Worth Watching: Select Videos Up From Four Winds’ Forward Conference

January 6, 2016 by Dave Haynes


Four Winds Interactive did a very nice, polished job last fall with Forward, a two-day conference in hometown Denver that went well beyond the typical software company user conference. It was education instead of indoctrination.

I went to it, and learned a lot more than what was on the company’s product roadmap.

The marketing department put the money in to properly light, mike and videotape the sessions, and some of those sessions are now up live on the FWI YouTube channel. I note this because there are sessions up that are worth investing the time to watch.

Quite possibly the most illuminating was the keynote by CEO David Levin – because he was open and honest about the challenges of rapid growth and high staff turnover, and what the company did and is steadily doing to improve that – relying heavily on in-house digital displays. It’s lengthy, and you can probably start at the five-minute mark. But it’s worth watching.

There’s also a talk by Mike Pell of Microsoft, who spoke about data visualization at DSrupted and reprised much of that in his talk a few weeks later in Denver. He’s worth a watch because he clears some of the fog around what data viz is about and why you need to care.

Randy Dearborn of MGM Resorts is worth watching because he’s very smart, but also a bit of a lunatic. Funny man.

You won’t learn a lot about signage from this one, but if you’re not touched and inspired by what these guys do, you need a heart transplant. FWI donates their software and services to the organization.

Not all the talks are up, and I’d love to see the one by the Ernst and Young guys, who talked about how pretty simple digital signage applications and the resulting analytics were a big part of the analysis that allowed them to reduce office square footage and save a pile of money.

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