Interview with AgileAssets COO Michael Lester.
AgileAssets kicked off its Xchange Roadshow with two all-virtual user conferences in October 2020. The Roadshow is a series of regionally focused events for AgileAssets users from neighboring cities, counties, and states to share their common challenges and solutions.
I sat down with AgileAssets COO Michael Lester to learn more about how AgileAssets customers, partners—and especially end users—can benefit from this regional conference format.
What prompted the idea for an Xchange Roadshow?
We have heard several customers express an interest in more frequent user events. We know they want to be more engaged with us and with each other, so we want to make that happen.
A typical agency may have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of users and we’re not able to reach them through the global Xchange in Austin, even with our live streaming of many sessions. It can be challenging for government agencies to send larger groups of end-users due to budget and travel limitations.
We value being easy to do business with, so we decided to bring a version of Xchange closer to our users by hosting more compact events tailored to regional needs. We’ll start with two virtual events so attendees can participate from anywhere, but we’ll keep the focus regional. When travel restrictions ease up in the future, we will co-host these events with our customers and business partners at locations that make it easy to travel in and out.
As we move forward with plans for future events, we’ll post dates, locations, and registration information on the Xchange Roadshow page at AgileAssets.com.
How will attendees participate in the virtual events?
We’ll use a multi-function interactive conferencing platform to facilitate group dialog, breakouts, and one-on-one conversations. For people who have been doing a lot more remote meetings these days, the conferencing technology will be fairly familiar, but much more versatile for group interaction than normal video conferencing platforms.
You mentioned tailored events. How will they address regional needs?
We plan to tailor the Roadshow based on who’s going to be there and what they’re experiencing at their agencies. We’ll have presentations by our customers about issues impacting their areas. We’ll have an executive keynote from AgileAssets and a product update.
With a streamlined schedule covering just a day or so, the Roadshow will be lighter on workshop demonstrations, but the content will be more specific to the audience. Overall, we envision an even more interactive environment than we’ve seen at past conferences.
What can attendees expect to take away in terms of value compared to the larger Xchange conference?
It’s going to be a different type of value. At the bigger Xchange in Austin, there are a lot more people to interact with. With the Xchange Roadshow—whether virtual or in-person—the local users can be more engaged in showcasing what they’re doing. We’ll address topics that are more targeted and top-of-mind for the local users than the higher-level content delivered at the larger conference. We want to bring more concentrated value to our clients around the country.
Will anything change for the global Xchange conference?
Only the time of year when it’s held. Between the main Xchange in Austin and the Roadshows around the country, groups will come together every 12 months instead of 18. The global conference will take place less often than today, but the opportunities to connect with our community will be richer, more frequent, and more accessible.
About the Interviewee
A longtime software industry executive and transformational leader, Michael Lester is Chief Operating Officer at AgileAssets, where he oversees all the areas of the company that involves customers and software products. Before joining AgileAssets in 2014, he held leadership roles at various global firms, including IBM, CA Technologies, and Franklin Covey.
About the Blogger
Nick Franck is Senior Digital Content Producer at AgileAssets, where he creates podcasts, videos, blogs, and more. Prior to joining AgileAssets in 2019, Nick worked as a reporter and anchor at multiple local news stations across the U.S.