Did You Forget To Pack Anything For Sage Summit 2011?

We’re only 3 weeks away from attending the Inaugural Sage Summit 2011. Prior to leaving San Diego I think that it’s time to get out the checklist. If you’re like me, you’ll discover that if I don’t prepare a checklist I’ll always end up 1 pair of socks short, Too few business cards, forgot toothpaste, brought 2 bottles of shampoo, no conditioner. You name it, I’ve forgot it on one trip or another. That’s why I pack like I’m leaving for a year around the world. I can pack just as much for 3 days in Las Vegas as I can for a 1 week trip.

Airline Ticket √
Sage Summit Registration √
Room Reservation √
Luggage √
4 Suits √
2 Pair Slacks √
1 Pair Jeans √
8 Shirts, Dress, Casual √
3-4 Pair of Shoes, Including Flip Flops √
6-8 Pair of Socks √
6-8 Pair of Underwear √
3 Belts √
4 Tee Shirts √
Assorted Toiletries √
Laptop √
Camera √
Cell Phone √
Chargers For Laptop, Camera, Cell Phone √
Extra Batteries for Wireless Mouse √
Verizon Broad Band Card √
Extra Batteries for Any Emergency √
Necessary Travel Documents √

Just writing this list wore me out to the point that I had to go upstairs and take a nap. I get teased a lot because I just don’t know how to pack lightly. I operate under the “You Just Never Know” Theory. I enjoy wearing suits so I mostly wear suits at conferences so I need those. I have to wear different shirts so I need those.  Of course extra socks & underwear are a must, Duh. Different shoes for each suit are very important. There’s nothing worse than wearing a black suit & let’s say you forgot the black shoes, all you have are your brown ones. It doesn’t look good & I trust me when I say, you will spend the entire evening looking at the brown shoes wondering how many people are figuratively wondering why you’re wearing brown and not black shoes.  I know this to be a fact because I’ve see me do it.

Should be all set, right? Wrong. Don’t forget your wallet! I’ve done that before also. If it can be forgotten I’ve forgotten it on some trip to somewhere.

I think that someone could make a decent living hiring themselves out as professional packers. Hand them your list, they go through it with you, and voila your only job is to start your car and head to the airport. She’s already packed your luggage in your car and included your entire itinerary and any other necessary documentation.  After giving her a credit card number she pats you on the head and wishes you a safe flight and reminds you of the Power User discount. I might be willing to pay for that because when I say it takes me hours to pack, I’m not exaggerating.

Alright, I went out and purchased a new piece of luggage. One of the local luggage stores was having a killer sale on London Fog luggage. Had to have it! Retail Therapy is so rewarding & satisfying (until you get the credit card bill)

 Now if we could just someone else stand in the TSA lines for a reasonable price.


The Value of Attending Sage Summit 2011

There has been much discussion about the value of attending the Sage Summit 2011 Conference. I am one of those who have found Conferences to provide me with great value and I’ve learned a great amount of useable information. The technology industry changes daily and there’s no way to know about those changes if we don’t talk to the source. You can find the source(s) and other partners who have utilized those changes very successfully by attending events such as the new and improved Sage Summit.

Look at the business partners who consistently make the Top 10 list. Go to their website and see what they’re doing that you’re not. It’s probably a safe wager that they’ve been involved in Insights, BPAC members, etc.  It’s time to be accountable to ourselves for our failures or successes. It’s time to stop blaming others when we fail. It’s time to stop blaming the economy.

First, there is the long term value of creating lasting relationships with other BP’s or third party solutions and there are many knowledgeable partners and company representative who will gladly share that knowledge with you.

There has been a shift at Sage to offer more transparency and seeing the Management attend different social events & the Trade Show is testament to this new shift. We have a new CEO since our last Insights in Denver. Although Pascal Houillon is new to Sage North America he has been with Sage France, Belgium, Brazil, Switzerland, and Morocco since joining Sage in 1989. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him “out and about” during Sage Summit, so here’s another opportunity to meet more of the management team.

How do you put a price tag on product information you receive at Summit? What about face time with Sage executives? Truth be told, you can’t put a price tag on these items. The sessions alone that Sage is offering this year are numerous in count, while covering all Sage products, upgrades, changes etc.

Too often we get caught up on doing business as we’ve always done it, not knowing that there are better ways of streamlining and making our individual businesses more cost effective. But if we don’t go to Summit and attend sessions, talk to other BP’s, then we’re going to stay in that same spiraling vortex & will get the same results. One of my favorite quotes is:

“If you keep doing what you’re doing you’re going to keep getting what you get. If you want something new you’re going to have to try something new.”

~ Author Unknown

I have spoke to BP’s who have concerns that they have never “pulled” any new business from attending Insights and other conferences occasionally or even those who go each year. Then there’s the camp that has bought booth space, collected business cards & found that most of those cards belonged to other BP’s & not potential new deal opportunities. Is it worth the expenditure, they ask?

First, if you’re heading off to Insights with the sole intent of closing deals then you’re going to be disappointed. It’s kind of like going to a Barnum & Bailey Circus expecting Shakespeare; or going on vacation to Northern Minnesota in January wearing shorts, flip flops & sun tan lotion; you’re going to be disappointed by setting up unrealistic expectations.

Unfortunately most companies don’t look at non revenue generating items as having any value. Unless there’s a dollar amount involved most BP’s don’t “get it.” Here’s an example of one who does.

“It has always been MY rule that if I am serious about selling Sage products I need to attend Insights. I need to “breathe” the air, sense the mood of the Sage community, and get enough inspiration to see me through another year.” ~ Arlie Skory; Managing Partner at Skory Employer Solutions LLC ~

To the partners who don’t get it, there are three questions you need to ask yourself.

What value am I adding to the equation?
What Solution can I provide?
Am I participating in the success of my business?

Come to Washington D.C. & see the changes that are happening at Sage. You’re going to be surprised & more importantly you’re going to go back to your business with a new attitude & isn’t life itself about how you approach it? I think so & I hope to see each of you in D.C.

Note: Re-print of my 4/19/10 blog


Categories: Current Events Tags: BPAC, PRODUCT KNOWLEDGE, SAGE INSIGHTS, Sage Summit 2011, Pascal Houillon, Arlie Skory, TECHNOLOGY