actionable takeaways you learned at EMPOWER. Believe me, you’ll thank yourself for taking the few minutes during the conference when you’re on your way home thinking about what you’re going to share with your team and boss!
It’s also a good idea to draw a connection to business impact. After each session, we recommend documenting the following (even if it’s just a few bullet points):
- How has this session helped me think about ways to drive the bottom line? Think about metrics such as cost savings, revenue growth, error reduction, process efficiencies, etc.
New this year – Women’s Leadership Breakfast
Did you know that 4 out of 10 Quickbase builders are women? Want to meet some of them? Join us on Wednesday, June 6th from 7:30-8:45 a.m. CDT for networking and professional insights from our panel of female executives and customers who have used Quickbase to advance their careers. Read our blog post for the full agenda and for more information on our panel members and host!
Resources you should know about
This is location #1 you should find when you arrive (although you may want to check in to the hotel if you’re staying there first). You’ll get your badge, bag of swag, and information you need to navigate the conference. Don’t forget to pick up a button (or a few) as a conversation starter. Look for them to easily spot people with similar interests or specialties as you!
A must-stop spot throughout the event. Visit the social center throughout EMPOWER for:
- Swag giveaways
- Questions about sessions & session tracks
- EMPOWER2018 mobile app help
- How to engage with Quickbase
- To become a Quickbase Hero
- To participate in our customer survey (you can view our State of Business Apps report from 2017 here)
- Some friendly conversation
- And much more!
This is at the heart of the conference, and there’s always a reason to stop in. Meet with Quickbase partners, watch demos in the Demo Theater, network, and participate in a scavenger hunt here for the chance to win an Apple Watch! (And make sure to turn in your completed scavenger hunt card at the Social Center.)
Need technical help with your apps? Make a 1:1 appointment with a Customer Success Engineer while you’re at EMPOWER!
There’s a designated dining area where main meals will be served (meals are included with your registration). You will find coffee, tea, water and drinks at stations throughout the event.
Where to go for help
If you find yourself unsure of where to go, have questions about the EMPOWER mobile app, or need assistance with deciding on a session, you can always stop by the social center. There will be a table there dedicated to EMPOWER mobile app support and questions about sessions. When in doubt, look for a Quickbase employee or EMPOWER staff member (usually someone wearing purple) and they can assist you.
Meet other Quickbase builders like you
This is a great opportunity to meet with people who are in a similar job function and solving similar problems as you are with Quickbase. People travel from all over the country and come from all types of industries and job functions; you would be amazed by how much you can learn by having casual conversations with other Quickbase builders. This year, we’ll be providing buttons to wear to easily identify others who have similar Quickbase experience or interests. While you’re there, don’t be afraid reach out to speakers in person, on social media (don’t forget to use #QBEMPOWER18), or via the EMPOWER mobile app with any questions from sessions!
You may be able to catch up with coworkers on your team that you don’t directly work with day-to-day. Diversify the sessions you attend, and then talk about what you learned at one of the networking events or as you’re exploring the city.
Time management – staying connected with the office
While you’re at a conference, you want to be present and focus on getting value out of your time there. This can make it challenging to make time for your regular job. A good strategy is to block off times in your schedule to check emails and catch up with what is happening at the office. Making this choice ahead of time will alleviate any stress you may have about feeling like you need to balance both. This will be easy at EMPOWER since there will be wifi available throughout the venue for attendees, as well as many lounge areas to utilize for a quiet moment.
Being in downtown Austin, EMPOWER attendees will be at the heart of the most vibrant areas of the city. This provides a great opportunity to explore if you’re interested in doing some sightseeing. From the entertainment district to world class restaurants to live music, Austin has a lot to offer! Take a look at austintexas.org for ideas and inspiration. (We’ll be arranging a group to walk over and watch the 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats emerge from the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge on Tuesday night. Look out for us in the JW Marriott lobby as the day is winding down after sessions are over!)
What to do after EMPOWER is over and you’re back home
Follow up with people you’ve connected with
There are hundreds of people to connect with at EMPOWER, and hopefully you will have a chance to network with others who you want to stay in touch with to share tips, tricks and experiences after the conference. Make sure to keep track of all your business cards, and plan to connect with people on LinkedIn on your way back from the event. If you’re a real conference pro, you may have already taken notes on the business cards you collected to remind yourself about conversations you had at the event.
To form really solid connections, you could consider sharing some of what you learned in sessions that you attended (take a look at your handy goal list) with other Quickbase builders, or a session you attended that they missed.
Prove ROI of the conference to your boss
Summarize what you learned. Outline new apps you’ve planned to build, improvements to existing apps you learned from the conference, key takeaways from the keynote speakers, upcoming features from the product roadmap, or highlight a new skill you have.
Share what you learned on social media
Last but not least, if you aren’t already part of the Quickbase community on social media, be sure to follow Quickbase on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn for post-EMPOWER content!
By now, you should have a solid idea of what to expect at EMPOWER2018 and ideas for how to reach your goals. Don’t forget to bookmark this page and check back for the latest and greatest. What are you most looking forward to at EMPOWER2018? If you haven’t registered yet, get your tickets now!