Take a look at some of the great sessions submitted in 2017!
Present Your Products Online with Technical SEO Hacks
Description: Presentation is everything for people as well as for search bots. When you are trying to rank on google search, there is a myriad of steps to get there. I will break it down to the most important tasks and then take you on the road to the technical side of SEO. If you already know how to code your own website, the technical SEO Hacks will give you that extra muscle and allow you to dominate Google’s search engine. You worked hard on building your product. Now you need to show it off! This presentation will cover content, to information architecture, to schema markup – everything you need to have your product visible to the online world. (Format: Presentation)
Speaker: Kim Higdon. An experienced and strategic designer, capable of coming up with new ways of approaching challenges and making positive changes to how the company is branded and marketed. I’m self-motivated to help increase sales and profitability for high growth businesses by forecasting, testing, and improving product presentation, technical SEO and UX. My online strategies have allowed me to help a local business acquire many SQL (qualified sales leads) from several large corporations like Google, Apple, Tesla, and Corning.
Millennial Impact on Industry
Description: Let’s talk about the impact Millennials have on the interaction between consumers and business. UI, engagement, and experience have never played such a crucial role. I would like to dissect what impacts will make your business more relevant to your consumer. (Format: Presentation)
Speaker: Trevor Gormley is a passionate millennial. He has regularly appeared on CNBC with Kevin O’Leary, Kelly Evans and Bill Griffith discussing retail investments like Apple and Tesla. Trevor formerly worked at UBS where he conducted ETF research to help lower the average cost basis for clients. Trevor loves to surf, innovate and create things outside of his comfort zone. Today, Trevor is the owner of the Millennial View a consulting firm that helps corporations understand how to better engage millennial consumers and employees. Trevor along with the Millennial View have been featured Huffington Post, Inc. Magazine and Buzzfeed.
Right-Brain Product Marketing – Mind Mapping for Growth Hacking
Description: Learn about Product Marketing on the Right Side of the Brain – How to use mind mapping tools in product management and product marketing processes for more efficient growth hacking and greater profitability.
– Choosing and using the right mind map software
– Research and collaboration: Inclusion vs exclusion, filters and functions
– The role of creativity & 4th dimension view: Thinking inside of the box over time
– Output: Visual data presentation, project management & the importance of storytelling
Use mind-maps to break down barriers to innovation in product management and marketing. Win friends and influence decision-makers. Connect the dots from start to finish: Business Plan – Strategic Plan – Project Management – Analytics. (Format: Presentation)
Speaker: Bayard Saunders – MiiA Communications – Product marketer for three successful startups; consultant for WPP Group and Omnicom agencies; creative innovator and strategic planner with two decades of experience helping Fortune 500 brands and entrepreneurs bring products to market in Technology, Healthcare, Retail, Automotive, Finance, and a variety of other industries.
Forget What You Think You Know. Know What Your Buyers Know
Description: Truth: your buyers know more than your leaders, sales and tech team do about why product is bought. Learn how to silence even the loudest opinion with actual market facts with Charles Topping, Win-Loss Agency founder, big brand refugee and reformed tech product marketer. (Format: Presentation / Workshop)
Speaker: Charles Topping is the Founder of the market research firm The Win-Loss Agency. Through the Agency, Charles helps businesses and product people learn the truth from their market and align their businesses with that truth. At all times, Charles values outside-in, objective market facts over insight-out personal opinions. Charles enjoys talking all things Win-Loss and product so stop him at any time to chat.
Redefining Excellence in a “Lean” Landscape
Description: Many product & engineering teams struggle with the balance of building it “right” and getting it to market as quickly as possible. There are outside forces from stakeholders that set a myriad of bars the team must hit and hurdles that must be jumped. There are also team members who have taken a part of the product and decided to make it their pièce de ré·sis·tance–the shining crown of their personal portfolio.
We’ll discuss a strategy to redefine excellence, align your team and stakeholders, and narrow the focus to what’s important. (Format: Presentation)
Speaker: Jon Shearer recently launched Cadence Co., a practice focused on helping companies build better products, teams and leaders.
