This extra special round of Technical Seminars sees us celebrating our 20th anniversary. With that in mind, we thought we'd track down* the very first seminar presenter, David Brooks, and ask him to reflect on his experiences way back when. Over to you, David...
We loaded up the Ford Sierra with a single server, workstation & lots of ethernet cable
"There were only two of us in the RM seminar team back then; we were presenters, greeters, roadies and general bottle washers. The evening before the first event, we loaded up the Ford Sierra estate with a single server and workstation, lots of ethernet cable and sets of printed notes for delegates and headed off to the Cardiff Novotel.
We prepared for some challenging questions
Before we left, our Managing Director and founder, Mike Fischer, sat us down and explained that the problems some of our customers were having with our recently released network (RM Net LM) meant that we should be prepared for some challenging questions. He was right.
The first seminar was supposed to have 30 delegates and over 60 pitched up! The questions about the new network were never ending and I spent most breaks on the phone (landline in those days) to the development team. It was a tough crowd and I can safely say I learnt a massive amount over that first round of seminars (boy to man stuff).
The warmth we received was genuine, despite the issues people were facing
What impressed me most about meeting customers for the first time was how passionately they all felt about ensuring the ICT in their school worked for the teachers and students. Most of them worked long days, weekends and holidays to get things right. Because Robert and I were trying to help, and in the front-line, the warmth we received was genuine, despite the issues people were facing.
True engagement between the seminar team and the customers.
*David is MD of RM Education Software.
It was a real eye-opener for me and meant I fought hard to ensure we fixed Net LM and that we continued the technical seminars every year. 20 years has gone by in a flash and seminars are very different from the first set Robert and I ran. What’s not different is the true engagement between the seminar team and the customers.