Now What? Conference set to teach the next step

Now What? Conference set to teach the next step

Sioux Falls, S.D. firm Blend Interactive is producing the inaugural Now What? Conference.

You launched your website. You've spent months pouring over the wireframes, analyzing every pixel of design and patiently waiting for every line of code to be developed. Now what? This feeling is exactly what the new Now What? Conference in Sioux Falls, S.D. hopes to answer for attendees in April. 

Now What? is a one-day conference designed to help anyone who works with a website post-launch answer the question, "How do we keep our website useful and relevant?" The conference is April 18 in downtown Sioux Falls at the historic Washington Pavilion. The event is put on by local interactive firm, Blend Interactive.

The idea for the event was born out of Blend partner Deane Barker's thoughts while attending other conferences.

"I go to a lot of conferences and often I get to speak, but I started asking myself, 'How can we do this in Sioux Falls?' And in what unique ways can we do it better?" Barker (right) said. He and fellow Blend partner, Karla Santi, started brainstorming.

"We actually came up with the idea for the conference before we came up with the subject," Barker said. They surveyed many of their clients, asking if they were to go to a conference in Sioux Falls what type of questions would they want answered?

"Overwhelmingly, and in so many words, people came back and said, 'I'm not sure what I'm doing. I have this website, but what do I do now?' And that's where we came up with the name," he said.

The topics the event will address include governance, content strategy, usability and marketing. Its speaker lineup aligns with these topics and Barker feels strongly about the quality of the speakers.

"Lisa Welchman is probably the No. 1 resource when it comes to governance for the web. Melissa Rach is highly influential in the content strategy space. Seth Gottlieb is very specialized in content production. And Cathy McKnight is an influential analyst in the content management industry. You can tell I'm excited," Barker said.

Here is the full list of Now What? speakers:

When asked who is the ideal attendee for Now What?, Barker said it's "the person that when the CEO wants to know what's going on with the website they pick up the phone and call this person. … This person is often in marketing or communications."

To purchase tickets, which cost $199 through Jan. 31 ($249 from Feb. 1-April 13), or learn more about the event, visit


Credits: Screenshot and Deane Barker photo from

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