Tammy Mathews, Bill Kizer & some short guy at Sage Insights 2010 ~ Denver, Colorado
Photograph Taken By Wayne Schulz
Like a lot of other Sage Partners, Employees & Exhibitors I just returned home from Sage’s Annual Partner Conference. It was held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver and I’m happy to report that I think this was the best Insights that I’ve attended. It was refreshing, positive and had the feel of a large family reunion without the drunk uncle.
My only negative was the size of that damned convention center. I made the mistake of wearing new shoes to walk endlessly throughout the monolithic Center. It seemed to me that the halls were about 6 miles long and of course sessions covered every square foot available. At the end of the first day my feet were killing me, I developed blisters and I promise that I will never scoff at another woman when they complain about walking in heels. I think that I was the only person there who actually missed the Gaylord hotels, especially the Nashville property where everyone gets lost at least once and when you get lost in the Orlando Gaylord at least you had the alligators to keep you distracted while you wandered aimlessly. If my calculations are correct I walked a total of 493 miles in 4 days! Not really but it seemed that way.
Now that I’ve whined about the walking, let’s get to the good stuff. The keynotes were succinct. As usual Himanshu was dynamite. Tom Miller held his own even though he had to follow Himanshu. I always enjoy listening to Laurie Schultz. I especially enjoyed Sue Swenson’s opening day keynote.
The sessions that I attended seemed to be more relevant and timely. Ed Kless had a 3 part (that’s 3 straight hours) session titled “Firm Of The Future” and I don’t think that anyone left. There were more sessions on Social Media which seemed to be well attended. The Social Media Session that was moderated by Dennis Frahmann was phenomenal and I could have sat through another 2-3 hours. The panel was well picked and there were a lot of good questions. There were several hands on sessions that also looked packed.
Rob Johnson was giving out signed copies of his new book Kick Your Own Ass. I wrote about my misadventures with the book on the group website http://www.sage-li-group.com.
The difference in 2009 versus 2010 was papable, the chatter I heard was how far we’ve come as a company & how the future is looking brighter than ever. We’ve got a long ways to go, but it looks like we’re headed in the right direction.
I’ve included some of the comments that were posted in the Discussions area of Sage LinkedIn Partners, Employees & Alumni Community: :
Peter Wolf, President at Azamba Consulting Group
1. Content / conference itself: I’m finding that overall the mood is upbeat and positive. A lot of folks are seeing an uptick in prospect and client interest again – in some cases this is early stage proposals and in others this is signed orders.
I feel that the Sage executives are an open, forthright group and they are keeping their committments to their three (?? is it more ??) key initiatives. Kudos to them all and to all the other Sage people that help make that possible.As anyone who has watched Seinfeld knows… anybody can MAKE committments – it’s keeping them… that’s the hard part. They seem to be doing a great job from what I can see. As always, it’s great to re-connect with people that we haven’t seen for a year and to put in some face time to all the new friends made via Social networking over the last 12 months. I tip my hat to Bill Kizer and crew for establishing this group – it really helps keep the conversations going (good and bad) throughout the year. 2. Venue / food / layout. These things never seem to bother me although I have found that they are typically a “common enemy” for a lot of people.
I have a booth (#520 – shameless plug) and appreciate that the booths are placed closer together than last year (where there was a football field separating one side from the other in any given row). It makes the flow seem more energetic which is great.