Thursday, September 17, 2009

2009 Firebrand Community Conference Is Upon Us

We are in the final stages of planning and preparing for our Firebrand Community Conference to be held October 5-7 in Newburyport. The registrations are climbing and the sessions are slowly coming together. Last year, we had to pull off the trifecta of re-branding the company, developing Title Management Version 7 to demo, and pulling together our first conference. Looking back now, it is hard to believe that it all came together, but such is the energy of pressure - and a lot of late nights.

This year, the conference structure is back in place with some tweaks based on feedback from our participants last year. The sessions are little longer, with a bit more time in between to reduce the rush factor, we have expanded the Unconference format to encompass all of day two - the sessions that day will be determine by all conference attendees. We have also added four paid workshops on the Monday prior to the conference so that folks interested can make the most of their travel and dive into extensive detail on special topics of interest. This year, we also brought our conference registration fully online so that we can manage better, especially how many people are interested in each session so we can allocate room space correctly.

Fran has assembled an ambitious list of Industry based sessions not directly related to Firebrand software and services, but of universal concern to all of our community members. With the addition of NetGalley to Firebrand, this is even more relevant as we move closer and closer to the readers themselves - hence the theme of this years conference being Follow The Reader. On the flip side of the coin, we will be focusing on pragmatic topics to help our clients upgrade to the web version of Title Management 7. Last year we previewed Version 7 at the conference and since that time all new clients in 2009 have been installed on Version 7. The next step is migrating existing clients - but how do they get started? We hope to help clients formulate a plan.

So we are into the big push now to get ready - and the pressure is building.

I love this conference, as it is a chance to get together with many of the people I have worked with since 1990 - many long days and late nights of software development and installation. It reminds me why I enjoy working in publishing - generally the people that this industry attracts and the values we share.

Click here to visit the Firebrand Community Conference.