Previously, he was responsible for building the technology team for Dave Ramsey from a small group to a high performing group of over 100. Prior to leaving Ramsey Solutions last year to start his consulting practice, he helped boot-up and organize the product management practice at Ramsey Solutions.
Human Factors: Why we suck at designing for people
Description: Shane will explain the various reasons we suck at designing interfaces, applications, and other “computer stuff” for other human beings. Most computer science undergrads, and even self-taught developers, coders, etc, are all taught to create binary visions of products. We program for black and white answers. Very simple yes or no situations — and this has led to some unforeseen issues within tech itself. This is because people operate in gray areas, and decisions we make aren’t always so certain. (Format: Presentation)
Speaker: Shane Morris has been developing and marketing products in the tech industry since MySpace Music, way back in 2004. From there, he ventured to Earmilk.com (co-founder), and then to Sony Music, where he did digital strategy and development for basically every country music artist… which was really boring. Now he operates Beautiful Majestic Dolphin, and do independent consulting for everything from NFL agents, grocery stores, white label Chinese importers, and more.
Description: How to define a game-plan that will ensure that the product you are delivering is of the highest possible quality.
Coming up with an idea for a product, feature, or enhancement is hard enough, but how do you ensure that what you deliver is something people want to use? How do you deliver the best possible product you can? In this presentation, I will cover some of the best practices, common pitfalls, and lessons learned that I have encountered while leading Quality Assurance teams at HomeAdvisor, Scripps Networks Interactive, Victoria’s Secret, and more. Building a quality product requires more than any one team, and figuring out how to get them working together is key to success.
* Best practices for working with other teams
* How to create useful and effective product requirements that other teams can make sense of
* How to figure out the ideal workflow for your organization or team
Speaker: Jon Robinson has helped build and lead a wide variety of teams across all aspects of QA over the past 11 years, and recently launched The QA Consultancy, which specializes in helping organizations improve their overall Quality. Having worked with organizations like HomeAdvisor, ScrippsNetworks, and Victoria’s Secret in the past, Jon has battle-tested his sometimes unique approach to QA in some incredibly demanding environments. He recently worked with Denver Public Schools and their CareerConnect program providing mentoring and internships to high school students, and was a pilot employer sponsor for their CareerResidency apprenticeship program at HomeAdvisor.
Product Management Lessons from The Big Lebowski
Description: One of the curses of being obsessed with building great products is you start to see parallels everywhere. For Matt Thackston, that means seeing insights into building great products in one of his favorite movies, The Big Lebowski. This presentation will use quotes from the movie to highlight important product management concepts, and we’ll walk through some related examples. It’ll be better than Marty’s dance quintet, and if you get that joke, this is definitely the presentation for you.
Speaker: Matt Thackston is a Senior Product Manager at Emma, Inc. where he’s contributed to everything from architectural overhauls to key integrations and feature development. His journey at Emma began in 2007 in the support room where he developed his empathy for customers. Afterwards, he became the first product manager at Emma and has helped to shape the role as the company has grown.
He’s a fan of UNC basketball, a properly-made Old Fashioned and, of course, the films of Joel and Ethan Coen.
How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Transform Customer Experience
Description: Leading companies are focusing on transforming the Customer Experience to develop customer loyalty and maintain market share in today’s omni-channel world. AI is the one tool that many experts anticipate will have the most disruptive impact on businesses. AI is an umbrella term for the integration of machine learning, language processing and knowledge management to manage daily tasks and transform the Customer Experience.
This presentation will provide an overview of the impact of AI on Customer Experience, including:
• Why many tools implemented to improve Customer Experience result in a negative impact on customer satisfaction
• The importance of AI to digital transformation
• The relationship between AI and companies evolving towards a more customer-centric approach
• Examples of early adoption of AI CEM solutions
• How AI may have the biggest impact on the evolution of Customer Experience over the next ten years
• Radical changes in customer service operations caused from AI
Speaker: Melissa Harris – CEO, Contract Trainers Corporation and Telecom Training Corporation – Melissa Harris, MBA, is a professional speaker, consultant, coach and learning & development expert. She founded Contract Trainers Corporation (CTC) and Telecom Training Corporation (TTC) over 20 years ago to design and facilitate customized training solutions. With over 850 contract training professionals, CTC/TTC works with leadership, sales, customer service, call centers, and tech support teams.
