They say everything is bigger in Texas. Telligent hopes the saying holds true regarding the impact of its “Big Social” conference, occurring this week in Dallas September 26-28.

Big Social: It’s All About Community

Yesterday, social software platform provider Telligent kicked off its first conference  in Dallas, location of the company’s corporate headquarters. It’s a good first effort. The conference sold out its 300 seats and attracted visitors from all over the US and several international locations such as Italy, Portugal and the UK. There are also about 20 different partners and vendors in attendance.

Telligent decided to have a little fun and embrace all of the Texas stereotypes. The decorations are bandanas and spurs, the lunches are Tex-Mex , country music plays between sessions and attendees have a chance to win boots. I’m feeling very J.R. Ewing.

Beyond the environmental details, the conference promises to provide a wealth of information on social business, community building and the Telligent platform (of course). The conference features a business and technical track with over twenty sessions and two in-depth workshops.

CMSWire spoke with Patrick Brandt, Chief Executive Officer, and Wendy Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer for Telligent, regarding the impetus for the conference, what they hope to accomplish and plans for similar events. Brandt said there were really four drivers for having the Big Social:

  • Share best practices
  • Share product announcements and get feedback
  • Allow customers to gain knowledge of how others are using the software

Just like the company’s software, Brandt said, the conference is about social interaction and establishing deeper relationships with customers and among customers.

Telligent believes in the value of its product; the company used it to plan and manage the conference. According to Gibson,

We planned the entire conference using our software. Everything from planning, strategy and implementing sessions to employee and external communication was done in our platform. In fact, the on-site support team isn’t using walkie-talkies; we have a walkie-talkie community inside of Telligent.”

Big Announcements

Today’s activities began with keynotes by Brandt and Telligent CTO Rob Howard. The first sessions of the conference focused on product strategy, the evolution of the social environment and the importance of analytics. Already Telligent has made several announcements about what we can expect from the software for the rest of 2011. According to Howard, Telligent is introducing:

  • Full cloud support
  • Support for Microsoft FAST
  • Built-in inline document viewing
  • Deeper FB integration

CMSWire will be on-site for the conference. I will be attending several sessions in the business and technical tracks as well as conducting “guerilla interviews” of attendees. If you would like to meet us or let us know your thoughts, be sure to say hello.