Earlier this month, a small group of jetlagged Americans descended upon London for a historic event: our first ever user conference. One small step for these Knacksters, one giant leap for Knackkind. Years of hard work, countless hours of planning, and gallons of coffee had led to this moment.
We arrived excited and nervous. Over 50 customers we’d never met had bought tickets for this conference! Some had flown in from other countries, even other continents! Would they find our workshops and panels valuable? Would they learn? Also, how much is each of these coins worth? What is this weird black thing on my plate and why is it being called “pudding”?
We decided to kick things off Thursday evening with an informal get together, so we invited any and all local Knacksters to meet us at a local bar. We arrived early to find a robust cocktail menu and a brightly colored and foul-languaged lighting installation that definitely wasn’t mentioned on their website.
Before long, customers started arriving left and right to enjoy an open bar and some tasty canapes. The evening was filled with good drinks, great conversation, and excellent company.
Though we interact with our customers every day, hearing firsthand what Knack means to so many people was deeply affecting. We never tire of learning what our customers do with Knack and how it’s helped them. It was a joy to get to get to know so many in an informal setting, and hear all the excitement about the upcoming conference.
We were sad when the evening came to an end, but we had to get back to our Airbnbs for some beauty sleep before the big day! Also, everything in London closes very early so we didn’t have much of a choice.
The Main Event
On Friday morning, the team arrived early to find boxes of individually wrapped t-shirts needing to be unpacked, lanyards that had to be assembled, and name tags that had to be cut to fit into those lanyards. Oh, and did we mention that the adjacent conference room was half the size we were expecting? Watch out for fisheye lenses!
We got to work setting up as attendees made their way in and began mingling and caffeinating.
After some breakfast and welcomes, CEO Brandon got us started with an opening address on the past, present, and future of Knack.
Next up, Knack consultant Mike Moore gave a fascinating presentation on being a citizen developer. He discussed how to help empower people to build the applications they need themselves, since they’re the ones doing the work and therefore best understand what type of solution is necessary. Mike’s presentation included a live app demo from his colleague David Male, of Robins & Day.
After that, Mike joined a few other longtime Knack users for a panel led by Carson, which focused on implementation best practices. We heard advice on everything from onboarding to getting buy-in, as well as stories of expanding businesses to revolve around Knack, favorite features and uses, and many other tips and tricks.
Others shared stories of quality Knack time with their cat, or taking a break from family vacation because of that familiar craving to get back in the Builder. Audience participation was high, and we could almost hear the light bulbs going off around the room as successes were shared and ideas were bounced around.
The day was broken up by lunch and a smattering of much-needed coffee breaks, then the afternoon brought breakout sessions. These were led by Knacksters Nic and Danielle, as well as Knack power user Julian Kirkness. They covered API and custom code, Zapier and no-code integrations, users and connections, best practices, and workflow.
Brandon wrapped things up with a Knack roadmap presentation, including some sneak peeks of upcoming releases (stay tuned for more of those!), as well as a hearty AMA that led to quite a few feature discussions.
Eventually, we had to wrap things up. Goodbyes were said, hands were shook, and business cards were exchanged.
At the end of day one, we were left with a resounding sense of community. Most sessions ended with Knack customers excitedly talking with one other and sharing ideas and experiences — something that, as a remote team that only rarely gets to meet our customers in person, was truly delightful to witness.
But we still had another day to go! So Team Knack went back to our Airbnbs to recharge for Saturday.
The Final Round
On Saturday, we had the pleasure of welcoming back Julian Kirkness for another presentation, along with fellow Knack superusers Carl Holmes and Alejandro Zakzuk (who also traveled the furthest to KnackCon, all the way from Colombia!).
Saturday also brought 1:1 sessions, where each attendee met with a Knackster for some quality time walking through apps, setting up features, reviewing existing workflows, and addressing any other questions or concerns.
Only the Beginning
While only a handful of Knacksters traveled to London, it was only thanks to the hard work of our entire team that KnackCon was possible at all. Like everything else we do, this was an entirely collective effort.
And while this was our very first user conference and it will always hold a special place in our hearts, it will certainly not be our last! We got our feet wet in London and are excited to bring all we learned to future conferences elsewhere!
The sense of community we felt from KnackCon 2018 will continue well into the future, and will inspire new means of engagement within our Knackverse. It was clear when the two days came to an end that everyone involved wanted to keep the momentum going,with discussions of possible user groups or a Knack Slack. So stay tuned for more on that front, as well as news of future KnackCons and more informal Knack Meetups!
Finally, thank you to all our attendees, and to all our customers; this experience was invaluable for us, and we couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.