Her key areas of focus include soft skills (sales, customer service, leadership), new products/services, software, and billing systems. Project examples include mergers & acquisitions, new product launches, culture transformation and customer experience management.
She has also been a speaker at meetings and/or worked with the Board of Directors for Middle Tennessee organizations such as Nashville Technology Council, Women in Technology of Tennessee, Council on Aging, Nashville Association of Sales Professionals, Tennessee Telecommunications Association, International Institute of Business Analysis, and Project Management International.
Before founding Contract Trainers Corporation, Melissa was the General Manager National Training and Regional Marketing Director for BellSouth/Cingular/AT&T and Verizon/Cellular One. She has BBA and MBA degrees in retail/marketing and is a native of Nashville, Tennessee.
Enterprise Product Management : Maintaining Product Vision when a single customer can make or break your business
Description: How do you balance customer requests and your product’s vision when a single client can make or break your business line? How do you avoid 1-off client feature requests, turning your product into a Frankenstien’s monster of it’s original vision?
This roundtable will discuss common and unique challenges facing Enterprise Product Managers managing products with a short list of powerful customers.
Speaker: Cooper McGoodwin, Product Manager @ Change Healthcare. I’ve facilitated a roundtable discussion on Validating Product Ideas at the Nashville Product Meetup. I’m also the Sponsorship Coordinator for ProductCamp Nashville 2017.
Product Manager as Hockey Goalie
Description: Product management is like life in countless ways; it’s impossible not to discover parallels everywhere. And I’ve realized that, as a product manager, I’m a hockey goalie. In this presentation, I’ll share the lessons I learned on the rink and how I apply them in the office as I strive to practice servant leadership, strategic thinking, and good old fashioned grit. At the end, I will open the floor up for others to share their own helpful metaphors so that we can all learn fun and interesting ways of engaging with our work!
Speaker: Eric Mirowitz started his career in Los Angeles as an electrical and embedded systems engineer building consumer audio products for Beats by Dr. Dre and Apple. After moving to Nashville, he decided to pivot into product management and spent a year working on the web app team at LeanKit Inc. in Franklin. He’s currently a full-time puppy daddy and is seeking his next exciting opportunity.
Description: It is estimated that 91 people are moving to Nashville everyday, while 200 construction projects are building our great city to unforeseen levels. Without question, Nashville is going vertical and so must we. We will discuss erecting the apothesis identity for a business, venture, and organization. We will get equipped with tools to develop a visceral, vibrant, and viable self. In this session, we invite you to discover – Identity Architecture. Here is a brief concept to ponder: an architect is a person skilled in the art of building, one who both plans and designs buildings, and supervises their construction. In Greek “arkhitekton” means master-builder, which is derived from Greek terms archi (chief) and tekton (builder); architecture means “master/chief builder” . We can take this ancient concept, incorporate modern truths/trends to create a future desired reality. After you leave this workshop, we not only want other people to see your business/brand on a new level; we want you to have both an innovative and vertical experience with tools to immediately start building. Just for fun, we will also learn the hack to solving a Rubik’s Cube in a minute and a half.
Speaker: Hailing from Chicago,IL, Aaron Johnson has solved a Rubik’s in under a minute, exhibits exotic animals, and can make some amazing hot chicken. On a weekly basis, he can be found helping people build things all over the city of Nashville while listening to audio-books on his way to the next meeting. With over 10,000 hrs in the field, as a master strategist and self proclaimed “Identity Architect”, he is called on to work in specific projects ranging from hi-level governmental to beginning non-profits. He is a boutique strategy and brand consultant who regularly travels between Nashville and Chicago, and his primary commodity is education. His brains have been called on in rooms with upper echelon leaders and his hands have the served homeless. He has nothing to prove, but alot to lose if the people around him and their ventures, businesses, and organizations are not thriving, investing, innovating, and building. He passionately believes in the power of human capital, and regulary invests into the lives of people he feels are “divinely” put into his path. He also deeply believes in paying the cost to get all the rewards life has to offer; do you?
