Top ten takeaways from the 2015 Widen Summit

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People come to the annual Widen Summit with a general goal in mind – to learn more about the Media Collective. Learning might mean gaining new skills, discovering new features, getting to know Widen staff, or expanding professional networks.

With so many great, information-filled sessions offered at this year's Summit, we know it’s not easy to absorb everything. In fact, it is impossible to attend all the sessions. Plus, you may come in focused on a few topics and if you are new to digital asset management (DAM), you’re dealing with a lot of new information.

No worry! We’re bringing you the top 10 takeaways and topics from the 2015 Widen Summit so that you can get a full view of the Summit and all it has to offer.

1. Word of mouth is a powerful way to get your product in front of people.

Keynote speaker and marketing professor Jonah Berger opened the Summit by explaining the power of word of mouth recommendations and their ability to increase sales. While Berger’s talk focused on marketing efforts, Media Collective admins can leverage word of mouth to increase adoption of and engagement with their DAM system.

2. A good DAM system needs a strategy behind it.

Our CEO Matthew Gonnering talked about the importance of treating your DAM system like any other business system – and that means having a purpose, vision, and a way to evaluate success.

3. Data can help you understand your assets and drive content decisions.

Widen recently launched our Insights app to give you immediate data on how and where your assets are being used. The info you get from Insights enables you to promote popular content, design new content based on often-viewed or downloaded assets, and prove return on investment. For coverage of the Insights session, see the blog post from last week.

4. Connect your DAM to other programs and software via API.

Media Collective’s application programming interface (API) is not new, but interest is surging as people want to connect the rich media in their DAM to publishing and design platforms like WordPress and InDesign.

5. Everyone wants a beautiful DAM.

This year we staffed hallway kiosks during breaks so that attendees could explore new features and services. There was a ton of interest in creating attractive dashboards, branded system messages, and appealing login pages so that DAM systems easy and appealing to use. We’ll be creating content around these topics soon!

6. Know your users.

This came up again and again. You have to connect with the people who use your DAM system in order to make sure metadata is useful, ensure that people know how to use the DAM system, and be visible as their DAM administrator. Surveys, coffee and conversations, or focus-group style settings are ways to connect with users.

7. Tell a story.

Storytelling was a popular topic at the 2015 Summit. While it’s generally a topic reserved for marketing, storytelling plays a role in DAM as well. Your DAM houses the visual vocabulary of your brand and is the first stop for the people who develop content and connect with audiences. Additionally, storytelling can be a tool for admins to encourage adoption. A well-crafted tale of life before DAM and life after DAM can help users see the value.

8. Baby-step your way to DAM greatness.

The Summit ended this year with a planning workshop where attendees identified tasks for the next week, six months, and twelve months. By thinking strategically (see #2) and breaking things down into small steps, you can create positive changes and increased system utility.

9. People want to talk.

This year was the first time we tried loud tables, or small groups of people talking about a loosely defined subject. A Widen staff person was at each table to guide the conversation and keep track of conversations. They were a hit. In fact, the only “downside” was that the loud tables were, in fact, loud. Next year, we’ll be back with better loud tables.

10. Librarians are awesome.

Throw the stereotype of the boring librarian out, because they are fun, engaging, and interesting to be around. They also like to stay out late. We hope that everyone had fun, not just the hard-partying librarians. There was a lot to see and do, from the welcome party at the Madison Children’s Museum to the aerial dance show and dinner at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery to interactive sessions and hands-on pre-Summit activities.


What were your top takeaways from the 2015 Widen Summit? Let us know in the comments.


Topics: Widen Summit

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