What To Wear, What To Wear @ Sage Summit 2012

I get teased a lot because I don’t know how to pack lightly. I operate under the “You Just Never Know” Theory when it comes to travelling.

A man writing a blog about what to wear to a conference? If you are Wayne Schulz or Robert Wood you pack 2 pair of socks, 1 pair of tennis shoes, 1 semi dress pair, 2 pair of Dockers, 2 Polo Short Sleeved Shirts, & assorted accessories. Nothing has to match, just has to be comfortable and ready.

Sometimes I wish it were that easy for me. It just isn’t. I like wearing suits, sport coats & wool gabardine slacks with matching shirts & shoes. I probably spend more making sure everything is dry cleaned and laundered PRIOR to a trip that some people spend at the dry cleaners in an entire year. I’m not bragging, it is an affliction to which there is no cure.

We’re only 3 weeks away from attending Sage Summit 2012. 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.

Belove I’ve included the average temperature & humidity for Nashville just in case you’re wondering about what to wear.

Nashville Average Humidity August

Airline Ticket √
Sage Summit Registration √
Room Reservation √
Luggage √
4 Suits √
2 Pair Slacks √
1 Pair Jeans √
8 Shirts, Dress
2 Casual √
3-4 Pair of Shoes,
Including Flip Flops√

Average August Temperature Nashville

6-8 Pair of Socks √
6-8 Pair of Underwear √
3 Belts √
4 Tee Shirts √
Assorted Toiletries √
Laptop √
iPad √
Camera √
Cell Phone √
Chargers For Laptop, iPad, Camera, Cell Phone √
Extra “AA & “AAA “Batteries for Any Emergency √
Necessary Travel Documents √I enjoy wearing suits at conferences so I need those. I have to wear different shirts to match the suits, sports coats, etc.  Of course extra socks & underwear are a must & different shoes for each suit are very important. There’s nothing worse than wearing a black suit & the wrong shoes or socks.

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.

This list looks like a list for a man, but it can be used just as easy for women.

I think that someone could make a decent living as professional packers. Hand them your list, they go through it with you, and voila your only job is to get to the airport in time. She’s already packed your luggage in your car and included your entire itinerary and any other necessary documentation.

I recently purchased a new large piece of London Fog luggage and I feel very compelled to fill it. 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)

One item that is HIGHLY recommend  is a light coat. Longer Flights  tend to get chilly and so do the Session Rooms. This reminder comes from #SageSummit so I would pay extra attention to it.

Above all, get there safe and on time, dress accordingly and if the airline loses your luggage you can participate in one of my other favorite hobbies and that’s shopping. Gaylord Opryland has a couple of shops to purchase something new.

Yeah, I know I’m a guy & I should honor the Man Code & not admit to enjoy shopping so much.

HAVE FUN!!

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Who Should Attend Sage Summit 2012 & Why

Bill ~ Trent ~ Trevor Kizer

Gary ~ Connie ~ Jennifer ~ Erick @ Sage Summit 2011

Robert Schayes, Himanshu Palsule, Bill Kizer, Pascal Houllion Sage Summit 2011

Mark Kauffmann & Her Girls

Sean Leanne Tuohy Wayne Schulz Bill Kizer

Summit 2011 Twitter Meetup

There has been much discussion about the value of attending the Sage Summit 2012 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 Summit, BPAC membership, etc. It’s time to be accountable to ourselves for our failures or successes. It’s time to stop blaming others when we fail.

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 a testament to this new shift. Don’t be surprised to find yourself engaged in open and honest dialogues with top management.

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 and of course Social Media.

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 Summit 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. Where’s the ROI they ask?

First, if you’re heading off to Summit 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 looking for a sun tan. You’re going to be disappointed by 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.” 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?
What am I adding to the success of my business?

Come to Nashville & 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 Nashville

Final Sage Summit Wrap Up

I woke up in my own bed in San Diego and that’s always a great feeling; not that waking up at the Gaylord National Harbor is a bad thing, but there is nowhere like home. I get to spend the day with my sons and that always makes for a special day.

Sage Summit 2011 is now a memory but what sweet memories. This conference was by far the best Sage Event that I’ve attended for many reasons.