Demystifying Customer Metrics
Description: You’ve got a product. You’ve got customers using your product. But, how are your customers reacting to your product? And what can you learn from that reaction? In this presentation, I discuss the three major customer-based metrics: Net Promoter Score, Customer Satisfaction, and Customer Effort Score. I’ll break down the differences between each metric, why they’re valuable to product owners, and offer some tips on implementing customer data collection into your workflow.
Speaker: Lance Conzett is a native Nashvillian and the Senior Customer Success Manager at Raven Tools/TapClicks, where he acts as the voice of the customer in product decisions. He’s spoken at UserConf in Portland, Oregon, and SupConf in New York City on topics ranging from lean project management to firing abusive customers.
Us and Them: Working Well with Salespeople
Description: Product teams often have a strained relationship with Sales. When salespeople come at you with tons of feature requests, it’s hard to tell whether the product sucks, or they do. Conversely, when it’s time to take your product to market, salespeople are given the power to make or break your work. Like it or not, product teams often need to work with salespeople in order to be successful. Learning to work well with sales could be the critical link that propels your product (and your career) forward.
Speaker: Ann Howard is the Lead Link and a Managing Partner at Centresource, a 15 year-old software product management shop in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville. Previously, she worked as a rainmaker and as a consultant focused on technology, operations and strategic finance.
Taking a Testing Approach
Description: Consider how you “provide benefit to your customer”. The last work decision you made, how did you make that decision and how did you know that what you decided is what your customer actually wants? Testing is the vehicle through which the accumulation of experience, insight, education and the constant reassessment of our assumptions allows us to better understand our target across all facets of their journey, first as a buyer and then a customer. In this session we will cover the practical application of testing to your life and work.
Speaker: Kreya Kadam Owens is the Director of Acquisition Marketing at LeanKit. She works with companies to optimize their acquisition practices, focusing on optimizing their digital profile through testing, helping to bridge the gap between consumer needs and marketing strategy. She has an MBA from Trinity College Dublin and undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
“Please Work Harder And Faster:” How Being Obsessively Hands-On With Early Adopters Accelerated GoNoodle’s Early Growth
Description: Sometimes strategy is born out of necessity. We launched GoNoodle with only a rough idea of how our product would be used, how we’d talk about it, or where we’d find an audience. But via an obsessive approach to hands-on user interaction in our first year — born in-part out of resource constraints — we half-stumbled into the most direct path to product-market fit, optimized messaging, and a community of advocates that would drive our growth. I’ll share what worked — and what didn’t — in that intense first year after launch.
Speaker: Aaron Briggs is VP of Product and co-founder of GoNoodle — a Nashville-based company that gets kids moving throughout the school day so they can be their best selves. GoNoodle is currently used in 4 out of 5 US elementary schools, reaches 13 million kids each month, is used in 185 countries, and is the only employer in Nashville where the question “Should we have this meeting in McPufferson or Rad Chad?” is a valid inquiry. Aaron leads an amazing cross-functional product team of 15 contributors, and generally knows the answer to the question above.
Successfully Introducing New Commercial Equipment Requires a Process That Starts Before Product Development. What Manufacturers Should Do To Be More Successful.
Description: Most people would not be surprised that high tech companies like Apple or Tesla have stringent, gated product development and launch processes in place. In fact, most people likely assume they do. However, many people might be surprised to learn that a majority of small and mid-sized commercial equipment manufacturers don’t. Even many large commercial product manufacturers struggle with this issue.
During this session, Troy Wurth, a Marketing & Business Development Consultant, will use the Foodservice equipment industry (products used to store and prepare food in commercial kitchens worldwide) as an example of how many commercial products are conceived, moved through the development “process” then “launched”.
He will then share a roadmap and real world examples of how employees at all levels of a manufacturing organization should be working together to give customers in their industry, a product they would be willing to buy at a price point they find acceptable.
