Empower is our annual user conference — a premier event and networking opportunity within the content services industry. Empower brings together 3,000+ members of the Laserfiche community. Each day of the conference features dozens of breakout sessions, classes and labs. The courses are all designed to help users leverage content management technology to improve their organizations.
The Call for Speakers at Empower 2019 is now open! You’re invited to apply to be a speaker and share your success story, professional skills expertise or knowledge of industry trends with other event attendees.
Speakers from Empower 2018 spoke with us to share the benefits, challenges and unexpected excitement that came from their speaking experience. A few common themes emerged from our interviews.
ROI: You get more than you give
It’s a given that every speaker receives a complimentary ticket to the conference and hotel room for the duration of the event. But the benefits of being a speaker go far beyond tangible perks.
Every speaker cited professional growth as an added benefit. Being a speaker encompasses tasks that might put you out of your comfort zone – preparing content to present, fine-tuning your speaking skills and honing your ability to facilitate conversation in the form of an educational session. The process of being a speaker will empower you to tap skills that you don’t use regularly.
“Presenting adds another layer to Empower and makes you feel more invested in what’s going on while you’re there. You head to the conference with a mission bigger than learning new skills, connecting with other users and seeing what the future holds.” – John Rokenbrod, Software/Records Analyst of Bryan ISD
Speakers reflected on the huge growth opportunity in learning what resonated from their presentation by gauging attendee response. Several customers said that feedback helped them to assess their skills as a presenter. The commentary from class attendees informed them of areas of improvement or strengths to further develop.
Other benefits cited included establishing thought leadership within your industry and helping others by giving back specialized knowledge to the community.
Connect with industry peers
The Empower conference is a chance to be around your own tribe – people entrenched in the industry who speak your language. Barbara Brooke-Reese, MIS Manager from the City of Sebastian, FL remarked that she liked that Empower classes “don’t just focus on the Laserfiche product itself,” but also provide a wide range of information, both industry- and role- specific.
“What I enjoy most about the conference is the people: the opportunity to interact with and share ideas with people from everywhere.” – Rosalind Collins, Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue for Charlottesville
Several speakers told us that the Empower Conference is one of the few times during the year when they are surrounded by industry peers. Besides the occasional class or networking event, attendees find that the conference provides a rare opportunity to meet associates from distant areas who specifically use similar technology solutions. They found value in meeting in person to share ideas and troubleshoot common pain points.
A benefit of speaking at Empower is access to many technical and subject-matter experts, including a chance to tap into their extensive bank of knowledge. Dr. Will Brandon, CEO of Learning ARTS says, “attendees are very open with their programming secrets, knowledge and experience.”
Speaking of her role as a records manager, Pilar McAdam of Kaizen Infosource explained, “we’re…used to being alone in our jobs, so when records [managers] get together, it’s like a family reunion. Oftentimes, there aren’t other opportunities to talk about what [we] do.”
Promote your cause to an audience
Empower provides the ideal forum to promote the cause that you’re passionate about. Speakers told us that they were delighted by the enthusiasm of class attendees. Attendees have many classes to choose from, so your audience is hungry for the information that you’re providing. “You’re probably going to speak about something you care about; other people who care about that thing are going to attend your session,” said Collins.
Dr. Will Brandon serves as the CEO of Learning ARTS, a company that improves care for children with developmental disabilities like autism. Though his presentation was about streamlining case management and data analysis, he found that many attendees had loved ones with autism and specifically gravitated towards Learning ARTS’ humanitarian mission. Brandon said, “You’re going to gain knowledge and improve your business. What better way to solve your issues than having the undivided attention of a room of people?”
From a business perspective, McAdam shared, “it’s certainly a good forum for me as a consultant to make connections with people who are considering using Laserfiche.”
No matter what you care about, Empower is a place to connect with others who share your interests.
Feel prepared – you’re armed with tools for success
“This presentation is a partnership, Laserfiche is there to help build our confidence as well as help us see our potential.” – Beverly Strickland, Laserfiche Administrator, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
The Laserfiche team is your dedicated partner for success as a speaker. We pour resources into preparing you for everything from idea to execution. “I think that [you provide] a fantastic amount of preparation and support,” McAdam said.
Our team is here to:
- Help focus your message.
- Coach you as you rehearse.
- Provide feedback throughout the process to ensure your class reaches its full potential.
“Preparation was a very gentle, encouraging and positive experience.” – Rosalind Collins
Our team is as invested in the outcome as you are, so we provide the guidance and resources you need to lead an outstanding class. As you develop your presentation, we’ll provide both positive and constructive feedback to help you deliver your message with as much impact as possible.
Learn from others’ experience
Being a speaker puts you in a unique position of being among peers but also being an authority in your specific niche. In the words of McAdam, “the attendees are hungry for case studies, for not only success stories but also ‘this is where I screwed up’ stories. They are really hungry for real-world stuff.” By sharing your story, you’re providing others with insights based on the hurdles that you’ve already cleared.
As a speaker, many attendees will ask questions during or after your course. This is a prime opportunity to learn about different methodologies and attempts to solve business problems.
“You get to hear from real users, hear from speakers who are doing it—they’re actually working with the program and sharing real life strategies and real life examples of what they’ve learned, and the mistakes they’ve made: what worked and what didn’t work, here’s how you avoid the pitfalls we ran into.” -John Rokenbrod
But perhaps the best part of speaking at Empower is inspiring others. “If you’re a speaker, you can help open doors for people so that they can learn, they can see things in a different light,” said Dave Covert, Enterprise Application Supervisor of Bonneville Joint School District 93.