Last week was one of my favorite ones of the year – ACST Conference. I love the time to hear from our clients what they are doing in their ministries and share with them even more possibilities. Most of the year, I am in the “trees” working on the development. This lets me step back and see the forest of how the software is being implemented and impacting the kingdom. (I really enjoy the words in the keynotes and kicking off each day with praise music, too!)
The theme this year was Spark. I spent the time during the breaks as the MC on the “Start the Spark” stage. I was able to share lots of great products and features that would hopefully be a spark for clients as well as hand out lots of fun giveaways. The last morning, at breakfast I went table to table asking everyone if they got a Spark to Start when they got home. What was their biggest takeaway? No one didn’t have an answer- just some had too many to choose from!
Clients had a lot of variety as their key spark. Some were usage of existing products – like copying events to groups or learning about the Safeguard tab for Background Checks. Others involved new products and solutions. There was definitely a lot of excitement about The City. Many individuals had gone to the specially created “The City Cafe” (ie coffee shop) to speak with the staff, classes about the product, or classes about the upcoming integration with ACS. There were lots of requests for demos of SpeedCheck (for scanning checks and Remote Deposit Capture) as well as our new Kiosk Giving. IPad and mobile usage was hot this conference as well. Clients were excited to show me their downloaded On Demand apps for the Droid, iPhone, or iPad. They were using them too, while they were away from the office and got calls for a need! The Church Life app was also downloaded. Another mobile phone use that was a popular discussion point was QRcodes. These were displayed around conference to get the conference mobile app. It also “sparked” interest in the great usages with ministry publications to easily take people to the Online Giving, VBS, Missions, or other special spots within the website. For those tech-y clients, they liked learning about the new REST API that is especially useful when creating your own mobile apps. Of course, there was even more!
The key is that everyone left with new knowledge to spark something when they returned home. Plans are underway already for next year’s conference at Disney, you better believe it will be “magical”!