Earlier this month, Advantage users hailing from Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, the UK, and US gathered in Brussels for our annual European Advantage User Group (EAUG) meeting. The diverse group brought a wide variety of perspectives, resulting in lively discussion both during the sessions and after hours.
The conference kicked off with a welcome from AdvantageCS staff and a round of introductions---a critical exercise for this group. “Our European users meeting is designed to both engage our users in the region and provide an opportunity for them to engage and learn from one another,” said AdvantageCS Vice President and Chief Product Manager, Dan Heffernan. He went on to provide an overview of AdvantageCS: what’s new at the company and where we’re headed in the coming months. In addition to numerous projects, including Cider and Members Advantage, he spoke to specific product updates, such as our recent Paypal integration. Dan also took a moment to celebrate successes; AdvantageCS has enjoyed profitability and stability for over 24 years. More immediate, various European clients—DecoProteste, Alma Talent, and Aller—have completed large projects, meriting congratulations.
A common thread throughout Dan’s presentation was the concept of change. As the publishing industry continues to evolve, AdvantageCS must adapt to changing conditions. We are committed to helping our clients do the same. That’s why we invest thousands of hours in research and development—to create products that enable our clients to overcome hurdles and seize growth opportunities. One of these products is Members Advantage, our new Association Management System (AMS). Product Manager John Sheehy took the floor to introduce the product and showcase some of its capabilities. Check out our video for a quick (and fun) summary.
Day one ended with a convivial meal at La Quincaillerie, a beautiful restaurant set in a former ironmonger’s shop in Ixelles. All enjoyed friendly conversation over Belgian beer and various delicious dishes.
Day two of EAUG 2017 kicked off with a presentation by Euroconsumers, who generously provided their Brussels office for the 1.5-day event. Jacques Goffeau gave attendees a look inside the 1.6M member-strong organization. True to its name, the nonprofit supports the interests of consumers in five countries (four in Europe, one in South America) through products and publications in six languages. Their large footprint presents a unique set of challenges as well as limitless possibilities.
After learning about Euroconsumers, attendees had the opportunity to attend one of three breakout sessions led by AdvantegeCS employees: continuous updates with Bryan Varblow; technology with Dick Hile; pricing and discounting with Philippe van Mastrigt and John Sheehy. Following the breakouts, Dan Heffernan returned to the stage to walk through browser-based Telesales /Telemarketing in Advantage. Recent improvements allow for CSR communication and reporting, plus advanced controls for management. Continuing the deep dive into Advantage products, John Sheehy shared a few more updates on Cider (our eCommerce platform), Project Tycho (advanced reporting), OmniStream (our XML-based upload tool), and Single Sign-On (SSO).
To close EAUG, we invited two key partners to present on their companies and how they integrate with Advantage. First, Maxime Moné of Poool spoke about the rise of paywalls and how they can be used to drive revenue. Poool’s dynamic paywall creates a tailored journey for each customer, adapting to different behaviors and other conditions, such as ad-blocking software, in real time. It then uses data to present the right option, minimizing bounce rates and maximizing subscriptions. Next, Alan Weaver of Alan Weaver Associates talked about Weaver Extracts, a set of templates that provide data for budgeting and forecasting purposes. Four of these extracts are available to Advantage users now.
We had a great time connecting with our European clients in person, and we hope that everyone found the experience to be beneficial. A special thank you to Euroconsumers/Test-Achats for hosting us at their offices, and Bob Thornton for leading the charge at AdvantageCS. We look forward to EAUG 2018!