“The Learning Goes Both Ways”

Teri Kruger and her husband at UGM ’21 dinner cruise on San Diego Bay.

She started out as a client years ago, then in early 2021 she became a NetSapiens employee

Teri Kruger is a long-time NetSapiens User Group Meeting (UGM) attendee. Her first UGM was in 2015 when she was a new client. That year the UGM was held in a small banquet facility in La Jolla (San Diego) with only about 40 people all in one room. 

“It was such a small group. They had each of us get up and do an introduction of ourselves and our company and say what we hoped to get from the conference,” says Teri. “All the ‘break out’ sessions were held as a large group. Anand Buch (NetSapiens co-founder) did an overview of the vision and we had training sessions and were able to connect and network as a community.”  

Teri continues, “I went home excited about the possibilities of what we could do and felt that I had made great connections with internal employees like Chris Aaker and Mamta Buch, as well as other clients that also used the platform. We had so much flexibility on this platform. We knew could go in any direction and NetSapiens would be with us for the long haul.”

Tremendous growth

Teri says as time passed, she grew in her understanding of the platform and her company had tremendous growth using the product.

“I attended many more UGMs and workshops over the years. I remember when Kevin Selkowitz and then Thiago Modelli joined NetSapiens. I’ve always enjoyed their updates and breakout training sessions,” says Teri.

Though subsequent UGMs were no longer as intimate as the original one, Teri says she continued to find value and learn “so much” from the sessions she attended. 

“Vendor representatives became a common part of UGMs and helped me make the additional connections I needed to expand our business. I went away from these sessions with the same excitement that I had with the rest. And I couldn’t wait to share with the rest of my company the things we could expand into and where we should focus our next products.”

Always impressed with the event   

“In all of my UGM experiences, I’ve always been impressed with the event and how NetSapiens coordinated all of what transpired during the time. At a few UGMs, I was able to bring some others from my company with me. These were the best years because they could also have the same experience and learn and network too.”

Behind the scenes

This year Teri is on the “other side” or behind the scenes of UGM because she joined NetSapiens last spring as director of client advocacy.

“On staff at NetSapiens, I’ve been able to see the planning, the endless exchange of emails, the details of the events, and all the team work necessary for putting on such an event. I’ve seen the endless hours that my now teammates put into pulling together the presentations and workshops our clients are asking for. These hours were also amongst a very busy every day schedule of taking care of our clients. Every day work doesn’t stop just because you are planning a major event.” 

Teri says in the past she would walk away from each UGM with energy and excitement about the new possibilities for her organization. She would come back with ideas on how they could compete in the market in the next year and was excited about the upcoming releases. 

“This year was similar and very different. I got to meet some teammates on NetSapiens in person that I had worked with both as a client and as a team member. And I met some amazing clients and learned more about them and what drives their passions.”

Looking forward to helping the community

“I also discovered this year how much that the NetSapiens staff learns from the client community. It’s as much as I used to learn from NetSapiens when I was a client. This is so much more than a workshop or training event. We really are looking for feedback and truly want to hear from the community.”

Teri concludes, “The learning goes both ways — clients have as much to teach us as we have to teach them.  As UGM winds down, I have a similar energy and excitement as I did from my first UGM in 2015. I’m really excited about the work and improvements we’ve done to help our clients so far and the direction we are going and the work we can do. I’m looking forward to helping our community reach the goals they are laying out for their own organizations.”