I came to Kiev on June 7 to attend the largest conference in Europe that embraced product managers, business analysts, requirement engineers, and other professionals that deal with IT products every day. For those who are unfamiliar with the field, this conference offered a space where everyone could share their common passion for new ideas, expertise, and innovations in the field of IT product management.
The agenda that formed the backdrop of the conference appealed to me from the first moment I found out about the gathering from one of my friends who, having known my vast expertise with apps for Shopify, offered me the opportunity to apply for the conference online. The official webpage offered a glimpse of the speakers and the topics they were going to undertake.
The conference was addressed to all people who are involved in business analysis and requirement engineering. The conference consisted of three different streams of topics and the combination of practice and theory, workshops, and masterclasses – everyone would be able to find the source of knowledge that would be perfectly tuned with their individual interests.
I was especially excited to attend the streams dedicated to Product Management and usability testing that took place on June 8 (while my presentation opened the second day of the conference – on June 9).
On my agenda was the speech of Andrii Pastushok, who engaged with the issue of customer interviews. As a Product Manager, I personally learned more about the different types of engagement with customers and the way to translate them into a successful relationship with the clientele.
Alexander Dzyuba was the next speaker, who turned the theory of usability testing upside down. He blindly selected an application from the audience and conducted testing right in front of our eyes. I will remember that experience the next time I am going to procrastinate a bit on the daily group reporting. Alexander proved that usability testing can be fun and innovative. It was more evidence that it’s great to think outside the box from time to time.
Another speaker – Dario Fruk from SBTech reinforced the point, revealing hints about how to avoid common mistakes for a startup. He suggested a few amusing ways to manage loads of data using some tricks that I’m going to include into the daily routine.
The audience was engaged the entire time due to the format of the conference. We got to know each other, discussed the most crucial issues, and switched the discussions out of the auditorium directly to coffee breaks. They were noisy, filled with a hundred voices, the smell of pancakes, and the aroma of coffee. After the day of exercising my listening skills, I was totally ready to make my own presentation and talk. Talk a lot. Damn!
What am I doing here?
I couldn’t help but share the experience I’ve accumulated over the years of work with the Shopify platform and translate my experience into an easy-to-use guide that will help to assess and improve the basic metrics of any SaaS product. With the focus on interactive, friendly communication with the audience, I started preparing for the conference a few months ahead. The result was amazing. I managed to express even more ideas than I had planned beforehand.
It is always fun to share my knowledge and educate people – it makes me learn more about myself and test my skills. But the audience at ThinkStage gave me more experience that I expected.
I started my report on “How to make decisions based on product metrics analysis” with the introduction of the general terms that shape the world of modern product management. The majority of the attendants were familiar with them, though I had to go into details about the Churn rate and the issue of MRR movements.
It is never hard for me to speak in front the crowds, which is why I managed to engage with the whole audience and encourage listeners to take part in an interactive discussion where we learned to make decisions based on the data.
By the end of my talk, there was no doubt that I would skip the next report; I could see that people were excited to share their views about my presentation. Some of them were interested in the experience of SpurIT and how it delivers SaaS solutions for eCommerce. We spent almost two hours discussing ways in which we could improve decision-making in IT products, especially for Shopify.
I also received feedback and continued the discussion online with a couple of fellow-marketers when I returned to Minsk.
Finally, it’s over
I can’t express how positive and energetic I felt after the conference. I managed to gain new acquaintances and share my experience in the field of SaaS solutions in just two days! I hope to attend the next ThinkStage соnference and share my knowledge and expertise.
Product Manager at SpurIT