SpiceWorld London

We just arrived back in New York after a few days at SpiceWorld London 2014 – we had a blast! If you’re not familiar with Spiceworks, it’s a network management tool for IT Pros, providing everything from network inventory and monitoring to help desk software, mobile device management, cloud detection services and more. The tool itself may be helpful for IT Pros, but the community created by its users, employees, and other tech vendors is what makes a SpiceWorld Conference worth crossing the pond for. Twice a year the Spiceworks online community gathers in-person to swap IT knowledge at breakout sessions, happy hours, and a full-fledged party.

Attendees enjoyed a Spiceworks party Tuesday night sponsored by Microsoft.

Aside from the free drinks (kidding!) the best part of SpiceWorld was getting to speak directly with the IT Pros for whom we’re designing our storage software, AetherStore. We were able to pick their brains about everything from feature requirements to preferred support methods, and can report back to our development team with some invaluable product feedback that’s come straight from the source.

As a vendor we attended breakout sessions where Spiceworks team members shared their expertise and panels of IT Pros explained what gets their attention when it comes to tech marketing. We learned that webinars and podcasts are preferred methods of content consumption, and that whitepapers, while educational, aren’t as widely read as marketers may hope. IT Pros also shared preferred contact methods (unsurprisingly, cold calls were a strong “don’t”), and explained the challenges they’re presented with on a day-to-day basis that make vendor interruptions a nuisance.

A panel of IT Pros answer marketing questions for vendors.

Some of these sales tips may seem like common sense, but hearing them directly from our target customers has sharpened the focus of our marketing plan. As we near the AetherStore launch, the knowledge gained at SpiceWorld London will have a real impact both on the development and sales sides of our product.

If you’re in the enterprise or SMB tech space, it’s hard to find a reason NOT to get involved with the Spiceworks Community. With 15 million IT Administrators as Spiceworks users spending 5.7 Billion active minutes in Spiceworks annually, there’s no other forum exchanging such an expansive collection of IT know-how. And as cheesy as it sounds, Spiceheads don’t just swap knowledge, they share laughs and anecdotes that make the Spiceworks community as enjoyable as it is educational.

A panel of IT Pros answer marketing questions for vendors.

We’re already all set to attend SpiceWorld Austin 2014! We’ll have a booth to exhibit AetherStore and are currently brainstorming some awesome giveaways for the Spiceheads there – any suggestions?