LeagueApps recently sponsored and attended the 4th annual Sport & Social Industry Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 19-21st. The conference, organized by the Sport & Social Industry Association, brought together over 60 of the top sport & social clubs throughout the country (and Canada!). Here is a list of all of the SSIA member organizations.
LeagueApps partners with a bunch of SSIA members so it was awesome for Brian and Asaf to catch up with partners and meet a few for the first time in-person. (The 80-degree weather didn’t hurt either!). We scheduled a bunch of group and individual meetings but also found some time to play kickball, exchange swag, and share goodies with our partners. Check out the LeagueApps SSIA Conference album on Facebook for photos and some action shots from the conference!.
LeagueApps shared it’s plan for how we want to improve our partnership, product, and service to our league partners. These slides recap the presentation we shared with our partners (skip to slide #6 to learn more about the product initiatives). Mobile products and applications is a huge LeagueApps initiative and was a hot topic of conversation throughout the conference.
Most importantly, we learned a lot. One of the LeagueApps core values is to be “students of the game”. LeagueApps took away some really key lessons from our 4th SSIA Conference trip. These include:
1) Communicate LeagueApps Updates, Issues and Partner Benefits
LeagueApps needs to emphasize the benefits and value we provide to our partners. We also need to share product issues, challenges and delays. LeagueApps can provide better insight into our monthly product updates, Partner Days schedules, and other tools and services we plan to rollout (think webinars and beta groups). It seems like the more LeagueApps communicates the better service we are able to provide. We are eager to better communicate our product updates, benefits, and services to our partners in the future.
We also recognize that LeagueApps needs to share our product schedule and path on a more regular basis and better explain why we choose to focus development on certain features or functionality. It’s hard to hit exact dates when it comes to development but it should be easy to share how LeagueApps is thinking about its product evolution.
2) Better Product Focus
LeagueApps is learning that as a software platform (that doesn’t do customization) it is unrealistic to say we can solve 100% of all of our partners’ needs and use-cases. Rather than attempt to be the best at everything, we need to get tighter about what our product focus is (registration, communications), as well as provide and recommend solutions in areas that are not our forte. Many partners are already using SMS, Mailchimp, Quickbooks and other online products that should be able to more seamlessly integrate with LeagueApps.
3) Registration and Payments are King!
Over and over we were told by our partners that registration and payments is the #1 value we can provide to our partners. This feedback was constant across most of our partners at the conference. In addition to league registrations, there is a demand for better event registration on LeagueApps.
4) Balance the Old with the New
It’s crucial for LeagueApps to maintain our core league management platform, while building new innovative products (think mobile!). Keeping the balance between old and new features will allow us to service our partners effectively, as well as push our partners to the forefront of sports technology.
5) Help LeagueApps Partners Connect With Each Other (They’re Experts!)
We are inspired by the value the SSIA is able to provide to their members through the annual conference. We recognize that knowledge sharing and networking can help many of our partners especially as it pertains to how best to utilize and leverage the LeagueApps platform. We also recognize that many partners have become “product experts” as LeagueApps users and have lots to offer each other. We’ll continue to develop and create community forums and groups for partners that want to participate in these groups. If you have any tips, ideas, or would like to participate, please hit us up!
Special thanks to Galen, Chris and the SSIA for organizing the conference and allowing us to participate in all of the great activities and group sessions. Please let us know if you are interested to learn more about the SSIA and we can put you in touch directly with the organizers.
We’re now in the process of working many of these lessons into our processes, plans and product in 2014. We’re also planning more LeagueApps Partner Days in NYC, Washington D.C. and other cities this year. Let us know if you’d like to attend and we’ll be sure to invite you to an upcoming LeagueApps Partner Day!