Connections 2014. Change was in the air....
The presentations and breakout sessions were strategic and designed to deliver the maximum in content, which limited questions and interaction. But the delivery was theatrical and drove excitement. A center stage was surrounded by over 8,000 audience members (up from last year) and four massive video screens. There was evidence of brand integration – less orange more blue, but both were still present.
Journey Builder was the star attraction and the app version made an appearance. Via the non-stop demonstrations and discussions, including case studies from FitBit, Live Nation, Kimpton Hotels, Stanley Black & Decker and McDonalds, its clear Journey Builder is a powerful tool. Though customers will likely need help leveraging all that the tool has to offer.
Speaking of stars and appearances, John Green and Mindy Kaling were the last keynote speakers. They didn't have much to say about marketing – in fact – Mindy wondered if she had stumbled upon a "cult," but it opened up the conference to local students. And provided an interesting and funny way to wind down the conference.
There is no doubt that under the SalesForce umbrella, ExactTarget is a strong contender for the title of premiere email service provider. SalesForce is forecasting an increase for partner revenue to grow from 30% to over 50% by 2016.
Connections 2014 was definitely somewhat of a goodbye – an end of an era. But it also felt like a promising new beginning.