The 2018 Rent Manager User Conference was truly one for the record books. With nearly 800 people in attendance, more than 50 new features announced at the keynote—some of which we’ll detail in this article—and more industry experts and vendors on-site than ever before, we’re still reeling from our week on Amelia Island.
Planning for our yearly user conference begins each year in January—truth be told, the marketing team starts thinking about it well before then, but in January, things really start to heat up. Since the conference location is chosen the summer before the actual event, the team begins researching the conference site and the surrounding area, searching for clues to help shape the branding efforts for the entire conference. Taglines are brainstormed and design ideas are thrown around until final decisions are made and announced to the LCS team. With a look and feel for the year’s event created, it’s time to get down to business.
By February, session presenter tryouts are announced and before you know it, auditions are taking place before the RMUC session selection committee. Topics are proposed, chosen, and developed soon thereafter, and a call for external speakers is publicized, with the intent of bringing you the best and brightest in our industry. Each year, the conference committee uses feedback from the previous year’s attendees, researches industry trends, and reviews Rent Manager product updates to create a lineup of can’t-miss classes for conference attendees to choose from. This year, we offered upwards of 70 classes on topics ranging from Rent Manager’s built-in Report Writer to reputation management, and nearly everything in between.
Once the educational aspect of conference is nailed down and content development is underway, it’s time to turn attention to the lighter side of the user conference—the social events. Always a favorite among both staff and attendees, the social events take a decidedly local turn most years, and this year was no exception. On Florida’s Amelia Island, we had enough southern charm and interesting history to fuel two separate event themes, and a whole lot of fun.
We opened the conference with a charming southern fete, complete with parasols, fascinators, bowties, and suspenders—and enjoyed a beautiful evening under the Floridian night sky. On Tuesday night, our premiere social event brought a pirate party to the Magnolia Ballroom, where everyone enjoyed local cuisine, some tasty beverages, and the company of none other than Jack Sparrow himself! Watching our very own “Jack” perform the Cha-Cha Slide and lead a conga line was a sight to behold.
Innovation Hall Power Hour provided a low-key opportunity for conference-goers to peruse the stations of Innovation Hall and meet fellow attendees over a friendly game of giant Jenga or mega Connect Four. It was a networking happy hour to bring Wednesday to a close, and an event that has become a favorite for many. And finally, on Thursday, the RMUC.18 Closing Ceremony was a second-annual Davies Awards presentation, where tallies for categories such as social media posts and extravagant pirate costumes garnered recognition and earned recipients a golden statuette.
It was a whirlwind week, 10 months in the making, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. In fact, we’re already getting ready for #RMUC19! Take a look at our photos from Amelia Island and be sure to mark your calendars to attend next year.
RMUC.18 was our biggest, and arguably the best-ever Rent Manager User Conference, and we are determined to make 2019 even more exceptional!