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News Insight User Group 2024: Inntopia’s New Approach to In-Person Meetings

photo from insight 2023 user group photo from insight 2023 user group

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

 Mar 20, 2024

The Inntopia user group has taken a handful of different forms over the years. Initially, it was simply a small gathering of partners eager to get more from their working relationship with Inntopia. Later, we teamed up with Ryan Solutions and DestiMetrics to scale up that event into what we called Destination Summit. Once our three companies merged into the Inntopia of today, we kept that scale but rebranded the gathering as Insight before the pandemic forced the event to be held virtually. Coming out of the pandemic, we brought back an in-person meeting, but scaled it down to focus on quality over quantity.

From all of these iterations, but especially these last two events in 2022 and 2023, we’ve learned some really insightful things from our community.

First, spending time in person is priceless. You missed it as much as we did. Even more, it’s a key part of how we want to work with all of you, our partners.

Second, travel budgets, especially for the hands-on roles we’d typically seen attend our user groups, are shrinking. Even from 2022 to 2023 we could see this change.

Third, every team is doing more with less right now. I talked to a half dozen of our partners last fall who had plenty of budget but simply not enough time to make the trip.

A marketing director I spoke with summed up these ideas as well as anyone:

“I would love to come! Insight was my favorite conference last year and I would love to meet with my account manager in-person on some ideas we have, but our travel budgets got hit pretty hard and my marketing manager took a new job last week. It’s all hands on deck.”

The irony of this situation is that this is the exact type of partner we want and need to be spending time with in-person!

So, we’re trying something new in 2024. Like you, our travel budgets aren’t endless. But instead of using a big chunk of that budget to send our entire team to a user group and then telling your team to travel there too, we’re sending our account managers and onboarding team to where you and your team already are.

Here are a few ways we’ll do that:

Larger Presence at Existing Conferences
The first is by sending more of our team to the conferences many of you already attend. We’ll arrive early or stay late if needed to ensure we can sit down, share best practices, plan strategy, and work on big ideas. This list will likely grow, but right now we’re planning an increased presence at MTS in April, NSAA National in May, and HITEC in June.

More In-Person Visits
The second change is increasing the number of on-site visits and planning these trips better so we can include more visits on each trip. We can’t visit everyone, but we hope this approach will allow our team to better support our partners through key moments regardless of their travel budget or whether those moments align with user group dates.

More Onboarding On-Sites
The third change is doing more on-site onboarding visits to help new partners get up and running. This is something we did in the early days of Inntopia but became less frequent as more of these new partners started attending our user groups. We’ve seen the value of these visits increase recently and think this is a perfect time to scale those up again.

What do these changes mean for our traditional in-person event? As you may have guessed, we’re pushing pause on an in-person user group for 2024 as we try this new, more individual approach.

Interestingly, what we’ve realized as we’ve discussed this idea is that despite seeing all of you in smaller groups, this approach will almost surely increase the total number of partners we get to spend time with in-person this year. Our team is also really excited about being able to meet you in the places you love and call home. That said, the one thing missing is our partners spending time with each other. We don’t have a perfect solution there, but if you’d like to gather with some like-minded folks during a conference or in-person, let your account manager know. We’d love to help facilitate.

This fall we’ll regroup, see how this approach is going, and start talking about plans for 2025. Maybe we’ll repeat this angle, maybe we’ll go back to a previous concept, or maybe we’ll try something totally new. But the one thing you can be certain of is that we’ll do our best to support you, our partners, in the best way we possibly can.

We can’t wait to see more of you this year!

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