Like the PGA Tour for professional golfers, the season of conventions, conferences and other large-scale gatherings in the IT world more or less begins in January and rolls through the year to within shouting distance of the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season. There's a couple of months' lull at the end of each year, but the fun begins again almost as soon as the calendar turns over. And with 2015 now decidedly upon us, the first wave of heavy hitters are setting their schedules in stone.
One of the first major events of 2015 is the Annual Member Meeting for IT industry association CompTIA. This year's event is being held March 24-26 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., which golf fans will recognize as home of the TPC at Sawgrass golf course, where The Players Championship is held each year in May. The Annual Member Meeting, in fact, will be held at the Sawgrass Marriott. In addition to being a top networking and strategic planning event, the Annual Member Meeting provides a venue for CompTIA's member communities to gather and discuss critical topics like advancing women in IT, and fostering future industry leaders.
Another key element of the Annual Member Meeting got some advance notice this week when CompTIA announced on Monday that best-selling author and marketing strategist Scott Stratten will be the keynote speaker. Stratten, president of UnMarketing, thinks you're doing your marketing all wrong, or at least not doing it as well as you could be. UnMarketing operates under the slogan "Stop Marketing. Start Engaging," so at the very least you should probably consider working on your firm handshake and direct eye contact.
Stratten will address the gathering on March 25, presenting remarks titled "UnSelling: The New Customer Experience." Stratten's key pitch to businesses is that they need to interact with customers in such a way as to replace one-time buyers with loyal patrons who view your enterprise as their "go-to" supplier of whatever resource you provide. If you unplan to not be among those in unattendance, then the time to register is probably now.
CompTIA executive Kelly Ricker said in a statement to press that many business say the right things about courting long-term customers, but are falling behind the curve on what it takes to make that a reality. “Scott Stratten’s ideas on how to ‘un-sell’ offer a new way of thinking about business," Ricker said, "that may completely change the way you market your company.”
The Annual Member Meeting will also feature the 2015 induction ceremony for CompTIA's IT Hall of Fame. The IT Hall of Fame already honors the contributions to IT of more than 100 individuals and organizations.