Nov 27, 2015 Richard Mansfield

2015 ETS/SBL Reflections, Part 1

 

Creating a space for exploration, learning, and discovery.

I'm sitting in seat 31B at 30,000 feet, iPad Pro (yes, it's really nice) on my knees, reflecting on another successful November marked by the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and Society of Biblical Literature. We had a great week meeting with longtime Accordance users and introducing new customers to the best Bible software for the serious explorer of the ancient texts.

Now, I should clarify that when I say booth, I mean something that's actually on a far grander scale. Many vendors at these conferences have a booth—a 10 x 10 space usually consisting of a backdrop, long table, maybe a couple of chairs and often lots of physical books and/or informative literature. When we set up our space to demo Accordance, we create an environment for exploration, learning, and discovery.

SBL 2015

The Accordance area actually takes up about four standard booth spaces together in one big square. We bring in multiple tables, chairs, and computers of all kinds. There's a projector running all week, displaying a slideshow of our newest titles and best deals of the year.

We’ve designed an environment made for much more than selling software. Rather, we want to build relationships with our customers--have them sit down and tell us about their research--so that we can help them tailor the incredibly flexible Accordance engine to their specific scholarly pursuits related to biblical studies. The Accordance area is staffed by a dozen or so Accordance professionals--mostly employees, but often a couple of power users, too--who can help users regardless of their questions or needs.

Now, I only began working in the Accordance booth around 2008, so I'm somewhere between rookie and old pro compared to some of my fellow Accordance professionals. Nevertheless, in my time spent demoing Accordance at these two scholarly conferences, I've come to recognize a few common types of individuals who frequent our booth.

In the second part of my 2015 ETS/SBL reflections, to be posted early next week, I'll describe the SEVEN types of Accordance users who frequent our booth. Maybe you'll see yourself in one of these descriptions.

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