Today's guest-blogger is Rick Bennett, the newest member of our module development team. Rick helped out at the annual conferences of ETS/SBL for the first time this year, and I asked him to write a little about his experience there.
I was both surprised and excited even to be able to attend SBL this year. I was planning on becoming a student member, but lacked the resources to attend. As I was browsing the SBL web-site, looking through the papers to be presented and brainstorming ways I might be able to attend, I got word that OakTree needed additional people to work the booth and do presentations!
One of the things I was impressed with was how well our team worked together. Each of us doing presentations had our own strengths, and we would switch off with each other when a customer needed additional support. Some members of the team were experts on the grammatically-tagged Greek texts, while others had extensive knowledge of Hebrew. One member of the team focused on demonstrating Accordance on the PC with the emulator, which was extremely helpful for the growing number of PC customers interested in our product who still haven't switched over to Mac. I can't forget to mention our sales team, who worked tirelessly throughout the conference to assist our customers in purchases and to provide technical support. I really appreciated the opportunity to be a part of the team.
As David has written in the past, I was also impressed with the number of people that came to our booth in comparison to the other booths around us. It was rewarding to see our customers' excited reactions to all the new releases. In many instances they were blown away by the amount of time they could save in their research using Accordance. Since I don't have regular contact with our customers, it was nice to see the fruit of all those late night hours staring at seemingly incoherent lines of code!
According to other members of our team, we had an increasing number of first-time Mac users who either purchased Accordance, or were interested in getting more information. We even had one customer who made a trip to the local Apple Store to buy a new Macbook so we could install Accordance on it for him. Also, it was encouraging to see the number of loyal customers who came back either to greet some of the team, or update to the newest version—some stretching back to version 1.0. Plus, as an aspiring academic myself, it was great to be able to meet the numerous scholars who either are users of Accordance, or were interested in checking out the new releases.
Overall, the conference was a success and I am grateful to have been a part of it. Next year the conference will be in Boston, so mark your calendars now and plan to be a part of it. You may see more of me in the future here on the blog, as I may write an occasional review of a new release the Development team has been working on. Till then...