or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
As anyone who reads this blog occasionally, will know, I do a lot of work right across the social housing sector, in locations right across the UK, improving systems and how I can help clients extract the absolute max from them.
Key to this in my opinion for going places, is keeping up with technological solutions and with what others are doing successfully with those. Cracking both of these is actually not as easy as it may seem. For example, I bring a cornucopia of product experience, to the work I do, which I work hard to keep up to date. My ear is always to the ground about new emerging tech, suppliers doing a great job with landlords, and ones somewhat less good.
Conferences and exhibitions are great sources of information, exposure to the most up to date products and some of the most innovative current suppliers. While its useful to meet suppliers at exhibitions (and you should!), one of the most useful feature is to hear how organisations have used those solutions and the journey they have experienced. Some of these sessions can be gold dust to organisations looking to get the most from those solutions and verify what progress has been made and time taken. Two of the key elements to every project.
Going back a decade or more, there was a wide range of conferences and exhibitions, covering systems and associated ICT solutions for SocialHousing. Being honest, many of those seemed to be structured more around suppliers. Conference spots were more about suppliers talking themselves up and actually attendees often learned nothing. I had sat in sessions where I would have learned more Googling it or chatting to users over a beer. Its not surprising that many of those events have hit the buffers and are no more.
These days there is a single ‘go-to’ conference event, early March each year, which in my opinion, has always set out to put the client experience first, which is way better for suppliers and guests. I think that is what explains the success of Housing Technology’s Annual Conference and Exhibition, now 12 years on and due for March 4th & 5th 2020.
I will be there (natch) and as I usually do, will be urging all the clients I work with to attend too. Many are looking to supplement or change solutions, but all are looking to learn from others. The Housing Technology Conference is the perfect opportunity to chat to others, often in the bar or an informal setting. I have often learnt more over a Dead Pony IPA or a pot of Camomile tea at the HT conference, than sitting through two days of demos. No kidding!
These days I know its harder than ever to get a few days out of the office. Its not a free buffet lunch, it’s a working day and will take you forward with better systems and experiences.
If you have not already signed up a place at Housing Technology, grab one soon before they reach full capacity. Here is the link for booking at the Doubletree by Hilton Oxford Belfry - https://www.housing-technology.com/event/housing-technology-2020-conference/#section-8
March 2020 provides an interesting line-up of exhibitors, reflecting the current fashion of hybrid solutions, integrating or attempting to replace traditional housing packages. I surely need to make that a subject of a future blog. Key takeaways from presentation sessions, obviously will gravitate around better using tech for cost reductions, business change and innovation.
There will clearly something for everyone, if you manage 200 or over 20,000 homes. The current trend towards innovative SaaS delivery, should mean that any size of organisation, should be able to take advantage of many of the modern cloud and browser solutions out there. Hopefully, suppliers and providers exhibiting at HT2020 will be able to show off what’s possible and provide an indication if it might fit your budget.
If you are attending, feel free to say hello if spot me down there, I am always up for chewing the fat and exchanging experiences. If you have yet to book for a single or both days, just follow this link :- https://www.housing-technology.com/event/housing-technology-2020-conference/#section-8
This year too, I will be choosing some specific sessions, to review for a post conference blog and round up in Housing Technology magazine. More than ever this year, I am looking forward to the key tech conference for Housing, in our sector.
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Paul Weller – Going Places.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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