Well folks, another successful Helm Conference is behind us. Over 100 people from 43 companies across North America, South America, and Europe joined us in Nashville, Tennessee for three days of learning, insights, and networking, making this year’s conference our biggest one yet! For anyone who missed it or just wants to relive this amazing three-day event, here’s a quick recap.
We kicked off on Monday with a full day of advanced, hands-on training in Helm CONNECT. More than 50 people from 30 companies attended sessions on a variety of topics, such as reporting from multiple data sources, passing audits, handling near miss forms, and an overview of the latest and greatest features in Helm CONNECT, like Maintenance by Metric. During training, attendees were able to follow along in their own Helm CONNECT sandboxes and immediately apply what they were learning. The day was a huge hit with an average rating of 9.2 out of 10 for the sessions, and was described by attendees as ‘informative’, ‘effective’, and ‘very illuminating’. Don’t worry if you weren’t able to attend this year, we’ll be publishing the content from these training sessions on our website soon.
The conference itself began bright and early on Tuesday morning with a warm welcome from our CEO, Ron deBruyne, who set the stage for a series of presentations by our integration partners. Cosmo King, CEO of ioCurrents started us off by showing how ioCurrents MarineInsight integrates with Helm CONNECT. Together, these products use real-time data tracking in conjunction with machine learning to notice trends, optimize performance, and warn crew of potential outliers. Next up was Patrick Everts, General Manager of PortX, who charmed us with his jokes and a demonstration of how their product, OptiPort, can optimize dispatching with AI. And last, but certainly not least, Charles Riley, President of ShipTracks, explained how their AIS mapping technology, which integrates with Helm CONNECT, runs assets more efficiently by utilizing real-time vessel location.
Another special highlight of the conference was a presentation by one of our customers, Taylor Dickerson, Director Project Management Office at Kirby Corporation, who shared the story of Kirby’s implementation of Helm CONNECT Compliance, walking us through the successes and lessons learned along their journey.
In addition to our special guests, we enjoyed some great presentations by our own Helm team members who spoke about:
- Barging and the formation of our BIG: Barging Interest Group
- How to set yourself up for successful audits so you’re TMSA compliant
- Streamlining your workflows with Event Logs
- Our newest product: Helm CONNECT Personnel
- The Helm CONNECT agile development process
- Reporting in Helm CONNECT Maintenance and Jobs using PowerBI
- The future of Helm CONNECT
New at the conference this year, we also ran an ‘unconference’ to give folks a focused opportunity to talk about what mattered to them. We collected 92 questions and concerns from the group and distilled them into 14 conversation topics. Over lunch on Day 2, we ran two rounds of conversations that ranged from building out your maintenance program in Helm CONNECT, finding qualified crew, and tackling pencil whipping, to designing a great feedback process and envisioning Helm CONNECT in 2025. When asked about the unconference, Robin Costanzo from Campbell Transportation said, “It was beneficial to talk to others and hear how they are working on the same issues as you, as well as working with them to brainstorm different approaches to solve such issues.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be Helm Conference without a fun evening event! This year we took everyone to the rooftop bar at City Tap House for an evening of live music, food, drinks, networking, and games. We even brought out cake to celebrate Helm’s 20th anniversary!
Once again, we achieved our goal of delivering an engaging learning event that allows people to network with Helm and other industry leaders, and leaves them with tools to help their company grow. Every one of our survey respondents said they learned something useful from the conference that they could apply to their work and over 95 percent said they’d definitely attend again. As David Galvan from Biehl & Co put it, “[the conference] provided an open atmosphere that promoted an opportunity to learn from other users as well as Helm employees.”
Thanks again to everyone who attended and helped us make Helm Conference 2019 our best one yet! And a huge shout out to our sponsors—The Seamen’s Church Institute, ioCurrents, the ACTion group, PortX, and ShipTracks—we couldn’t have done it without you! Don’t forget to check out the photos and tag yourself on our Facebook page. Also, keep your eye on our social pages for the post conference video—maybe you’ll be in it!
That’s all for now but you can rest assured that we’re already thinking of ways to make next year’s conference even better.
See y’all next year!