For three days at Host Analytics World 2016, over 800 customers and partners gathered at San Francisco's Marriott Marquis hotel to discuss ways to navigate change. The timing couldn't be better.
Markets are volatile. As of Friday morning, the S&P 500 stock index had inched up less than 1% for the year, after diving in January. U.S. economic growth had also slowed to less than 1% over the past six months and job growth had fallen below the average. Finance teams are under pressure to keep cash flowing to the right departments to take advantage of the best opportunities.
CEO Dave Kellogg addressed this new reality in his Day 1 keynote on navigating change. Well-formed EPM platforms that work with and pull data from operational systems can help customers chart a course through both fair and foul weather markets, Dave said. An in-context demo of the Spring16 release helped to reinforce his point.
Next, Chief Marketing Officer Ben Plummer moderated a panel discussion with three of the leading experts in EPM, planning, and business software. Rob Kugel of Ventana Research, Paul Hamerman of Forrester Research, and Steve Player of the Beyond Budgeting Round Table shared their thoughts on what it means to lead a strategic finance organization and how EPM plays a role in that. Later, Senior VP of Services Ron Baden led a panel of customers in a discussion about the realities of implementing EPM.
On Day 2, NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young reminded us that personal integration -- that is, really getting to know the members of our teams -- and personal accountability are the key ingredients for winning.
"If everybody in the business says, if I don't do my job really well, we're dead. If everybody truly feels that way, you cannot be beat," Young told the audience in attendance.
SVP of Product Management Bryan Katis followed with an overview of the Host Analytics Spring16 release as well as a look at the long-term product roadmap. Next, Customers For Life (CFL) chief Alison Holmlund gave attendees a late afternoon tour of new training and community support offerings before Kellogg joined her on stage to give awards to customers who've distinguished themselves by their commitment to and creative use of cloud-based EPM.
And on Day 3, Plummer shook off the cobwebs from dancing the night away on Wednesday to introduce a panel of finance rockstars weighing in on what it means to manage a finance team at a time of market chaos. Host Analytics Senior Director of Strategic Marketing Andre Lafayette moderated the discussion.
Plummer then closed out the day and the event by teasing next year's festivities. Host Analytics World 2017 will be held May 16-19 in Nashville, TN. Look for registration details in the months to come.
And in the meantime, if you want a chance at free tickets to next year's event, sign up now for the Host Analytics Rockstars program and you'll earn rewards points that can be redeemed for passes to Host Analytics World 2017, gift cards, or other types of custom experiences. See you next year!