We organised a Customer Open Day (read more about other events) in response to an increasing number of clients asking if they could meet the people behind the software, and wanting to swap tips on running their businesses. But more than that, we also felt we had a lot to learn from our customers. We wanted to understand from them what really makes them tick; what their priorities were, and how we could help them to grow their businesses even more.

We decided an Open Day would give us the chance to experience in full the energy of people’s feedback, provide some useful tips on how to use our product, give people a sneak preview of the new features coming up and have the opportunity to catch up with them over a glass of wine.

Interestingly for a software company, Brightpearl started out making skateboards... As some of you might know Brightpearl founders Chris & Andy met at university where Chris started an online retail and wholesale business with help from Andy called Lush Longboards. Brightpearl was born out of the frustration Chris felt in getting 6 different pieces of business software to work together-- Sage for accounting, Act for customer contacts, an open source ecommerce website that Chris was unable to integrate. Alternative software like Netsuite was too expensive, complicated, and provided awful customer service. Brightpearl solved the problems, dramatically streamlining the company's processes and helping it become one of the top 3 brands globally in its sector.

Brightpearl itself then grew as a business into the thriving and still-expanding organisation it is today. Founders Chris and Andy have first-hand experience of growing businesses so we wanted to try to impart some of our knowledge to the companies who use our product. People tell us they choose Brightpearl because they want to work with people who they trust: people who understand their industry first hand because they have “been there, done that”.

What happened

Well, first things first, we had a great a time! It’s was brilliant to meet so many people that were as passionate about their businesses as we are about ours. In the morning our CEO, Salman, gave an inspiring intro to the day which was followed by some Q&A with Chris, our co-founder, and Ben, our CTO around Brightpearl’s past, present and future. Chris also gave the attendees an exclusive sneak preview to Brightpearl's upcoming new interface design.

Once we’d all filled up on a tasty lunch, four product workshops were held that gave the customers a chance to learn more about the product from each other as well as to give feedback directly to the product development team. It really was fantastic to hear people talk about their businesses and the way they use Brightpearl with such ardour. It certainly gave us something to think about and we hope it gave all the businesses who attended insight into how other companies are using our system.

There was of course plenty of networking time as well with coffee breaks between the various workshops, and then a wine tasting in the evening, thanks to the terrific Hourlier Wines.

The day far exceeded our expectations and we got some great feedback from the attendees as well…

What you said

The response from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive. 100% said that the day improved their understanding of Brightpearl, 94% said that it had increased their ability to use Brightpearl effectively and 82% said that it had increased their confidence in the product.

In the video above Ed and Phil from Ed&Phil Active gave us some feedback about the Open Day. We also asked people what the best thing they learned was, what was one thing they had expected but didn’t get and what was one thing they would change. Here is some of what they said:

The best thing I learned was -

“Grounding and understanding about the broad user base accessible to this system. I think it’s very exciting.”

“The potential of Brightpearl in improving my business”

“The full opportunity of the features”

“Where Brightpearl is heading and putting faces to names of staff”

“All of it”

(Oh and we couldn’t leave out our personal favourite: “Ed Massey is huge!”)

One thing I expected but didn’t get -

“Hard sell (not having that was good)”

“Specific workshop on particular area eg stocking & purchase””

“A load of sales waffle - instead was given great info :)”

“Nothing. It was extremely useful day, interesting to meet other users”

“No hard sell - well presented event!”

We were extremely pleased that so many people noted we did not want this day to be about sales. This is something we intend to continue in the future, we think our product speaks for itself, and our real aim is to help the people using it to make their businesses more successful. Ultimately the more successful our customers are the more successful we are, so for us it’s really not about pushing the product but instead we want to make sure Brightpearl is the right fit for a company and that they are able to use it to it’s full potential.

It was great as well that people were so excited about getting a better understanding of the capabilities of Brightpearl and what it could do for their business. The fact that 100% of the attendees went away feeling that they understood the product better really made the day worthwhile for us.

What we’re going to do next

Since the day was such a success we have decided that Brightpearl Open Days are to become a regular fixture in our calendar. To start things out we are also going to do a Brightpearl Open Day roadshow travelling to number of locations around the country so we can meet those people who might not be able to make it as far as our HQ.

The schedule is:

Wed 7th Sept - Derby Roadshow
Thurs 15th Sept - London Roadshow
Thurs 25th Oct - Another Bristol Open Day (for those who might have missed the last one)
Thurs 3 Nov - Manchester Roadshow

If you would like to come along to any of the following please go to our events page and submit a contact us form letting us know which event you’d like to attend..

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Comments

Enjoyed the day, thank you for the invite. You can read my review here: http://www.peoplevox.co.uk/brightpearl-open-day-2011/

Too right, big success. Looking forward to the next one guys

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