Nearly a month ago, I joined several of my co-workers, as well as partners, customers, and experts from all over the world in the Seaport area of Boston, Massachusetts for Akeneo’s first US based Unlock conference. I’ve heard a lot about these conferences and even helped the Sitation team prepare and share upon return from other conferences from a marketing perspective. This time, I got to attend and it was awesome. Here are my favorite parts about my Akeneo Boston Unlock 2022 experience.
My favorite part:
It was in person! I know, I know, of course it was but in this post pandemic world, nearly everything has moved to remote online formatting. I have spent nearly a year getting to know the Akeneo team, our Akeneo clients, and my own co-workers primarily through Zoom and email. Amazingly enough, I have built foundational professional relationships with some of them without ever meeting. It was awesome to meet Francois Chaix in the spring when he made a trip to Sitation headquarters (I’m lucky to live pretty close by) but otherwise my Akeneo connections were all divided by distance and connected by technology.
There is something special about meeting in person!
Having coffee with Kateri Osborne, meeting Peter Webster for happy hour with the Professional Services team, eating Italian food with Tim Morressy from our client, Giant Tiger , bowling with soon to be technology partners, and meeting Sitation coworkers, Account Executive, Ian Wills and Manager, Data & Content Services, Rachal Maley for the first time in person were among the real live interactions and connections I was fortunate to experience.
My second favorite part:
Sessions. The Akeneo Unlock team does an impressive job coming up with programming for the conference. Hearing from Akeneo employees and customers really bridges the gap between the clients we work with here at Sitation.
It was exciting to see François Silvain, the digital CTO at Havaianas International, David Allison, Senior Technical Product Manager at Sleep Number, and others on stage sharing the customer perspective.
I also enjoyed the playful banter of Akeneo’s Antoine Barbier, VP of Product and Sarah Hoffman, Senior Product Marketing Manager, as they demonstrated the value of features.
Brendan Witcher, VP and Principal Analyst, Digital Business Strategy for Forrester made the connection for all of us with his early and energizing session, People + Products = The New Business Equation For Success
My third favorite part:
New features. As George Dzuricsko pointed out in his Akeneo Unlock 2022 Highlights following Unlock in Paris earlier this year, Akeneo has a knack for knowing what features and improvements to release next. Knack is probably inaccurate because it is clear that they are taking into account the feedback of their customers and partners.
It is always exciting to read about the new releases and what is on the roadmap, it was even more special to be in person for the big reveal and the teases. Who doesn’t like to hear it first?!
This event’s biggest announcement and one that is allowed to be shared publicly is Akeneo’s Product Cloud and thus product activation. Akeneo says product cloud is “our solution for how omnichannel businesses can activate their entire product story across any and all channels that their customers are on, whether owned or unowned, known or yet to be discovered. “
Ultimately, these newly introduced advancements are about improving product experience. Composable, customizable, opportunities driven by cohesive and non siloed work methods.
Get the full run down by checking out Product Cloud, Product Activation, Product Experience; Oh My!
I could keep going but 12 favorites seems a few too many. My overall impression of the Unlock conference is that it represents a unique opportunity to connect. We connected with our customers, face to face in a world that is increasingly remote. We connected with our partners, working with Akeneo sales, service, and marketing to present solutions all year around but doing it face to face solidifies the professional relationships that add value for our customers. We connect as a company. Spending time with co-workers who we work with daily improves our interactions to drive the teamwork that serves all our relationships.
Sitation looks forward to attending the next Akeneo Unlock conference!