MACPA Features Innovative Technologies and Social Media at Innovation Summit

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The Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), representing its 9,000 members, will introduce four new innovative collaboration technologies on May 17 at its 2013 Innovation Summit at Martin's West. The technologies include ThinkTank by Group Systems, Inc.; Conferences.IO; Flybits; and MACPA's members-only Groups platform. 

With a theme of "Innovation, Connection, and Collaboration", the summit is designed to showcase innovation in the CPA profession and will feature almost twenty of the top thought leaders in the profession, top technology vendors, and leading innovations in accounting standards, XBRL, health care, and more - all in an event designed to spark serendipity and innovation. 

A recent IBM Global CEO study identified collaboration as the number one trait CEOs seek in their employees, with 75 percent of CEOs calling it critical. The CPA Horizons 2025 Report by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) also identified collaboration as one of the top five skills needed by CPAs in the future. 

"We are very excited to be able to use these technologies to enhance and accelerate collaboration among summit attendees, sponsors, and speakers", said Anoop Mehta, CPA, chair of the MACPA's board of directors. "These relationships will be instrumental in keeping our members ahead of today's rapid pace of change."

Here's how these exciting technologies will be used at the Innovation Summit:

ThinkTank by Group Systems is a powerful crowdsourcing, crowd-computing, and group-decision support platform that wows participants. It significantly accelerates and enhances outcomes, creating a profound collective experience for participants. It will be used in a special pre-summit session on May 16 with learning leaders across the CPA profession. The session titled "Turning Training and Learning into Business Results" will be led by the Business Learning Institute's Richard Flanagan, author of The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning, and Bob Dean, CPA, CLO, founder of Dean Learning & Talent Advisors.

Flybits is an exciting, location-aware technology that connects people to places called "zones." It's an incredible technology that delivers specialized content to your mobile device based on where you are at any moment. The MACPA will use Flybits to distribute conference materials to participants at the Innovation Summit. Want some fun? See what pops up when you visit a vendor's booth (aka Flybits zone). Zones will be created for the MACPA and our platinum sponsors, CPA2Biz, Sage, CCH, Ziptr, and Simplified Innovations. is an innovative, web-based audience-participation application used to increase engagement and make learning more collaborative. Special polling and social Q&A features allow for constant participation during and after events and will be used in several sessions at the summit.

MACPA Groups is our newest tool to help MACPA members connect and collaborate and share the "wisdom of the crowd." The MACPA's Federal Tax Group was used recently to crowdsource the MACPA's testimony for the House Ways and Means Committee about the "tax season from hell."

Social media will be used extensively at the summit as a connection and learning tool. Special pre-summit webcasts were held with MACPA members ("Social Media Quick Start") and sponsors ("How to Tip the Adoption Curve Using Social Media to Interact with CPAs") to teach them specifics about "how to crush a conference." A special Social Media Guide has been created to connect people to our sponsors and speakers. Follow the conference at hashtag #MDSummit13. 

"This event is different from any other in the profession, so our approach to how we engage with the show and its participants is different", Jennifer Warawa, Sage's vice president of partner programs and channel sales, said in a recent press release. "Sage is getting social with the help of the MACPA, and there are several initiatives planned to get everyone online and talking in the social channels."

"We are now at a point where the collaboration curve can help us jump the experience curve", said MACPA CEO Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA. "We are excited to see how these innovative technologies can help our members amplify their connections at our summit and increase their ability to collaborate for years to come."

Following are blog posts about collaboration and MACPA's Innovation Summit:

Source: MACPA

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