The highlights for me were being asked to be an endorsed Sage Summit blogger. I had a front seat to the growth and acceptance of  social media and how far it has come in the past 3 years since I first started the Sage Partners, Employees & Alumni LinkedIn Group. I got the opportunity to talk to alot of partners about their social media strategy and how it important it has come within their respective businesses in terms of marketing.

My other highlight was being invited to a Meet & Greet with Sean & Leanne Tuohy. What marvelous people they are. Their story is inspiring & I especially loved their message of how just One Person Can Make A Difference. Their journey that was the genesis for the blockbuster movie “The Blindside” is a testament to a core belief of giving rather than receiving. 

There are so many highlights from this event but what really stuck out for me was the accessibility & transparency of the executives. Our new CEO Pascal Houllion is dynamic, friendly and I think our Road Map under his leadership is going to take us places we’ve never been.

Himanshu Palsule, Laurie Schulz, Tom Miller, Dennis Frahmann, Pascal Van Dooren, Connie Certusi, Dominique Bopp, Alok Tyagi,  & many others make Sage what it is today and what it will become. Hold on tight for the ride of your life.

For those that don’t know & asked me for directions & a whole host of other Sage related questions,  I am not an employee of Sage however I am as strong a Sage supporter as you will find. I don’t walk around with blinders on, but if I have questions I will ask and I normally get a response the is satisfactory to me. Just so that we’re clear nothing would give me greater pleasure than to work for any of the people above that I’ve mentioned.

There I go again on a different tangent but to get back to Sage Summit; there are a group of people that are largely responsible for the success of this past event and that the Entire Events team. I hope that each of you get a chance to thank them for the long hours, creative ideas and attention to the smallest detail to make Sage Summit the success it was.

I hope that each of you who attended enjoyed yourself and that you will be in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland for version 2.0 of Sage Summit. I know that barring any unforseen bumps in the road I’ll be there if for no other reason than to see what the Events Team has in store for us.

Have a prosperous year and I wish each of you the very best as we move forward under the direction of our new CEO, Pascal Houllion.

Bienvenue vers l’Amérique, Pascal Houllion

Bienvenue vers l’Amérique, Pascal.

I hope that is the right verbiage for welcoming you to America.

For those that don’t know Sage had it Annual Conference this year at the Gaylord National Harbor. It was the first time that we had combined customers and partners together and the result has been, in this writer’s opinion, phenomenal.

What has stuck out for me is the transparency that the Sage executives have shown. They have been accessible, friendly and seemingly willing to listen to what is being said.

Our new CEO, Pascal Houllion comes from France and has been with Sage for the past 22 years. What has impressed me is his ability to “hang with the employees & partners” yet maintain that CEO image. On the bus ride back from the Museum last night, which was a fantastic evening and I hope that you all got the opportunity to try your hand at flying a jet in the simulators. I don’t think that we even came close to gunning down one enemy jet but the laughter that came from trying was worth it. 

But I digress, on the ride back we were talking about what I had been hearing from partners in terms of concerns, etc. and I also wanted to know what his priority list looked like. But he told the story of travelling with Himanshu Pasule and getting to a city where he was going to be for several days and his agenda had been filled with meetings. He kindly asked them to cancel all the meetings because what he wanted to do and has been doing since his arrival is going out and meeting partners and asking them what they needed, etc. When was the last time that we’ve had that from a CEO?

Laurie Schultz comes the closest with her Road Shows.

I want to single out another long time Sage executive, one that I got to spend some time with and that’s Himanshu Palsule. We were sitting outside the hotel and just started talking about things. I reminded him of the time that my sons came to the airport with their mother to pick me up from Insights in Orlando. He was so genuinely kind to them and was interested in what they had to say even though they were just 5 & 6 at the time. Small gestures like that go along way with me. They are the gestures of a genuinely kind person. We probably spent 45 minutes just talking about alot of different topics and I left to go to my room impressed one more time with Himanshu. So if you’re reading this at some point, Himanshu, thanks for your time that evening.

I want to point out one more Sage executive and then I’m going to head in another direction with this blog because I don’t want to feel like I’ve left anyone out. Laurie Schultz is as accessible an executive as anyone. This goes back to the Road Shows that she conducts and criss crosses the country to hear what we have to say, even when it can be a bit harsh she stands tall and doesn’t attempt to defend Sage’s position, she attempts to explain what Sage is doing, where Sage is going and the anticipated time it’s going to take to get there.