Speaker: Troy Wurth has spent his career working for large and mid-size manufacturers in a variety of industries by supporting Sales teams in Marketing and Business Development capacities. Today he is a Marketing & Business Development Consultant helping Foodservice equipment manufacturers:
• Speed Sales Cycles
• Justify & Launch New Products More Effectively
• Uncover Niche Market Opportunities
• Drive Peak Channel Performance
Learn more about Troy at:
Let’s Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills In Product Management. (What they didn’t teach you in school.)
Description: This will be an interactive session with short role-playing. Participants will learn how to manage a negotiation when it has taken a negative direction. By utilizing four practical steps, participants will develop skills to re-direct, beginning with understanding how expectations will influence the exchange – both theirs’ and the customers’.
Speaker: Michaella Babrich is a mediator whose skills are based on a deep knowledge as a social/human services federal bureaucrat having worked extensively in Europe and the United States with the U.S. military. Her practice is in Tennessee, where she is a Rule Listed 31 mediator and, Florida where she is certified by the Supreme Court of the state in family, dependency and appellate cases. Michaella offers pro se mediations through Nashville Conflict Resolution Center.
Siprachanh Chanthaphaychith is Founder of Chant Solutions, a consulting firm that helps manage and find resolutions for individuals, families, neighbors, coworkers, and businesses in dispute more efficiently and cost effectively, before they escalate or involve the court in litigation. Through a mediation process, Chant Solutions helps parties achieve a better understanding of the other party’s position. An entrepreneur with biomedical sciences and legal background, Siprachanh volunteers regularly with the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center at the Juvenile Justice Center and Birch Courthouse.
Game of Thrones: Product Management, Agile Development, and Dragons
Description: Tumultuous encounters. Scandalous propositions. Territorial skirmishes. While these phrases can surely summarize a typical episode of Game of Thrones, they can also often describe the experience of an agile development team when the role of product manager isn’t quite understood or embraced. Whether you’re a die-hard GoT fan not wanting to wait three years to get your fix, or you haven’t watched and would like to get the gist within the context of real-world, product management experiences, this session is for you. Dracarys!
Speaker: Kristian Kimbro Rickard is an author, speaker, and founder of Doyenne360, a social impact product and technology company. Prior to Doyenne360, Kristian was founder and Chief Change Agent at MAX451 after spending 5 years in product management at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA. Kristian can be found in the press and on twitter @KKRSeattle as she “makes science make sense,” sharing how social, mobile, analytics and the cloud can produce not only tangible results for organizations in our digital economy, yet also importantly – can enhance lives.
Cut to the Feeling: Developing Empathy and Action from Discovery Research
Description: As product people we care deeply about the details of the things we create. But sometimes this level of care tricks us into thinking we know more than we really do about the people *using* our products. We’re at our best when we’re humble enough to admit we know very little about the people we make things for, and all the messy details of their lives — details that should impact what we make, how we design, how we market, and how we sell. Through real life examples, this session will show how discovery research out in the field can help you better understand your users, and provide practical ways you can use that knowledge to make awesome products.
Speaker: Scott Tsuchiyama is the Director of Product Design at GoNoodle, where he helps create products that make learning active for millions of kids, both inside and out of the classroom.
Bits vs. Atoms: A Conversation About Developing Hardware vs. Software
Description: It’s easier to control bits than atoms — that’s why hardware development will always be different from that of software. However, recent technologies and frameworks such as 3D printing and agile principles are changing the way hardware is developed. Join Dave from Fractal (a hardware development agency) and Tomiko from Centresource (a software product management firm) as they explore these differences and talk about how the landscape will change for both in the years to come.
Speaker: Dave Seeman a mechanical engineer and co-owner of the product design firm Fractal Hardware, where Dave helps people turn their ideas into manufacturable products through design, prototyping, and engineering.
Tomiko Peirano is an enthusiastic business developer and “product whisperer” at Centresource, helping people build the right piece of software the first time and bridging the gap between leadership and engineering to make sure no tech or business decisions are made in a vacuum.
Confession of a product junkie – built the amazing thing, no need to talk to the silly humans, right?
Description: Company number 3 was supposed to be it.
