It hasn’t been an easy year for anyone in the Content Management industry, so it really wasn't too much of a shock that earlier this month it was announced that Vignette (news, site) was being taken over by Open Text (news, site) and that they had a year-on-year first quarter drop off in revenue of 24.2% to US$ 33.9m.

Everyone’s feeling the pain and Vignette’s Q1 results were just a continuation of a trend that saw their total 2008 revenues drop-off by 11.6% over 2007.

But its not how you behave in the good times that marks you out as a market leader, its how you respond to difficulties and Vignette appears to be tackling the current economic downturn head-on.

With the acquisition deal with Open Text still not set in stone, business goes on as usual for the web content management vendor.

Web Experience Management Education

In a case of going to the market if the market won’t come to you, Vignette has launched a series of Vignette Days -- a series of public sessions around the US providing education on Web Experience Management.

The first of the Days was last Wednesday in Chicago, but if you missed it there are more to come in Boston, New York and Washington DC. Included in these events are interventions from industry experts on how to create, optimize, personalize and socialize web sites and intranets.

That some of the interventions will come from existing Vignette customers should be no surprise -- after all, its a Vignette project.

The Days provide a means of throwing marketing and tech professionals into the same room and get them to focus on identifying and overcoming common web experience challenges. Principal amongst those problems will be how to create compelling public-facing websites, enterprise 2.0 initiatives, and integrating rich media and video assets onto websites.

And presumable, one of the solutions to all these issues can be found in one of Vignette’s products.

Engaging Web Presence

That the company needs to market itself is reflected in the fact that even with nine new releases and 10 product upgrades last year, Vignette's figures were still relatively poor for one of the industry ‘biggies’.

That is not to say that Vignette was not marketing itself before this recession, but current economic conditions require companies to think outside the box. This is particularly so when market research companies like Forrester Research have identified a company’s web presence as the face of a given brand for consumers.

"Companies, their customers and their employees expect exceptional, engaging online experiences for both Web sites and intranets," said Dave Dutch, senior vice president of products and marketing of Vignette. "Vignette Days provide an ideal forum to discover how the world's leading companies leverage their online presence to create productive and profitable sites."

Over the course of the Days, there will be executive presentations from the company itself as well as presentations around case studies. Participants will also have a chance to see Vignettes enterprise-grade Web Content Management solutions and social media solutions in action.

Upcoming Days

For those interested in attending, scheduled Vignette Days include:

May 27 - Boston, Seaport Hotel, 1 Seaport Lane
June 9 - New York, Grand Hyatt New York, Park Avenue at Grand Central
June 11 - Washington DC, Zola, 800 F Street NW.

Details are available on the Vignette website.