This September we will host the fourth annual, and personally my third, Zipnosis Customer Summit. As we enter our final stages of planning for the 2019 Summit I’ve been reflecting on how far the event has come and why, four years later, we still value hosting it so much.
In my previous professional life, I worked at a company that hosted a 5,000 attendee user group conference. In order to produce the conference, we hired a team of external event planners that worked year-round on the event. That format was fine, for that company. But that’s not the Zipnosis Customer Summit. And that’s not Zipnosis.
Our Customer Summit is intimate, personal, and about connecting people to their peers in similar roles at other health systems. The event is Zipnosis planned and Zipnosis designed, owned by an internal planning committee that meets weekly starting in early spring. I would definitely describe the event as “homegrown,” the first year we held it at our previous (admittedly less nice) office because we couldn’t afford to get a venue. Instead, we made the Summit’s focus good connections and good content. And while we have moved into a much nicer office that serves as a beautiful venue, the focus on connections and content has stuck.
We know asking our customers to invest both time and money in travel is a big deal, so we aim to be the best possible stewards of that investment. The Summit is designed to make sure our customers have access to the latest product information, relevant content, and meaningful connections they need to do their jobs even better. Our customers come from health systems across the US, they’re in various market and regulatory environments, and they’re at different stages in their virtual care journeys. What they share in common is that they are all leaders in bringing virtual care into their health systems and changing the way care is accessed and delivered. To this end, they all learn from each other’s unique perspectives. One of my favorite parts of the Summit is watching the cross-pollination of ideas that could not happen in any other format. Our customers leave the Summit with a community they didn’t have before.
Make no mistake, “homegrown” doesn’t mean poorly executed. To brag on our team a little, one of the things a customer told me after last year’s Summit was that, “it was one of the most well-organized events I have ever been to.” Knowing how valuable time is to our customers, our aim is to live up that praise each and every year.
And why have we stuck with our office as a venue? It’s a chance to bring our customers, who we see as partners, into the Zipnosis space and culture. Our company values are all over the walls and our whole team is able to play a role in the event. It’s a chance to put faces to the names our customers have seen throughout their time with us.
Now I have to brag on Minneapolis a bit, the amazing city we call home. Minneapolis not only has the perfect combination of warm and crisp weather in September—we also have a wonderful food scene, beautiful downtown, remarkable urban green spaces, and smart yet humble people. To top it all off we are a mecca for healthcare and technology. It’s the ideal setting for our customers to step away from the office for a few days and think big on the future of virtual care.
I for one, cannot wait.