Name of the event is PUGNYC, it stands for Pardot User Group New York City. I had the privilege of attending in person a networking event that was held in the new World Trade Center, New York City in Jan 2015. Pardot is a powerful software tool that enables companies to drive and deliver on their marketing strategies. I currently manage this tool in my organization and am always looking for ways that I can improve adoption and knowledge. I targeted this group because I had joined them in Linkedin and was very interested in the discussions, lots of good insights and cool new things for me to learn. Also sounds like a very fun and personable group so when I heard of this event, I was extremely excited to meet these people in person that I have met virtually. ..
I was quite impressed with the organizers, they put a lot of effort in planning the event. There were food, beer, a free presentation from one of the top implementation consulting firm, and some super users of the product – not to forget about the scenic view of Manhattan as we mingled on the 48th floor of a world class building. I tried to work my way around the room and talked to as many people as possible, one thing that stood out for me was that most of them hold senior positions and are big influencers of strategic marketing decision-making in the companies they work for. People I would like to connect with to grow my networking contacts. The presentation was on tips and tricks and how to create work-arounds for some of the current limitations which I found to be valuable as I can bring it back to help in my current responsibilities at work.
I shared some scenerios on how my company use the tool which after talking to one of the super users I found out a better way and getting higher quality results faster. Gaining this knowledge was truly a breakthrough for me. We played a game where everyone was given an activity sheet to fill in 25 words related to marketing automation using Pardot. The first letter was given and individually we had to come up with the word that begins with the letter. This was such a fun exercise and wow… I learned so much as people were throwing out so many words, some were new to me and made me realize how sophisticated this tool is and how much I don’t know.
I really enjoyed my experience mingling with this group. They were warm, welcoming and made me feel like I fit in quite comfortably. I can see that they genuinely care about helping each other and was surprised to see their willingness to share their ideas and offering their expertise if I need help in the future. I exchanged many business cards that evening and glad to add them to my Linkedin contacts. In my opinion this is a group of professionals and experts in the field that I can learn from and was very inspiring for me.
How many times have you received an email on something you have already responded to and was quite annoyed that the company ignorantly sent you the email? It happened to me many times and here’s an interesting quote from the event that stuck with me “Avoid embarrassing overlaps – Use a suppression list to remind those on an event list to RSVP without emailing those who already have.”
I would definitely attend similar events in the future as I can think of many personal and professional benefits for myself. At a personal level, I get motivated to acquire new skills and can give my resume a nice boost making it more attractive to employers. Professionally, these type of events go beyond just exchanging business cards, it will give me the experience to become more active in business communities and provide opportunities for me to take more leadership roles. It forges lasting relationships with others in similar business interests. I think that these type of relationships will be a rich, continuing source of inspiration and ideas. I did find a similar user group based in the Toronto area which I will be on the lookout for their next event so I can participate.