Is Attending Sage Summit Worthwhile?

As I prepare to attend my third Sage Summit, I’m being asked by customers and co-workers alike, on if it’s really worth attending. We all get invited to so many events, trade shows, and conferences, that realistically we can’t attend them all and have to do the Pro vs. Con debate – even if we don’t write it out.

Here’s my list for Sage Summit:

 Interact with hundreds of people who use the same Sage product as you.

It’s an amazing place to find out tricks & tips from other daily users – let alone all the Sage City staff in the trade show! Hearing what other users are taking advantage of often leads to new ways to improve your business or the return on your Sage product investment.

The nightly events really are amazing.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences, and readily admit that Sage Summit’s entertainment is by far the best. Two years ago we found our inner child with the Smithsonian Museum all to ourselves (with open bar I might add) and this year we get private access to the American History Museum. My inner child wants to see if they mention where Canadians lit the White House on fire in 1814.

Get to know your Sage partner better.

We spend a fair amount of time with our customers at Summit and building that relationship has definitely improved both of our businesses. I’ve lost count of the number of casual conversations where a client mentions a work annoyance that seems completely unrelated to their Sage solution or comments “I wish I had a program that could do X for me”, only to have one of our Consultants respond with “Oh, that’s not hard, we can set that up for you next week”.

There’s only so much that can be reviewed in meetings, but three days at a conference opens up a lot of opportunities to delve deeper.

 See what’s coming down the line.

You’ve created, or are thinking of creating, a partnership with Sage for the next few years minimum. Why not find out more about where this partnership is heading? Summit is often where new features or products are announced, letting you be the first to see & explore the upcoming technology for your industry.

That leads to one of the most important reasons to attend – FEEDBACK.

You have the opportunity to talk freely in forum/workshop format with the developers & support team of your Sage solution. Are there things you really wish it did? Things you want added next version? Instead of mumbling them at your computer screen, this is your chance to really hash these out with Sage.

 New ideas galore.

At this point, we all know how to do our jobs well, but can definitely use a shake up now & then. Every year, I come home from Sage Summit with minimum 20 new ideas to implement at work. The sessions aren’t all technical or product related. There are sessions on everything from accounting tips to marketing trends, and a large number of training classes that qualify for CPE credits.

Gaylord Hotels.

If you’ve ever stayed at one, then this point is already clear. If you haven’t, you are in for an entirely new hotel experience my friend. Known for its service, the 300 acre Washington, D.C Resort features a glass ceiling over a tropical garden that encompasses three restaurants, a café, shops, and it’s very own stream.

The piano bar, popular for Summit meetings, is on an indoor patio overlooking the garden and a 19 story glass wall providing a view of the Potomac River. You can stay inside for your entire visit and be completely unaware that you did that.

Lack of coffee at the mid-morning break.

Yes, I’ll admit, this is my biggest pet peeve at Sage Summit. It’s out at breakfast & lunch, fine, but I’m a West Coaster – we’re all about coffee! Making me run to the café for that much-needed morning pick me up, especially after I may have been out a smidgen late at those amazing evening events, is unappreciated.

Washington, D.C., as amazing as it may be, isn’t exactly close.

There is some decent travel time involved and as much as flying lets me catch up on my movie watching, I do understand that it’s not completely ideal.

Lots of work to come home to.

With everything going on at Summit, different sessions all day, a huge trade show, and evening events, it’s difficult to get my normal day-to-day work done. I tried the first year and failed miserably, so now I let everyone at work know that I’m off limits, put my “out of office” on, and plan ahead with a quiet week after Summit, so I have a chance to catch up.

I realize the Con list is fairly short and you may think that’s because I’m promoting the event. I actually tried quite hard to come up with some more Cons and am honest to goodness, unable to. Sage Summit is hands down, one of the best events for Sage customers and partners alike.

If you have any questions about the event, we would be happy to answer those as well, and help you decide if it’s worthwhile for you personally. If you’re interested in attending, we have a special discount available, so please contact us to register!