Snapshots of SBL
Last week I gave you a few snapshots of my experiences here in New Orleans. As I mentioned then, we're here for the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). ETS ran from Wednesday through Friday. SBL is running from Saturday through Tuesday.
For most of our crew, Friday was spent manning and then breaking down our ETS booth, only to take everything across the street to set up for SBL! I and one of our sales staff spent that day conducting an all-day Accordance training seminar. I managed to get through far more than I do in most training seminars, partly because it was a fairly advanced and homogeneous crowd. Because I didn't have to worry about going too fast for some and too slow for others, we were able to cover a lot of ground.
SBL started fast and furious. We were busy from the time the hall opened at 8:30 am until about lunchtime, when the crowds thinned and we were able to come up for air. As with every SBL, the Accordance booth is always a hotbed of activity. I say this every year, but if you want to rub shoulders with well-known scholars, come hang out at the Accordance booth.
Saturday afternoon I slipped away to watch a "Bible Software Shootout" in which various Bible Study programs were challenged to show how they could be used to answer five research questions. I hope to blog about the Shootout in detail later this week, but suffice it to say that most of those who attended seemed pretty impressed with Accordance. Rick Mansfield has written about his impressions of the Shootout on his This Lamp blog.
Demoing at SBL is always good for helping me keep up my Greek and Hebrew. In fact, you never know when one of your former professors might stop by to check up on you. I was in the middle of a Hebrew demo when the Florida State prof who first taught me Hebrew interrupted to say hello. One of my Greek profs from seminary has also been by the booth.
One fun aspect of this year's show is that I've gotten to meet a number of people I've previously known only through their blogs, tweets, and posts to the Accordance forum. I'm always amazed at how well some of these folks know Accordance.
By far the best thing about these shows is the encouragement we receive from everyone who stops by. Today a woman sat down for a demo, explaining that she had never seen Accordance before. One of our users who was sitting on the other side of the table overheard this and spontaneously began telling her how "addictive" Accordance is and saying it is hands down the best software for Biblical studies. It was a wonderful endorsement, and that kind of thing goes on all the time here. Basically, our users "sell" Accordance; we just demonstrate how it works!
If you're here at SBL and you want to be where the action is, be sure to stop by the Accordance booth.