We got funding with a comma in it (almost 2), built a team with dev, marketing, support, had the premium slack account, and I wrote enough Zaps to almost create AI. That’s all it takes right??
Here’s the funny part: never once have I felt qualified to be doing what I do. Usually I would assume the person reading this was actually much smarter than me. I’ve learned over time, the major difference between super successful nerds and everyone else… patients, grit, and frickin MARKET VALIDATION
Speaker: Jon Allen is a former Production Manager, FOH engineer, and touring guy… turned product nerd, co-founder, and partner to a few ventures. Trying, and so far succeeding, to hold onto the notion that you can make the world a better place through the right choices.
Meyers Briggs INTJ
Business qualifications: intern level
MVP mistakes and possibly some solutions
Description: A roundtable discussion focused on common mistakes and how to avoid them. Topics may include: the “P” in MVP stands for “prototype,” not “product;” if everyone is in the ideal market, no one is; polish over practicality is a losing game; advertising is often a terrible profit model; and “Go big or go home” is not the only way.
Speaker: Richard Rissanen is a compulsive researcher of the mildly interesting. Extroverted introvert, writer, speaker, recovering programmer, and full-time overflow consultant, Richard has spent the majority of his career working with startups, developing products, and taking his customers ideas from concept to production. In early 2013, Richard was part of the team that brought Cumberland Farms SmartPay, the first pay at the pump app for gas, to market. In late 2013, he became Head of Development for SmartPay. Currently, Richard consults for agencies performing discovery, diagnosing problems, prescribing solutions, implementing fixes, and resolving real issues leveraging modern, scalable web technologies.
What makes a great product leader?
Description: A panel discussion focused on sharing multiple perspectives on what makes a great product leader? We have assembled a large panel with lots of valuable perspectives. If the session schedule permits and sufficient people are interested, this may be a double length session to allow extended discussion, including the audience.
Speaker: Tom Noser is a senior product leader, innovator, simplifier, collaborator and educator who makes teams successful. Knows healthcare, social media, SaaS, sales acceleration, software development, and mobile. Works with sales, marketing, and operations to add new subscribers and grow revenue on SaaS platforms.
Where are all the co-founder/product managers?
Description: A panel discussion that will examine the essential role of product management in a founding team. The technology mythology is filled with charismatic visionary/ founder/coders, but often missed is the role that product management plays as a crucial competency for founding teams.
Speaker: Bob Batcheler will moderate the panel. Based on his experience leading product management, corporate strategy and new market development as a co-founder or key exec at three startups, Batch serves as a consultant to early- and mid-stage SaaS technology companies. He loves building teams and companies around great products.
Authenticity In Marketing: What Influencers Are Teaching Us
Description: Twitter Co-Founder, Biz Stone was once quoted saying, “It takes 10 years to become an overnight success.” Well, 10 years ago, Twitter was an infant, YouTube had just entered in to the “Terrible Two’s” and Facebook was still in diapers. Over the last decade, these platforms (and others) have allowed the voice of the consumer to become amplified. What does that mean for product marketers and companies? It means, you can’t fake it anymore. In this session we’ll explore the inevitable fact that Influencers really have become a force to be reckoned with and why that matters . Let’s get ready to enter 2027, shall we?
Speaker: A former music industry marketer turned entrepreneur is just one way to describe Vannesia Darby. After graduating Cum Laude with a degree in Business Management and Administration from Bradley University, Darby charged head first into the marketing field of the Gospel music industry.
Her career path eventually led her to oversee and execute the interactive marketing efforts for Motown Gospel, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. There she launch successful social media, video streaming, and playlisting campaigns for GRAMMY® and Stellar Award winners Tasha Cobbs, Smokie Norful, Brian Courtney Wilson, and many more.
While receiving her Masters in Organizational Leadership from Middle Tennessee State, Darby became a Certified Associate in Digital Marketing Foundations through Market Motive and a Certified Social Marketer with Hootsuite.
A young millennial with an old soul, she desires to help others pursue their passions while creating a legacy to empower the next generation. An accomplished blogger, she has contributed to outlets such as Teen Vogue®, Madame Noire, The Tempest and Blavity.