I look forward to the NTEN NTC (Nonprofit Technology Network's conference) every year. This year, my 4th, promises to be the best yet.
It's in Washington, DC March 17-19, although I'll be arriving in DC on the 16th for an NTEN Board Meeting. It was in DC five years ago (2006) but I couldn't go because it just happened to be during Passover. I guess I'll be grateful for that, as it was my being vocal about my displeasure over the timing of the conference that introduced me to many of the people in the organization I hold dear today.
With the conference in DC, it means that getting there and back is easy by train. No checked luggage, no security lines. I practically commute to Union Station anyway. More exciting for me is that for the first time, I won't be the only representative from Colorectal Cancer Coalition at the conference. In fact, this year we have NTEN Organization membership so there will be four of us at the conference. I can focus solely on the sessions that I want to go to for me, rather than feeling any pressure to go to sessions solely to bring information back to my colleagues.
I'm honored to have been invited to join some panels. This is actually my first time officially speaking at NTC. I was on a panel two years ago as a last minute substitution. Much more fun to have the time to plan.
Here's where I'll be (the links are to MyNTC, the social community site for the conference):
New to NTC Orientation (9-10:30 am Thursday) – As an NTEN Member Ambassador, I'll be helping NTEN's fabulous new Membership Director Amy Sample Ward (a perfect choice for this job, don't you think?) on this affinity session in whatever way she needs me. Numbers-wise, the NTC is no Dreamforce. It's also not your typical business conference or annual meeting so newbies should check this out to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Mixing Business and Pleasure: Managing Your Personal and Professional Brand in Social Media (7-8 am Friday) – Yes, 7 o'clock in the morning. Seriously, I suggested we show up in our pajamas. They call this a "sunrise" session for a reason. I'm on a panel with Farra Trompeter (@farra) and Danielle Brigida (@starfocus) and we'll be talking about walking the line between who you are as a person, and who you are as a nonprofit employee. Which hat do you wear and how do you carry the message? How do you look in social media to the outside world? In my case, I'll be talking about some of my hard-learned lessons of not having a well-defined personal brand in social media when I first started out way back in 2002 and how that has carried over to the work side of my life. (#11NTCbrand)
Social Media and Contact Relationship Management – the New Mix (1:30-3 pm Friday) – Ironic that I'm writing about this session as I'm watching the live feed of Salesforce making social media announcements in New York City. Tight integration between database and social media. Bringing multiple communication channels in to a contact-centered model. It's the new shiny. This is a rock star panel with Debra Askanase, Steve Backman and Laura Quinn. They're the ones doing the heavy lifting. I'll just be presenting a bit of a case study of how we're starting to funnel multi-channel communication in to our CRM. (#11NTCSocialCRM)
Tech Track: Keeping it Real (Secure) – Security in Your Network Neighborhood (10:30 am-12 pm Saturday) – The tech track sessions differ in both content and structure. Content-wise, they're aimed totally at the folks who, like me, work behind the curtain. A significant number of the NTC sessions are focused on strategy and constituent-facing technology applications. Using technology to deliver a message, or to raise funds. The tech track is for the folks who are primarily thinking about keeping the lights on and networks humming. Structurally, these are collaborative/conversational sessions. Sit in a circle and share ideas and resources, while the "presenters" are facilitators instead of providers of one-way brain dumps via PowerPoint. I love it. I got so much out of last year's content that I jumped at the opportunity to help design and facilitate sessions this year with an amazing group of brilliant people.
This session was my suggestion, so I volunteered to be point person on it. Steve Spiker and Steve Backman are facilitating this session with me. It's a nice mix as you have someone from a larger org, someone from a smaller org, and a consultant-type.
I didn't suggest this session thinking about how to protect a website from outside hackers, although of course that's an issue. I was thinking more of internal challenges. A big issue I face in my small org is how to be security cop without hindering productivity. Sure, I can easily require everyone to have 15 character complex passwords they have to change every 2 weeks, but then I'd spend most of my day fielding reset requests and death threats from my co-workers. The reality is that they'd just make their password their dog's name five times instead of once. What tools can I have folks install to help manage their password security that I wouldn't have to babysit on their individual computers? How can I get them to stop using the same password on the database that they do on their Facebook and bank account? What do we do if there's a breach? Are we in compliance? I struggle with these issues constantly. I suggested this session in the hopes that it will attract people smarter than me and we can figure it out together. (11NTCttsec)
I'm also volunteering to help at the customer service desk from 2-6 pm on Thursday and 3-6 pm on Saturday.
Stop by and say hi!