CBORD’s first live UGC since 2019 kicks off to great enthusiasm

On October 9, 2022, more than 500 attendees from around the globe gathered at Red Rock Casino Resort in Las Vegas to attend the opening session of CBORD’s first in-person User Group Conference since 2019. Though many had attended last year’s virtual conference, the overwhelming consensus was that there is no suitable substitute for the connectivity, hugs, and handshakes that only face-to-face gatherings can bring.

In his opening remarks, CBORD President and CEO Jim Hoefflin addressed the upsides of the pandemic, including finding new ways to communicate, the power of innovation, and the value of in-person interactions. “We learned that we’re stronger than we thought,” he said before diving into the results of a customer priorities survey that outlined the biggest obstacles facing higher education, K-12 education, acute healthcare, senior living, and businesses today. From supply chain and staffing shortages to increasing service requirements, Hoefflin underscored the key role of automation and the portfolio of CBORD solutions “to help innovate up and out of today’s challenges.”

A High Demand for Learning

Though UGC attendees were eager to learn about new product offerings, many were there to learn how to maximize their existing systems and glean best practices from like-minded organizations. Application trainings such as CS Gold Patron Import, Oracle MICROS Simphony, and NetMenu Quick Tickets filled up quickly, and many other trainings expanded their capacity to accommodate the high demand for learning.

“I love the speakers that are users,” said Alexander King from Mosaic Life Care, who felt that he could really connect with those who experienced the systems firsthand. He and many of his healthcare colleagues are feeling the devastating impacts of supply chain and staffing shortages and noted that the stakes are higher in healthcare, since shortages could mean the difference between life and death.

Another attendee, Cindee Ancheta from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, was most interested in expanding her practical knowledge about how to use her school’s existing programs. Increased enrollment has led to more service demands, therefore further automation is crucial to managing the workload.

Sharing Feedback and Ideas

The multiple caucus sessions allowed CBORD customers to share their feedback and ideas. The CS Gold caucus was a full room that was lighthearted in spirit yet direct in purpose. Participants enthusiastically asked questions and aired their pain points, while the CBORD team actively noted suggestions. Through a show of hands, the idea for an advanced class was the most popular item to move forward on.

Across the board, one of the conference’s hottest topics was checkout-free technology, namely the Just Walk Out technology by Amazon. A pop-up shop in the tech exhibit in the ballroom allowed attendees to experience the technology firsthand, and the session led by Amazon’s head of U.S. business development, Hardy Meyer, left attendees — particularly from healthcare and higher education — wanting to know more. Other well-received sessions pertained to timely issues such as how to handle gender accommodation requests for on-campus housing, case studies on implementing mobile credentials and biometrics, and innovative solutions to cope with an ever-changing labor market.

When comparing this year’s conference to previous ones, Jason Fishner from SUNY Delhi said he hopes that CBORD will continue to enrich the programming and add value “to attract new and returning clients.” Fishner is a six-time UGC participant who values the conference’s networking opportunities. “The selling point for me to come this year was getting to see people who I haven’t seen since 2019,” he said. “While we have phone conversations here and there, it is nice to come back face to face again.”

Highlights from CBORD UGC 2022

Relevant UGC Blogs 

UGC 2022 Welcome

The spirit of this year’s UGC: Fewer lectures, more dialogue

“I always felt like I could speak up,” said one attendee, echoing the spirit of collaboration and communication that ran through UGC 2022.

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