Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 06:15
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14NTC was NTEN’s best attended conference so far.  There were over 2,000 attendees and about 150 exhibitors, one of which was CiviCRM.  Shout out to Andrew Hunt and Jane Hanley from AGH Strategies for organizing the booth and the CiviCRM Showcase.  Following are the takeaways from the firms that volunteered at the CiviCRM booth:
Ginkgo Street Labs: CiviCRM is finding new reach and with good reason. Unlike CMS's, there aren't a lot of choices for open source CRM. Compared to conferences past, more people were coming up to the booth wanting to know more, rather than having just stumbled upon us at the science fair. Things are definitely changing with more and more cloud services, but they only increase the need for CiviCRM as a central data repository - "one ring to rule them all" ;-) It was great hanging with the other vendors and seeing how strong and diverse the implementor community is. CiviCRM embodies everything an Open Source community should be.
BackOffice Thinking:  The attendance at the conference was a testament to the strength of the nonprofit industry.  What a great place to cultivate new relationships with potential clients and partners.  CiviCRM stands out from the crowd, not only because of it being an open source CRM for nonprofits, but because of its flexibility and true openness.  As for-profit corporations look for ways to increase their market share, they are looking at opportunities in the nonprofit sector, and they made it a point to stop by the CiviCRM booth to discuss partnership opportunities.  CiviCRM is unique also in the tightness of its community...we must have been the only booth that had volunteers from different firms representing the product.   
arete.IMAGINE:  “CiviCRM is the only CRM that offers donor management, email marketing, SMS marketing, event management, case management, membership management, and volunteer management in one integrated solution that is designed specifically for non-profit organizations. I came to the event expecting CiviCRM to be one of many CRM’s for non-profits and I expected to see many more of them with a much larger market penetration and presence. I was surprised to hear a third party integration developer (payment gateway) mention that CiviCRM has a significant interest to them because of its market penetration in the non-profit industry. I was also struck by the wide range of organization sizes CiviCRM is useful for from small organizations to very large organizations because of the ability to customize and build out the core feature set. I’m excited to see CiviCRM become even more polished and grow to deepen it’s foothold in the non-profit marketplace.”
AGH Strategies:  "CiviCRM has earned a place in the short list of solutions for nonprofits of nearly every type, and that's clear from talking with nonprofit leaders at the NTC.  In addition to general recognition, it was great to see the Tides Foundation present Lobo with the Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest at Saturday's keynote.  Most of all, it was a real pleasure to work together to represent and grow the CiviCRM community."
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... and for your hard work helping to spread the word about CiviCRM. Great to see the collaboration within the ecosystem - wish I had been able to be there.

Thanks so much for being part of the 14NTC and for creating so many engaging and valuable conversations in the Science Fair! I'm excited to hear all of these great take aways and insights from your experience. And a much-deserved congrats to Lobo!