PARTNERS Blog

May 22, 2017 Serious Content. Fun People.

Data Conference / Technology / All Posts

According to Chris McMillan, Senior Developer at Maryland Live! Casino, Teradata PARTNERS is the ideal blend for a conference, from the content to ease of connecting with other professionals to the activities outside of sessions.


“Just the overall feel and vibe of it—it’s fun. You can talk and see what other people are doing. People are happy to share what they’re doing instead of being territorial. It’s a good, relaxed, and very informative conference. The content is taken seriously, but the people make it enjoyable.”


Turning the Tables

Last year, Chris was a presenter at Teradata PARTNERS Conference in Atlanta. This year the tables have turned. Now in his first year on the PARTNERS Steering Committee (PSC), he is helping to select the presentations. “It was really interesting,” Chris said. “You get to see everything; you get an idea of what people around the world are doing within their company.” According to Chris, the number of quality sessions this year will continue to push the bar even higher. “The hardest part is that there are so many good presentations to choose from and they are all really good ideas. But you only have so many spots and you have to make a decision. There’s not room for everything.”

To make sure the very best of the best sessions make it to the conference, the PSC reads and scores every single presentation individually. Then they come up with an average and move on to select the top scorers for the available times.

With so many quality sessions available, choosing what to attend doesn’t get any easier for the attendees than it was for PSC and their initial selection. However, there is one session that Chris is looking forward to. “There is a presentation by a representative from an NBA team that looks interesting. I’m really looking forward to that. And our keynote speakers this year are going to be fantastic.”

The Entire Enterprise

PARTNERS is a conference for the entire enterprise, from business to marketing to technical roles. “I have been the lone technical person attending for us,” said Chris. “Last year our Vice President of Loyalty Marketing, Director of Analytics, Director of Direct Mail Campaigns, and I all attended. This year another developer will attend as well.” That’s a range of titles you don’t always see at other analytic conferences. The multiple roles help Maryland Live! Casino take advantage of the breadth of the PARTNERS content. “We split up in the morning for sessions, then reconvene later to share notes and network. But we’re going to be really heavy into the advanced analytic sessions. That and cloud are two of the biggest topics this year.” While they have always been mindful to share their virtual passes, that will change this year—the virtual conference is open to anyone!

Give Backs and Takeaways

Chris is one of those non-territorial people that make the conference what it is. After his presentation last year, he had “several people reach out to me about what we did, with the integration, and another project with dynamic offer generation based on players’ behavior at the casino.” And he’s glad to help. That street runs two ways, as Chris takes away information he can use in his role. “I find things that I can apply from the technical sessions. Optimization and performance tuning are two great examples. After those sessions, I go back and apply some of those techniques to queries that I’ve written to increase their performance.”

When asked why he joined the PSC, Chris had a simple answer. “I love the conference,” he said. “I want to stay up to date and see what’s happening in the tech world. Being able to direct the content of the sessions to what I see in my roles as a customer is invaluable for me and my associates.” That’s yet one more reason why attendees at PARTNERS, the conference by customers for customers, find so much value. From start to the finish, customers facing the same challenges choosing the content, sharing, connecting and solving those challenges together make PARTNERS what it is.

fun people


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Did you attend Teradata PARTNERS in Atlanta?

Use the email you registered with to view archived presentations, including Chris McMillan’s:

Closing The Marketing Loop Via Automation at Maryland Live! Casino
Wednesday, 09/14/16 - 12:00 pm
Session ID: 408 | Presented By: Chris McMillan - Maryland Live! Casino

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