I asked Darren Hampton to write about a first time visitor's experience of the Service Desk and IT Support Show. This is what he had to say:
I very nearly didn’t go. Sure, I read the leaflets and looked at the website but I dismissed it as just another show – grab a few leaflets and pens, avoid the gaze of suppliers and if accidental eye contact meant I had to chat, to play the trump card: “Sorry, I don’t have the budget this year”.
Then the unexpected happened: a Twitter conversation with James Finister and Barclay Rae about losing one’s ITSM mojo, which was the subject of their recent podcast, and I was prescribed an intensive two day course of ITSM mojo restoration. Off to London after all!
I’ve not attended SITS before so I didn’t know what to expect entirely. I was surprised that most delegates seemed to be experienced practitioners; it would have been good to see evidence of our future replacements taking an early interest and adding some youthful enthusiasm. I can’t thank James Finister and Andrea Kis enough for taking me under their wing and introducing me to so many people over the two days, and it’s highlighted that I’ve not got the best out of shows in the past. It turns out that many of the suppliers I’ve been avoiding are also incredibly passionate about doing ITSM properly, and they’re more than happy to talk ITSM for the sake of it (and a gentle mention of how their product will help, of course). If you’re not spending your downtime between seminars talking to people, you’re missing the biggest benefit of the show.
The seminars are really the reason a lot of people attend and I was no exception to the rule. My first step was to plan my days around the seminars I wanted to see and as always there’s one slot where you need to be in three places at once. There was a booking system for the seminars... but the sessions sold out within minutes of the show opening each day. It was a real shame that so many delegates had to hang around outside a couple of the theaters listening for snippets. Great talk, but I wish I could have seen the slides. Also, a top tip: Remember to schedule some time for lunch.
Highlights for me had to be Barclay Rae’s ITSM Goodness talk, of the seven steps to achieve real success from ITSM efforts. Encouragingly, in my organisation we’re already investing in the right areas but Barclay’s words of advice not only validated our roadmap but helped me realise why we’re finding it a difficult journey.
Andrea Kis’ talk on business relationships being vital at all levels of the support structure was a wonderful thing to behold. My take-home message was that every contact with a user is a chance to build a relationship and it starts first and foremost, and most frequently, at the Service Desk. Make your users feel individually valued with the personal treatment and enjoy the increase in customer satisfaction. (She also referenced this comic strip which, in its entirety, isn’t completely safe to view at work. It’s all true though.)
As an ITSM practitioner, was it worth it? Will I go again next year? Mojo restored? Definitely. I’ll be looking forward to catching up with friends and acquaintances I’ve made this year, and be hoping to make many more. Hopefully I’ll be able to give something back as well, by introducing someone new to a circle of enthusiastic, passionate and, above all, helpful people.