What Happens in Minnesota Shouldn’t Stay in MN… Client Connection 2012

It’s hard to believe this was the third year of our Avionté Client Connection.  We work hard on developing a personal relationship with all of our customers and really felt the love with so many of you taking the time to come to our yearly event.  There is nothing quite like sitting down with each of our clients face-to-face and hearing them talk about what they really want to see in the coming year and how Avionté can help them build a stronger business.  And a special thanks to those who have made the trip a second and even a third time!

Due to this year’s attendance we needed to find a bigger venue.  Although our previous location by the Mall of America was beloved (for the shopping of course) we really needed a larger place to host the daily meetings and a little more convenience for the evening activities.  The Doubletree in St. Paul was picked as our home base, giving us easy access to some great night life, dining and views of the mighty Mississippi.

Wednesday morning was abuzz with one-on-one meetings.  This is an opportunity to meet with anyone in the company.  When I say anyone, I mean anyone.  Our CEO John Long was requested for some of the meetings as was our CTO Phi Ngo.  One of our attendees who hosts their own server loved the chance to sit down and ask questions of Phi and one of our Network Engineers.  He was very impressed they were both available for him to meet with and discuss issues and solutions for his network.

For many of our customers this was their first face to face meeting with the staff they speak to on a regular basis, including Support and Customer Care.  After having a long distance relationship for so long, it’s nice to put the name with a face.

Laura kicked off Client Connection with a lively discussion about new features of v12.0.01.  Those in attendance will surely agree that not only does Laura do a great job presenting, but keeps it fun and interesting too!   There was much excitement about the following:

  • Outlook Add-In
  • Scheduler
  • Mass Update
  • Sales Mobile Application
  • Message Center

The best part is that each of the attendees know their upgrades are free, thus giving them access to these new features and many more!

Sessions covering hot topics in Front Office, Admin Tools, Back Office and Web Portals were on the schedule for the rest of the day.

It’s just not an Avionté event without a party!  We like to think we do staffing software pretty well, but we know how to throw a pretty darn good party too!  For those that have been around the Avionté crew for a while, you know our party planner is Brenda Long.  Those great events at ASA, yep that’s her too!  With our location being right downtown it was an easy walk to the Crowne Plaza on the river.  A ride up the elevator to the Windows Room on the 22cnd floor provided breathtaking views of the city and the Mississippi.  Some of the best entertainment of the night was watching people discover the floor was moving.  Guest could sit or stand in the same place and enjoy a full 360 view.  Although the “official” party wound down around ten, I hear there was an after party that took place a few blocks down.  Not to worry, this year everyone made it to the next day’s sessions, well most of them.

Avionté CEO John Long opened day two with his thoughts on where the company was heading and what our customers can expect from us in the coming year.

We were privileged to have Scott Wintrip of StaffingU present on using your reports to manage your business.  I think many could certainly relate to his analogy of trying to put out an inferno verses knowing what was happening right away and just dealing with a small brush fire.  Reporting was a hot topic, no pun intended during the whole conference.  Many of our attendees were pleased to see all the additional new reports we’ve added to our standards.

Our Customer Care team gave an update on Avionté Online University.  The team has been working hard the last year to add additional content, giving you a better training and learning experience.

Many of our 3rd party integration partners were able to join us last week and share a little about their products and services.  We heard from Brock at Essential StaffCARE, Geoff and Kevin of Odell Studner and Adam of Call-Em-All.  We had several of our other partners there during the course of the event including Tom Erb of Tallann Resources and  Glenn McConnach of Orange Tree Employment Screening.

Some of our most popular sessions are the What’s Working for You?  Groups broke out in their respective areas to talk about what they love about Avionté, what they would like to see different and how they are currently using certain features or functions.  This is a great opportunity to not only share (and take) ideas about using the software, but also about staffing in general.  Many of our users have formed fast friendships and continue to talk on a regular basis after the conference.  Some of the major topics of discussion during these sessions were:

  • Web portals
  • Tax and Deduction reports
  • Security settings in Admin Tools
  • Using existing and upcoming technology to stay ahead of the competition

It’s a good thing this group doesn’t tire easily!  We had one more event to make sure everyone had ample opportunity to network and kick back.  Just a few blocks away was a lively little place called the Amsterdam.  Jimi-Kick rocked the stage while Tyler Erickson wowed all with his “sleight of hand”.  I can’t say that I am easily impressed, but when Tyler made money appear in my hand, I couldn’t help but be impressed!  Too bad I didn’t get to keep it.

While many of our clients had early flights back home, many stuck around and took a tour of our new corporate office and met with staff members.  Others took advantage of golfing with our sales guys, and it was a great day for it!  I haven’t heard all the details yet, but I’m guessing there might be a few embellishments as to how the game really went.

We are thankful that so many of our clients chose to spend part of the week with us.  We are already looking forward to Client Connection 2013!

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