Digital CPX + Anaplan Live!: No Plane or Hotel But a Great Experience
I have attended a few HUB/CPX events in my seven-plus years of involvement with Anaplan. In all honesty, the experience has always been great: great location, great venues, food, networking, and insights into the future of the tool. I would leave home, get on a plane, attend the event, and come home with some T-shirts, a koozie, handfuls of business cards, and some cool new features to keep my eye on. If anyone asked me if I would go again, I would say, “Absolutely. It was fun!” If you asked me what I learned, however, I would sometimes have a hard time answering. I offer this post for any of you who share this sentiment and urge you to take another look.
But Something was Missing
As someone with in-depth or even working toward an in-depth understanding of Anaplan, what you wouldn’t get out of HUB/CPX sessions is a significant advancement of your technical skills. Events like HUB/CPX and others in the industry are primarily focused on net new sales and the future end-user, not refining the skills of model builders and architects. Because internal builders are not the norm with Anaplan, framing demonstrations for new or prospective clients who are used to seeing out-of-the-box functionality to show how one could interact with the tool would resonate a bit more than something on the technical side. What this generally meant was that I would attend anything with an interesting title but wouldn’t expect to get too much out of it. It would be the context for conversations with new users later in the day.
Everything Has Changed
The pandemic changed everything everywhere. CPX was held virtually this year in June with travel being as limited as it is. So, I really didn’t know what to expect. Could CPX be CPX without the travel? Without the in-person discussions? The lunches? Bumping into prospective clients and old friends? With such a rich roadmap, I was certain there would be exciting new things to keep an eye on and to send EA requests for. But with a large chunk of what I got out of CPX missing (the personal interactions), what could virtual CPX be for me other than a roadmap?
The answer was surprising—in the best way. Anaplan figured out the recipe for an event that intrigues prospective users and technical developers at the same time. I may not have taken home a T-shirt, but I left with such a sense of community and was buzzing from the great discussions.
Anaplanners with Capes
This year CPX became CPX + Anaplan Live! The theme "model builders are superheroes" permeated the event and resonated deeply with me. Model builders and architects are in the trenches with stakeholders, realizing and refining their clients’ visions. The sky falls daily with process changes, late decisions, and scope grabs. It is the model builders and architects who bring it all together again. The approach of refocusing CPX through the lens of the builders by combining it with Anaplan Live! was a breath of fresh air.
I was smiling when I realized that 90 percent of the session presenters and moderators were Master Anaplanners from partners and clients. The discussions in these sessions quickly led to real-life examples, scenarios, tips, tricks, and engagement as I have never seen before. Colleagues and peers from the Community were lighting up the chats and showing support for one another. Clients and prospective clients were able to get feedback from a pool of deeply engaged Anaplanners.
I got my fill of exciting new features with Report Pages, Plan IQ, and some other soon-to-be-released functionality, but it was the Master Anaplanner lead sessions that made this event truly special. I can’t wait to get to an onsite CPX in the future or attend another Anaplan Live!, but until then, I highly recommend attending. It was well worth it.
What about you? How was your CPX + Anaplan Live! experience?
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