After a wild and woolly year-end, year-end close, and new year rollover at my company, writing about something that happened in November feels almost retro. But I'd be remiss not to do so.
I won't bore with details, but the mountains I had to move, the hoops I had to jump through, and the hurdles I had to clear (none of which had anything to do with BlackLine) almost made it look like I wasn't going to make it to InTheBlack 2017.
Then, one by one, every detail fell in place and on a bright sunny morning, I found myself standing in front of the gargantuan, sparkling L.A. Marriott and the huge BlackLine banners declaring "Thrive in the age of change." I was barely through the doors before I started seeing a few BlackLiners I already knew.
The venue, the flawless check-in process, the set-up and layout of all the conference rooms, partner booths, and Customer Success Lab, and the event schedule quickly made this clear: BlackLine rocks an event! The dizzying three and a half days that followed sealed this fact.
Two of the Highlights
It's impossible to describe everything in detail, but I want to mention two highlights (among many) of my experience:
1) Therese Tucker's interview of Magic Johnson had me smiling through happy tears. These two titans in their respective fields showed the utmost humanity and humility as they shared their experiences and reminisced fondly about their 'beginnings,' struggles, and successes. Super inspiring!
2) Personally meeting Therese Tucker when I saw she wasn't surrounded with adoring fans (and barely remembering my name in my babbling self-intro—oy). The only thing I could coherently say was "thank you for BlackLine, and for this event." She was gracious and kind. I floated for the rest of the day.
Networking, Demoing & Electric Energy
The sustained energy at the conference, from check-in to conclusion, is like a force of nature. The information, ideas, excitement, networking, demoing—and let's not forget the socializing around food and 'spirits'—are all unforgettable.
All the BlackLiners are so friendly, attentive, interactive, available, informative, welcoming, and approachable. They seem superhuman, in every good way.
It was also a pleasure to meet and network with other users, listen to their comments and ideas during discussions, and hear perspectives from expert users, many of whom are industry leaders, during their presentations.
At the demo lab, users had the opportunity to try modules, hands-on, with BlackLine staff walking them through the steps. There were also stations to test and provide feedback about exciting new features in development.
Why You Want to Attend InTheBlack 2018
So, the first of the three things I learned at InTheBlack is: attend InTheBlack! Set your sights on the date, event, location (hellooo Vegas!).
Start planning now. Get your requests in gear, badger your management for approvals, and line up your ducks. Use your vacation time if you have to (heck, it's happening in Vegas, Sydney, and London!).
Wondering why this conference is so important?
Automation for Accounting Has Arrived
InTheBlack highlights how we in the Accounting and Finance field are already in the midst of a paradigm-busting change to how we work, via maximizing our use of automation.
Remember studying about the Industrial Revolution, when making things became automated? Well, over a century later, true automation has arrived for Accounting. And automating accounting operations is no longer optional.
Attending InTheBlack gave me ideas, knowledge, resources, and energy to continue leading the accounting revolution where I work. My team has benefited, and my managers are thrilled with the outcome.
Looking forward to seeing you at InTheBlack 2018!
Read this blog to learn why Susanna Metzler of Johnson Controls wouldn't miss InTheBlack 2018.