Last week I attended my first Blackbaud User’s Conference a.k.a BBCon. It was amazing and one that needs to be added to the “can’t miss conference list.” I wanted to share some highlights from my conference experience and I hope you will share some of yours.
#1 Favorite Thing: The Conference!
2300 users, partners and Blackbaudians took over the Gaylord National Harbor making BBCon the largest nonprofit technology conference in the world.
#2 Favorite Thing: Two Ed’s Are Better Than One
I was able to sit in on David Beebe and Kathryn Hall’s session: Best Practices for Sphere and Raiser’s Edge Integration. David and Kathryn did an awesome job presenting how Blackbaud Sphere and The Raiser’s Edge work together to provide organizations with a more complete view of their constituents.
The best part of the session was hearing from two users. The two Ed’s from AIDS Walk Atlanta are rock stars and shared how Blackbaud Sphere and The Raiser’s Edge work together to meet their organization needs. I was thrilled to hear they raised more online with Blackbaud Sphere Friends Asking Friends and their top fundraiser said he had the easiest time fundraising online and raised more than ever before. I’m hoping the two Ed’s will be making a virtual appearance on friendsaskingamy.com [defunct link removed].
#3 Favorite Thing: $1000 From A mobile Donor
In the session Blackbaud Friends Asking Friends Has Gone Mobile, Sara and Karen Arthritis Foundation shared that they recently “checked the box” to enable mobile ready event pages and forms. The early results are positive: individuals are reading email donation requests and taking immediate action by donating with their mobile device. They shared that donations from mobile are in line with gifts made from desktop computers; they received a $1000’s from a mobile donor. Love it!
#4 Favorite Thing: Blackbaud Product Development
I attended Ian Gruber’s session: Innovations in Blackbaud Sphere. Ian’s the Sphere Product Manager and shared all the new tools that were released in 2010. Two of my favorites are the event comparison report and the committee dashboard. The event comparison report enables staff to see how an event is performing versus last year’s at the same point in time. This report helps you see if you’re on target to reach your event goal.
The committee dashboard was introduced this summer and is used to track recruitment of sponsorships and fundraising teams. For those of us who’ve worked with volunteer fundraising committees, we all know committee member have the best intentions, but follow through needs work. The committee dashboard makes it easy for members to set goals and track their progress. Stay tuned for more in depth posts on these topics and more.
Have you checked out Blackbaud Sphere Product Whiteboard? It’s a site for Sphere users to provide input on product development by posting ideas and suggestions. You can also vote on other’s ideas. If you haven’t been to whiteboard, check it out at http://sphere.ideascale.com.
#5 Favorite Thing: Meeting A Fellow Ravens Fan
I’m a huge Ravens fan (I bleed purple and black) and always appreciate the opportunity to meet a fellow fan. Go Ravens!
If you missed BBCon, you can watch the keynotes and select session on BlackbaudTV. Mark your calendars for BBCon 2011: October 2th-5th.
What are some of your favorite things from BBCon?