For years, industry software solutions provider ServicePro, a ServiceTitan Company, has hosted its annual user conference in enticing locales such as Las Vegas, Nev.; Nashville, Tenn.; and New Orleans, La., just to name the last three. But this year, ServSuite University (SSU) took place in cyberspace.
The silver lining is that more than 900 participating pest, lawn and arbor management professionals were able to take part in an event that lasted the weekdays of March 8 to 18, which meant that attendees could log on and off as they pleased. They have unlimited access to the recorded presentations through December 2021, as well as a standing invitation for monthly online meetups with ServicePro pros and fellow users.
Sponsors for this year’s SSU event, titled “Global Connect 2021,” included Diamond Sponsor Corteva Agriscience; Platinum Sponsor Worldpay from FIS; and Gold Sponsors A.R.M. Solutions, Banner Sales & Consulting, and Podium.
Plans call for the 2022 SSU to take place next March in San Diego, Calif., with the possibility of an online component for those unable to attend in person. ServSuiteUniversity.com will be updated with details as they are made available.
1. Each day of ServSuite University kicked off at 10:30 a.m. Eastern with a “Coffee Chat,” with breakout rooms for attendees to network with one another and discuss ideas and solutions with ServSuite software specialists. Here, ServicePro General Manager Andy Deering kicks off the initial session on March 8.
2. During the March 8 opening session, ServicePro’s head of operations, Kim O’Connor, pictured, and Deering explained to attendees how the virtual conference would work. They also gave attendees an update about the transition that has been going on behind the scenes as the company was recently acquired by ServiceTitan. (Editor’s Note: For more on that topic, please see “ServicePro partners with ServiceTitan.”)
3. ServiceTitan CEO Ara Mahdessian spoke next, explaining ServiceTitan’s roots as providing software solutions for small plumbing and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) business owners. In 2012, while still in college, Mahdessian and Vahe Kuzoyan co-founded the company in part to help their fathers, who were first-generation American immigrants and small-business contractors from Armenia.
4. During networking interludes, ServicePro Marketing Director Ka Tsu was the “designated DJ” so that anyone going back to the main room of Zoom between breakout rooms heard music instead of silence. He even ensured March 17 had St. Patrick’s Day-themed tunes.
5. “Marketing Best Practices” were virtual roundtable sessions where users swapped creative marketing ideas that worked — or didn’t — for their companies. The sessions were led by ServiceTitan’s Sarah Ghirardo and David Hoffman. One innovation of many that caught attendees’ ears was advertising business on small billboards placed strategically along a popular riverfront area. Boaters and kayakers were sure to pass it and remember the brand.
6. Due to popular demand, speaker Mandy Berkowitz returned for her second year delivering a keynote to SSU attendees. This time, her presentation was titled, “10 Characteristics Every Business Owner Should Have.” Berkowitz, founder and owner of The Image Marketing Group, Virginia Beach, Va., made use of real-time Zoom polls throughout the presentation to see where the audience was overall in their need to strengthen leadership and team-building skills.
Read more from Mandy: Take a closer look at text marketing
7. Sheri Spencer Bachman, ACE, and Tim Citeno (not pictured), both from Pest Control Business Coach and Pest Control Business Tools, Greenville, S.C., discussed with attendees streamlining everyday office tasks. Spencer Bachman is also the second-generation CEO of Spencer Pest Services, based in Greenville.