By Caroline Briggs
Last week we had our annual EMEA User Group conference. It’s a two-day conference arranged by the User Group Board and Naviga representatives. This year we chose the location of Malmö, Sweden and picked a pretty extraordinary venue – the Turning Torso. I’ve always been curious to see the view from the 54th floor in the tallest residential building in Europe, and now I know. They are amazing! We were pretty lucky with the weather too, May can be either or in Sweden, but we got some sunshine and decent temperatures.
The attendance for this year’s conference was one of our highest in a long time, with more than 100 attendees from 10 different countries including Kenya and the US. Day One started with presentations from Naviga CEO Scott Roessler and User Group Board president Lukas Letzner before breaking out into two separate tracks: Editorial and Advertising. The editorial track included speakers from several different media organizations discussing topics such as Understanding Online Behavior by HD-Sydsvenskan, Digital Transformation in Västerbottens-Kuriren and Newsroom Planning by TT, besides information from Naviga representatives on how we will enhance the software in the future.
In the advertising track, we discussed the new approach to a more customer-focused enhancement process before we dug into the customers’ own stories. We found out how Tiroler Tagezeitung created its own Smart reports and how Børsen is working with widgets and dashboards. Agderposten shared what it is doing to become the one-stop shop for its customers, and we got the full story of what it’s like implementing SalesLink in steps or through a big bang approach, from BH Media and Adresseavisen.
After a full day of presentations and interaction, it was time to relax and mingle a bit. The views from the top of Turning Torso were truly one of a kind! We stayed up on the 54th floor for a delicious dinner and finished up with a music quiz. All teams were engaged and did such a great job guessing intros and missing lyrics. It was a terrific end to a great day.
I don’t know how many of the attendees joined the morning run on Day Two, but I must admit that I didn’t. Kudos to those who did! The weather was pretty bad in the morning, but luckily it cleared up later on. We started the day’s sessions with a couple of common tracks where we got to hear Scott Roessler’s thoughts on Global industry trends before Lukas Letzner showed us the new planning tool Naviga Plan that is soon to be released. After the coffee break, we again divided into two tracks and the editorial track kicked off with stories about how Nordjyske and Agderposten migrated to Infomaker tools (now Naviga Writer, Open Content, and others). We then shared some tips on how to get the most out of your metadata to strengthen your digital business. The last session for the editorial track was a very interesting panel discussion on automating print production.
In advertising we had Natalia Brynte from digital communication agency Futency tell us about the digital trends she’s seeing such as multi-channel, micro moments and voice search. After lunch, Børsen and Tiroler Tagezeitung showed us the different ways they are using the ad serving integration in SalesLink. The advertising track finished off with Janne Lehtiö from Alma Media sharing his point of view on the progress we’re doing in MediaLink. Then we gathered for another coffee and kanelbulle (Swedish cinnamon roll) and had a final chat, handed out evaluations and said our goodbyes for this time.
Looking back at the conference, there were many memorable moments for me. Something that always warms my heart is hearing stories on how our customers are using the software to solve problems and then sharing that knowledge with others. Then, there’s the chance to meet the face behind the phone or email, or to meet someone you don’t know at all; that’s always very exciting. And last but not least, it’s about catching up with the ones you already know. I’ve only been with Naviga (Newscycle) for a bit over three years, but I absolutely feel like I belong to the user community that we have. I’m super happy with how the conference went this year and am already excited about next year. Will we be able to beat the 54th-floor views?