Sage Summit 2013 – Are You In Or Are You Out?

Gaylord National Harbor Resort

Gaylord National Harbor Resort

There has been much discussion about the value of attending Sage Summit 2013 Partner & Customer Conference, which is being held in Washington D.C. July 21 – 26 at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort.

This is my favorite Gaylord because it’s easy to navigate (Not like the Opryland Human Maze), it’s close to some outside restaurants and clubs, (Again not like Opryland which is a $25 Cab ride downtown Nashville)

But I won’t miss it and neither should you!  I’ve have found that Summit provides me with great value and relevant information. Our industry changes daily and there’s no way to stay on top of these changes if we don’t talk to the source(s). You can find the source(s) and other partners who have utilized those changes successfully by attending Sage Summit 2013. 

Most of the real interesting conversations are those that you find in the hallways between sessions and keynotes. If you want to watch a partner who is adept at deciphering what is said and more importantly what’s not said, find Wayne Schulz and ask him if it’s okay to tag along, he’ll probably say “no” but go anyway. It’s how he and I became friends.

Its eye opening, informational and very rarely is his take on things wrong. I talk to Wayne 3-5 times a week and the conversation is always lively. You can catch Wayne on his daily morning walks at 6:00 a.m. along with other partners like Robert Wood, Peter Wolf & I swear I’m going to get up at Zero Dark 30 to walk with them.

If sessions are your thing then go park yourself in every Ed Kless session that has an open seat. You won’t leave disappointed. I have sat in many of his sessions, taken the week long Consulting Academy, gone to conferences just to hear him speak and rate Ed as one of the top speakers in our industry.

Look at the business partners and vendors who consistently attend Summit.  If you want the keys to success they’re the people to see. Go to their booths and see what they’re doing that you’re not. It’s probably a safe wager that they’ve been involved in Summit for many years.

“It has always been MY rule that if I am serious about selling Sage products I need to attend Summit. 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 

There is a long term value of creating lasting relationships with other colleagues who will share their knowledge with you. I’ve spent many hours talking with them about the direction that our industry is headed.

What price tag do you put on the information you receive at Summit? How about face time with Sage executives, visiting with 3rd party providers? I don’t think you can put a tag on these. The sessions alone that Sage offers are topic rich.

We get caught up on doing work as we’ve always have not aware there are better ways to streamline our businesses & become more cost effective. If we don’t go to Summit & feed off the synergy then we’re going to stay in that same rut getting the same results.

There are BP’s who have concerns that they don’t write any new business at Summit. They’ve bought booth space, & brought a large group. Is it worth the expenditure? Can I justify the costs? How much business will I miss out on while I’m at Summit? These are valid questions. The answer is simple….How much effort are you willing to exert while you’re there.

If you’re going to Summit with the sole intent of closing deals you will be disappointed. It’s like going to the circus expecting Shakespeare; this is an unrealistic expectation. A lot of companies look at expenditures that don’t provide immediate return as worthless. I think of attending conferences the same as Spring Training, The chances of a productive year increase exponentially with a successful Spring Training.

If you’re still not sold, here are 3 questions to ask yourself.

►By not going am I adding or taking away value from the success of my business?

► What new technology can I find at Summit that I can add to my product portfolio?

►Am I the problem or am I the solution?

Come to D.C. & see what’s going on at Sage. You will go back to your business with new tools, ideas & a new attitude.

See you in Washington D.C.
Bill Kizer
http://na.sage.com/sage-summit/
http://billkizer.com

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