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The Cascade Server User Conference is something that Beacon has been attending since 2006. (I personally have been to four of the 5, missing 2007′s conference to move into our new house…believe me, I would have rather been at the conference.) It’s a great conference put on by Hannon Hill in Atlanta, where we get to mingle with Hannon Hill employees (and make absurd product development suggestions to them in-person), some of Beacon’s clients, and collaborate with other users. And we get to see how others are using Cascade for their university or business, which is very interesting.
The conference began in 2006, and was small enough to fit in Hannon Hill’s very nice offices in Buckhead. Given the ever-increasing popularity of Cascade, the conference has since moved to hotels, and this year will be at Georgia Tech’s Global Learning Center and Hotel & Conference Center. Besides being a top-notch facility, they have a pool table, where I can demonstrate why I only play pool once a year. Hannon Hill also hosts a reception on the first night, full of food, drinks, and mingling. Overall, it’s a jam-packed, but awesome, two-day experience.
At the first conference in 2006, I was asked (10 minutes beforehand, I might add) to be a participant in a round table discussion, where Cascade users fired questions at my two fellow participants and me about how we use Cascade in our business. (Little did I know that one of the participants would become a client of ours one day!) I’ll never forget it because as part of the introductions, we had to say name our alma mater, and when I said “Virginia Tech”, I got booed by someone. It turns out they were a bitter Clemson fan/employee, still upset about VT thumping them in the 2001 Gator Bowl.
Hannon Hill asked me to speak (by myself this time) at the 2007 conference, but I had to decline for reasons already mentioned. However, I did speak in 2008 and 2009 on “Tips & Tricks for End Users”, where I gave some insider information on how we effectively use Cascade for a variety of clients. For last year’s conference, I took the year off, and while I still attended the conference, I gladly let Brad Henry and Mark Dirks speak, titled “Web Marketing w/ Cascade Server CMS + Live SEO Reviews“. This talk emphasized how Web Marketing is so vital to your business, and how Cascade aids in that effort. It was a fantastic talk.
This year, I am speaking at the conference again, though the exact topic is TBD. Why do I want to speak at these conferences? Because I enjoy standing in front of a bunch of people at a lectern? Hardly. It’s a great way for me to share with others the innovative way we use Cascade to meet our clients’ content management needs. Any CMS can let you edit your content. But what else can it do for you? That’s where we step in: to push the envelope and make Cascade do what you need and want it to do.
If you’re a Cascade Server client of ours, come on down to Atlanta, September 19-20, 2011 for the 2011 Cascade Server User Conference. We would love to see you there!