Ask an Event Planner

Lonestar Stage Setup
Lonestar Stage Setup

As you may know, Spillman Technologies participates in industry events and hosts open houses all over the country. Today, we’d like to introduce you to  our event management team as part of our new blog series, Spillman Spotlight. This monthly blog series will give you an inside look at the workings of Spillman and help you learn a little more about your fellow Spillman customers.

Without our event management team, there would be no open houses, no tradeshows, and worst of all, no Users’ Conference. These employees put in hard work year-round to make the events come off without a hitch. Angie Dunn, Spillman’s Event Management Coordinator, organizes our participation in international tradeshows like APCO and IACP as well as Spillman’s Users’ Conference. If you didn’t realize how big Users’ Conference is, keep reading to find out just how many cans of soda we go through in that week! We’ll also introduce you to Chelsea Nelson, who works with Spillman employee Kim Larson to coordinate all other industry tradeshows as well as plan Spillman open houses around the country. She recently returned from an open house in beautiful Nacogdoches, Texas, with tales of stifling heat and delicious local pastry.

Angie –

Is there anything that might surprise customers about Users’ Conference?

Angie: On average, we go through more than 2,700 cans of soda, 2,300 bottles of water, and 66 gallons of coffee during the week of Users’ Conference. For breakfast, we go through over 180 pounds of sausage and use over 300 dozen eggs. As Spillman has grown over the years, so has our Users’ Conference.  When we first started holding the event 20 years ago, the conference was in one room for a few days and founder Richard Spillman wondered if he should even offer customers some soda pop and treats!

What are some of the things you look forward to during Users’ Conference?

Angie: Seeing customers face-to-face and getting to hang with them for a whole week. It’s like seeing an old friend and catching up. I like seeing the excitement customers have after attending the Opening General Session and the evening event. I look forward to the nice comments and feedback customers give the conference hosts while we are hanging out at the registration desk.

I also enjoy seeing everything come together and watching our customers engage with employees; eating the yummy meals Utah Food Service provides; all the popcorn , candy, and soda pop in Club Spillman; and riding the bus with a load full of customers to the evening event. I also love to see the Wisconsin ladies dressed to the nines for the banquet (“the prom,” as they call it).

Lastly, I love reading through the surveys customers give us at the end of the conference. I love seeing the comments and feedback (whether good or bad) so I can immediately start thinking about what to change for the next year.

User’s Conference is over September 13th this year. What do you do on that day?

Angie: I…

  • Jump for joy.
  • Package everything up in the U-Haul to head back to Spillman headquarters.
  • Tear up a little because it’s all over.
  • Wonder what the attendance is going to be like the next year and how we are going to top the evening event – then stop thinking and remind myself to stop thinking for at least a few more days. LOL!
  • Head to Spillman’s Bear Lake condo for some R&R and lots of sleep.

Chelsea –

What are some of the things that someone attending a Spillman open house can expect?

Chelsea: Attending a Spillman open house you can expect to have breakfast while conversing with other agencies also looking into our software. We will have literature packets to look through, as well as at least three Spillman sales representatives to answer any questions as we introduce our company. Following that, we will have a two-hour demonstration of Spillman solutions like dispatch, records, mobile, and more. You can then enjoy a catered lunch, followed by additional Q &A session and an optional tour of the agency where the open house is being held. An open house is a great way to be introduced to our company, have a refresher if you have already seen a demo, and see our software running live at an agency.

What are some of the things you look forward to when traveling to an open house?

Chelsea: I really enjoy open houses. It is fun to see all your work come together.  In preparing for the open house, we work with a few people from the agency and it is fun to finally meet them and work together to pull off a successful event. The agency wants it to be as successful as we do, because having surrounding counties use our software only benefits them. It is great to hear their testimonials of our company and to actually see the software at work in an agency. I love meeting new people and enjoy spending the day with customers and attendees.

You just recently got back from beautiful Nacogdoches. What was your favorite thing about Texas?

Chelsea: This was my first visit to Texas! I loved the little town of Nacogdoches. The people were all so nice, and I loved hearing “ya’ll” over and over.  I was also introduced to a type of pastry called kolaches by locals. I had never tasted them before, and even served that for breakfast as a request from our customer at the open house. I also experienced six days of heat that I haven’t ever experienced before.

Thanks to Angie and Chelsea for giving us a glimpse of the busy life of a Spillman event coordinator. Stay tuned for next month’s Spillman Spotlight blog, when we’ll be taking a behind-the-scenes look at our biggest Users’ Conference in history!