Countdown to the 2013 Widen User Summit: The premier conference for digital asset management in the cloud

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Countdown to the 2013 Widen User Summit ~ Inspiring Harmony

The Widen User Summit is only a month away and the Widen team is looking forward to welcoming over 100 DAM pros and marketing technologists to Madison for three days of learning, networking and fun.
In its second year, the Widen User Summit has quickly gained the reputation as the premier digital asset management conference for DAM veterans and newbies alike. 
This year’s theme, Inspiring Harmony, is dedicated to all of our customers in instrumental roles recognizing that digital asset management has become a strategic necessity for creative, marketing, sales and IT teams to perform in concert. All puns intended.
If you’re a Widen customer or soon-to-be Widen DAMster, you may still register for the (FREE) event, but time is running out. Get all the details at
With the excitement building here in Madison, we want to give you an idea of what you can expect at this year’s summit.
On Monday, October 14, we’re holding “office hours” to meet with your Widen team contacts in addition to some exceptional fun activities in the afternoon. Option 1, you can join us for a Betty Lou Cruise around Lake Monona to see the sites of Downtown Madison from the water surrounded by the beautiful fall colors. Option 2, we’re offering a “cheese tasting seminar” with Jeanne Carpenter of Wisconsin Cheese Originals at The Old Fashioned. October is Cheese Month in Wisconsin and we guarantee this DAM conference to be the only one dedicating so much time to cheese.
The Monday evening “welcome reception” will be a great opportunity to meet the entire Widen team and fellow Widen DAMsters. The reception will be held at DLUX – a classy burger joint where we’ll have sliders, shakes, music and magic. Yes, magic!
The DAM conference officially kicks off Tuesday, October 15 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center. This venue truly is one of the finest places in the Midwest for conferences and events. It is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s marvels right on the shores of Lake Monona.
Widen CEO Matthew Gonnering will begin the day with a conference opening. You can bet Widen’s fearless leader will be inspiring harmony with a look ahead at the conference, Widen’s  year in review and future outlook, but most importantly why Widen DAMsters are among the happiest professionals in the space.
Our keynote speaker is Scott Brinker, Cofounder and CEO of ION Interactive and author of Chief Marketing Technologist Blog. He’ll be giving a presentation on “five meta trends in marketing,” which are changing the definition of what marketing is all about. Learn more in Scott’s guest post on the Widen blog “The ascendency of marketing and marketing technologists.”
I’m especially looking forward to our only full group customer panel on the topic of “digital asset management in marketing and creative workflows” as I have the privilege to moderate this session full of a diverse group of DAMsters. My six customer panelists include: Lisa Gauvin of Yankee Candle, Valerie DeCleene of Brady Corporation, Miles Vaught of GE Aviation, Will Johnson of Messer Construction, Mark Ciske of CDesign (formerly with Hollister) and Jason Sims of Intergraph. 
Our last morning session before lunch will be a presentation on the topic of “brand creation and curation” with one of our newer customers – Michael Gilday of Bean Interactive along with Widen’s Brand Strategist Nina Brakel-Schutt.
We’ll have an extra-long lunch break at the Monona Terrace so you can have more free time to interact with your peers and the Widen team, catch up on emails, or get out and explore Madison.
Tuesday afternoon will feature three different concurrent breakout sessions lead by Widen subject matter experts and veteran customers. 
Widen’s Manager of Development & Infrastructure Deanna Ballew along with Dana Henke of CUNA will talk about “connecting DAM with other systems” via the Widen API. Widen Product Manager Kara Bubb will host a “metadata deep dive” session joined by Danielle Bauer of Cree and Michael San Fillipo of the Institute of International Education. Christine Krantz of Widen’s Client Development team will be presenting on the topic of “user adoption and engagement” along with Widen customers EJ Flammer of New Era Cap, Lisa Gauvin of Yankee Candle, and Diane White of Sub-Zero and Wolf.
Tuesday’s last session will be a “Widen product roadmap update” from Widen’s Director of Project Services Lanita Haag and Manager of Development & Infrastructure Deanna Ballew. I know they’re very excited to preview many of the new things to come with Media Collective version 7.0 releasing this fall. Feature updates and new services coming include: new web CMS integrations, Widen Mobile app v1.0, new cloud archive service, new web-to-print integration, faster global distribution, search results redesign, comments feature enhancements, streamlined upload workflow, new attach files feature, search technology upgrades and more!
Tuesday’s evening events include networking, cocktails & hors d'oeuvres, and dinner at Graze, a Madison favorite featuring many locally sourced foods followed by dessert and entertainment with dueling pianos at The Ivory Room, a Madison hot spot.
Wednesday, October 16 will be an action packed day of breakout sessions. We’re holding two different 75-minute sessions in the morning with four different topics to choose from in each session.
Breakout session 1 includes: “managing multiple brands” moderated by Widen Advisor Brenna Hale along with Susan Gieselman of Red Gold and Kimberlee Hemmer of Brady Corporation; “expanding into international markets” moderated by Widen Advisor Craig Bollig along with Horst Schulze and Frankie Buckle of Zeiss; “agency workflows” moderated by Widen Brand Strategist Nina Brakel-Schutt along with Barbara Alexander of COTY; and “managing the asset lifecycle” moderated by Widen Advisor Chris Rewey along with Sarah Sarow of Promega and Ann Childs of Childs Company.
Breakout Session 2 includes: “leveraging Single Sign On” moderated by Widen Dev Manager Deanna Ballew along with Miles Vaught of GE Aviation and Corey Chimko of Cornell University; “delegated administration” moderated by Widen Implementation Specialist Emily Jacoby along with Michel Bryson of Mercury Marine and Ellen Maly of Covidien; “Widen integrations overview” moderated by Widen Project Managers Libby Maurer and Karla Angel along with special guest partner Nish Patel of ConceptShare; and “new feature ideas and feedback” moderated by Widen Project Manager Josey Siegenthaler and Director of Project Services Lanita Haag.
Conflicted on which breakout sessions to attend? No worries, that’s why we’re repeating the morning sessions in the afternoon so you can get to at least 2 of the 4 concurrent breakouts. The summit officially ends Wednesday by 4:15.
The conference program will include plenty of breaks and networking opportunities in addition to enough chances to enjoy Madison during the best time of the year. Again, the Widen User Summit is free to all Widen customers and all meals will be provided between Monday evening and Wednesday lunch.
If you still want to attend, please register by September 30. Get all the details at
If you can’t make it, but want to get the content for your learning and continuous improvement, we will be recording everything and the videos and slide decks will be available after the event.
A special thanks to the Widen User Summit planning committee for the many hours dedicated to the planning since last year’s inaugural summit. If you have any questions or comments about the event, please email

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