But what really showed me what type of a person she is was an email that I received from her back in April. My younger brother Tom had passed away and I wrote an open letter in the form of a blog to him and posted it. Her note was one of genuine concern and I was very touched by her small gesture of kindness.

Just an aside, please attend these Road Shows. Sage wants to know what you think and if you’re not attending these free events how can you expect any change? It’s incumbent upon us to let people know what we feel.

I could go on and on about the accesibility of the Executive Team, people like Tom Miller, (Does He Ever Stop Smiling?) Dennis Frahmann, Connie Certusi, the Events Team, you name them they have been very visible at this event and I’m sure that most partners would be happy about that.

Frankly, I don’t know how the Events Team is going to top this one but it will be fun to see and I hope that everyone comes back next year as we head to Nashville to see what we’ll do for Pascal’s 2nd Summit.

Relaxing @ The Gaylord National During Sage Summit 2011

Gaylord National

I’ve found that after just a couple of days at past Insight & Summit events that I need a break. Whether it’s a long overdue nap, taking a walk, it’s important to give yourself some “Me” time. Here’s some great amenities that are available at the Gaylord without leaving the grounds.

Relâche Spa & Salon, a 20,000-square-foot facility that includes including saunas, steam rooms, co-ed tea/relaxation lounge, and a state-of-the-art fitness center

Unique indoor/outdoor pool located at Relâche Spa

Seven distinctive restaurants and eateries, including Gaylord Hotels’ signature restaurant, Old Hickory Steakhouse

Sunday Brunch at Pienza Italian Market

Fine seafood offerings at Moon Bay Coastal Cuisine.

Pose Ultra Lounge, our high-energy rooftop nightclub

National Pastime Sports Bar and Grill  (This is also known as the place that all Arizona Diamondback fans are banned from. It’s just on principle 🙂

Belvedere Lobby Bar fosters a relaxing atmosphere to unwind or socialize.

if you’re spending the day lounging in the sun, the poolside bar offers cool, colorful drinks, as well as fresh bites to eat.

Potomac Playzone family arcade

On-site shopping, from travel necessities to luxurious indulgences

Or……If you want to go downtown D.C. there is a shuttle every 90 minutes from the Gaylord Entrance

Sightseeing Tours and Roundabout Services

Water Taxis to Old Town, Georgetown and Mount Vernon

Wayne Schulz has a great LinkedIn post detailing how to get around D.C. Check it out for directions.

There’s alot to do while you’re in D.C. but my overall message is to make sure you carve out some time for mental relaxation.

Most of all, ENJOY YOURSELF!!!

How Do You Shuttle 3,000 People In One Hour?

We have spent a good deal of time considering this very question. We were presented with this challenge as we considered how we will transport 3,000 of our favorite customers and business partners from the Gaylord National Conference to the Air and Space Museum for our special evening event on Wednesday, July 13.  We are confident that we have come up with a great solution. 

Here’s how this will work.   

The Trade Show Exhibit Hall will serve as pre-departure “port”.

Starting at 6:55 p.m. customers will be asked to board buses in alphabetic order by the name of their company. This way, if there is more than one person with the company, employees can get on the same bus. For those of you who would like to join your customers, you will be able to board any bus at any time to accompany them.  
We will have two dedicated shuttles for Exhibitors. We will have an Exhibitor Express Shuttle shortly following the close of the trade show for those that can be packed up in a flash. We have an Exhibitor Last Call bus run at 9:00 p.m. for those who need a little more time.  
The bus schedule will be communicated in print, signs, live announcements, social media, text messaging, and by staff giving directions. It will also be printed on the back of museum tickets that will be distributed to Sage Summit attendees beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 13 at the trade show entry area.

There will be plenty of Sage staff available to assist you at the time with any questions.

This is going to be more fun than riding the roller coasts at Magic Mountain & Disney Land combined.

Remember, we’ll all get to our destination and your patience will be rewarded with a Fantastic Night!!!

We’re looking forward to seeing you at Summit 2011