For more than six years, we’ve hosted a monthly online user group meeting. But it didn’t take a fortune teller to know we were going to have record attendance in our last two meetings.
There’s a simple reason for it: Our customers gave the main presentations in both meetings. In March, the topic was migrating from Sage 500 to Sage X3 from a customer’s perspective. This month, two customers gave presentations on how they use Sage Intelligence Reporting and Sage Enterprise Intelligence.
We realized that our customers are much more engaged when they’re learning from each other. It’s the difference between learning from a book and learning from real-world experience. I could give a presentation on SEI and tell our customers “what,” but another customer can tell the group “how and why.”
That’s why it’s not surprising that the Sage City Roundtables are back again at Sage Summit 2017 in Atlanta. These mini-user group meetings are for Sage customers, by Sage customers. And they’ve been extremely popular since they started.
The history and evolution of Sage City Roundtables
When Sage City was first created for Sage Summit 2012, it was intended to help bring Sage customers together to discuss ideas and solutions for their Sage products. But something was missing. Discussions were still proctored by either a Sage representative or a Sage partner.
In June 2013, Sage launched Sage City Online, where the community would eventually flourish and grow. While Sage City left Sage Summit for a few years, Sage customers, partners, and employees started building relationships online.
Sage City was brought back to Sage Summit 2015, but in a completely new format. Instead, small sessions were planed as the Sage City Roundtables, and they were lead by Sage City VIPs — Very Important Posters. This meant that just like online, session attendees would learn from their peers.
It wasn’t all sunshine and roses that first year, but it was the start of something better.
“The first year we did not offer session registration, which was something we changed in 2016,” said Jennifer Fennell, the senior program manager for online support and learning services for Sage — and unofficially the Sheriff of Sage City. “That proved to be a good idea so people were aware of topics ahead of time.”
The slight change for last year’s Sage Summit saw an amazing success, and standing room only for many Sage City Roundtable sessions. It also saw the folks at Sage City winning a Ventana Research Operational Leadership Award.
“With the success of the roundtables in 2016, we think Sage customers are very interested in exchanging ideas and learning from each other in an intimate environment,” Fennell said.
Sage City Roundtables change slightly again for Sage Summit 2017
The one thing I appreciate about Sage is that they’re always listening to feedback they receive at Sage Summit to try to get things to work out best for their attendees. Fennell said they’re going to make a few slight changes to the Sage City Roundtables again this year.
“This year we are offering slightly more seating options, but it was important to us to keep the Sage City Roundtables intimate so attendees are still able to interact with each other and share the individual knowledge each person brings to the table,” Fennell said.
And just like in years past, seating will be limited and new sessions will not be added if they fill up. And some of them are already listed as full on the Sage Summit 2017 catalog. Right now, the most popular sessions are:
- Sage 100: integration and customization
- Sage X3: ideas and questions
- Sage 500: ideas and questions (Dear Sage: Told ya. 😉 )
“Because our sessions are hosted by Sage City VIPs, we are not able to add more — so be sure to reserve your seat soon,” Fennel said.
It’s an interesting point she makes, because the more people participate in Sage City Online, the more of a presence it can have at Sage Summit. And I also like they’re not shoehorning in more sessions just to have more. If they can’t have them lead by VIPs, they’re not going to do them.
And if you haven’t participated in Sage City Online (and I highly recommend you check it out), Fennell suggests checking out the session AL-677, “Sage online resources: Get fast answers anytime, anywhere.” (Edit: Oops! I had this link pointing to the wrong place. Should be good now!)
So if you’re interested in sharing your knowledge or learning from your Sage peers, you better head over to the Sage Summit 2017 website and get registered for these sessions.