Jodi and I are just returning back to the offices after a successful NiUG 2019 Discovery Conference, which was held in Maryland at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. It is IBC’s honor to be a Corporate Sponsor of NiUG International, the iMIS User Group independently run by associations that have invested in iMIS as their Engagement Management System of choice.
It may take me a week to recover after Monday’s full day of volunteering my time to provide training to iMIS users like you! I truly enjoy sharing our company’s knowledge of best practices and new functionality that’s always being added to iMIS. I especially had fun partnering with the CSI (Computer System Innovations) team on Monday morning’s half-day class, teaching everything we know about iMIS settings in the Staff Site. While it’s always a lot more work to have co-presenters (trying to connect pre-conference to put together the content for the class and making time to practice the sessions together), Matthew Dempsey and Doug Morris always make things interesting and fun! After making a yummy and mildly healthy shrimp Caesar salad for lunch, I ran to set up for another half day class on everything about events management! Both classes were hands-on, meaning that all attendees were able to log in to a demonstration class image. Truly, is there a better way to learn than to do it yourself in the system and not have to worry about messing anything up in your real world office? NiUG holds these hands-on classes at every conference in a pre-conference workshop day that should not be missed!
After my events class, I had a really cool opportunity to connect with a new iMIS Cloud user who had some questions about how accounting was working in the events module. It was so interesting to me to review her questions and her experience with the new tool. I was able to work with ASI, the developers of iMIS, to help her technically articulate an issue and facilitate a resolution. I am excited to be able to help people get the most out of their iMIS investment.
Monday night ended with a co-hosted reception by solution providers and NiUG sponsors, IBC included. I enjoy catching up with clients and other solution providers that have become close friends over the past couple of decades that we’ve been implementing iMIS.
Tuesday started at a reasonable time at 8:30 AM, as Michele Morgan, Executive Director of NiUG International, took the stage and honored our current and past presidents, Paul Rushizky and Paul Peeples, with a leadership award. Tuesday was the last time I will be called upon to stand as a NiUG Board member. My time on the NiUG Board as Associate Liaison is coming to an end as my term is up and it’s time for me to pass the baton to a new Associate Liaison who willbe appointed in 2020. My board tenure has truly contributed to and expanded my professional growth, and my understanding of how a non-profit association’s board operates. This experience has helped a “for-profit” business owner like myself gain a true perspective on the decision-making process and challenges associations face today. I was also honored to have one of my last Board tasks be to accept the very special John Howarth Memorial Award on behalf of our NiUG Committee Co-Chair, Andy Weaver of Land Trust Alliance. Andy could not be in attendance due to a conflict with his own association’s annual conference and it was my pleasure to accept the award on his behalf. I promptly took a picture and texted it to him so that he could immediately begin enjoying the beautifully engraved award virtually.
With no additional sessions to teach, I spent Tuesday enjoying the teaching of all the other wonderful volunteers who share their knowledge to help all iMIS users. I also spent some time at our IBC booth with Jodi Sawyer, co-founder of IBC, where she updated me on client visits to our table when I was running around and missing out on some great conversations. My favorite session of the day was the last one at 3:30 PM where Andrea Robertson, a Business Analyst with ASI, presented ‘iParts, Business Objects, and Panels, Oh My!’ In this session, Andrea shared some hot tips, like the fact that you can use multiple data sources to create one single-instance panel, and how, in iMIS Cloud, you can also configure field labels to be above a field versus just to the left of it. Even more technical tidbits were shared, like how creating properties with specific names of UpdatedBy and UpdatedOn will automatically populate the user’s name and the date for data changes. Andrea was concerned that her session was last and that she was standing between the attendees and happy hour, but in fact, it was one of the most informative of the day with full user engagement in the material!
After ending the full day of learning with Andrea, the Baltimore Aquarium was calling my name as the NiUG Networking Event, “Under the Sea” kicked off! Jodi and I headed over to the Dolphin and JellyFish Pavilion for networking, adult beverages and some delicious local cuisine (the crab dip was the bomb)! Jodi and I walked through the Jellyfish exhibit, which was quite beautiful and mesmerizing. The awesomely fun NiUG staff had planned this event complete with a DJ, so there may or may not have been some dancing.
Wednesday morning came around way too fast after a night of solid networking at the Aquarium event. The opening session started with the iMIS Great Things Award winners being announced for associations that have done great websites and great things with their EMS software! Many congratulations to all of the Great Things Award winners and the partners who helped them achieve their goals: CRE Finance Council (www.crefc.org), Oregon Medical Association (www.theoma.org), Irrigation Association, (www.irigation.org), Romance Writers of America (www.rwa.org), and Dallas HR (www.dallashr.org). After the awards, Jeff Spring, Product Owner at ASI, presented on all the exciting and innovative new changes coming to the next version of iMIS software. The most fascinating things include a new, easier to use report writing tool and a new payment processor to help our clients to save money in payment processing fees! IBC is happy to answer any questions that you may have about these new and exciting enhancements.
In fact, we are constantly keeping apprised of what’s new and upcoming, and we’re always looking for ways to improve our clients’ use of iMIS. Wednesday afternoon concluded with many iMIS users’ heads spinning from so much information that was shared. If you attended and have any questions, we’re here to help; feel free to reach out to us for clarification on anything you may have seen at conference. And if you weren’t in attendance, we highly recommend attending the next NiUG Users Conference–it’s a learning experience that you don’t want to miss! The next user group conference plans are now being finalized. It will be held in the first half of 2020 and information will be coming soon! If you’re unable to make the spring time user group conference, why not plan ahead and hold the date for 2020’s Discovery Conference on October 5th – 7th, 2020, which will be held in Arlington, VA?