Guest Post: Sharing Knowledge Through TUG Conference

This week, one of our Sage CRE customers, Rhiannon Thompson of Davidson Excavation in Russiaville, Ind., gives her impressions of attending her second TUG National Users Conference:

When I first learned the Sage Summit 2017 Tour stop in Atlanta and the 2017 TUG National Users Conference were overlapping, my heart broke. From the moment either conference commences, I’m already excited for the following year. To think I was going to miss out on all the learning and motivation was a real bummer.

TUG Conference 2017 classroom

“Wanting to learn how to do something? TUG is your answer,” Rhiannon Thompson said.

Now, Sage employees had to flip coins over which conference they were going to attend because, between the two conferences, the volunteers usually worked at both. I had already committed to teaching at the TUG conference, which would’ve been my first choice.

So, as usual, I did something about it. I mean seriously – what’s the use of complaining without trying to fix the problem, right? So, I sent an email straight to Stephen Kelly, the CEO of Sage. #GoBigOrGoHome. #BeHeard.

With a six-hour time difference, I wasn’t excepting much. Within 30 seconds I got a read receipt in my email. WHAT?! The CEO of the largest small-business accounting software had already read my email?! I was ecstatic! Now I had to sit back and wait for a response.

Did I mention when he read it, it was 11:45 p.m. his time?

By lunch the next day – you guessed it – he had sent a response! And it was from him personally, not an assistant letting me know he didn’t have time to listen to my concerns. He had no idea the two conferences overlapped, nor did I expect him to.

We exchanged emails back and forth and by the time it was over with, he was signing “S.” I couldn’t help but laugh. We were now on a first initial basis! He hooked me up with an amazing lady with Sage Construction and Real Estate in the Beaverton, Ore., office who was very helpful.

Now don’t get me wrong: both of these conferences are great – for entirely different reasons. Wanting to learn how to do something? TUG is your answer. Wanting to hear amazing motivational speakers and check out an awesome exhibit floor? Sage Summit has it all!

But, naturally, I wanted to share my knowledge of Sage to others at TUG. It killed me to know I was missing out on time with our amazing business partners at Practical Software Solutions and seeing the faces of those I’ve become friends with at past Summits or other training sessions.

The point is, I let Sage know how disappointing it was and asked what we needed to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Diving head-first into TUG 2017

This year TUG was held in Minneapolis and what great weather we had! My colleague and I even made it in time to catch the Twins-Red Sox game! We usually try to go a day early and do something fun before your head hits explode mode. Next year, we can look forward to the Loews Orlando Resort (part of Universal Studios). #ItsNowAFamilyVacation.

The TUG group is amazing! Are you and your company part of TUG? You should be. I’ve learned more from this amazing group of volunteers than you can imagine and I owe it all to Amanda Lamela for hooking us up with them at my first Sage Summit.

(See? Another reason the two conferences shouldn’t overlap. They had no one to advocate for them at their booth! People need to see what TUG is all about!)

TUG 20s party

Rhiannon Thompson, left, poses with some friends at the 1920s party at the 2017 TUG National Users Conference.

Well, I immediately got involved and loved it. I called in every month for the meetings and, for the first few meetings, just listened. Then, I started speaking up. If you know me, you know it doesn’t take me too long to start talking! (I’m sure I’ll regret saying that.) A big thanks to Kathy Gotzenberg, a director with TUG, for answering my questions and making sure I was on the right track.

My first TUG conference, I dove in head deep and taught a class on Sage Intelligence. I loved it. This past conference, I was even more involved. It didn’t take long to hit that explode mode that I referenced earlier. (Insert some Ibuprofen here.)

Even when I’m teaching or assisting, I’m learning. I’d never taught a round table until this year and it was by far my favorite. I love getting people involved.

You also have some of the most brilliant brains in the business at this event: Consultants! They’ve been doing this since before Sage was Sage and they’re so patient to answer questions from those less trained. I also think they enjoy picking up some tricks for us end-users!

The party this year was legit! It was a 1920s-themed night and, of course, we all dressed the part. What a night!

Overall, I’m incredibly glad for another great TUG conference experience. As much as it saddened me to miss Sage Summit and all of my awesome friends, the TUG conference was where I needed to be. I came away with a ton of notes (that I haven’t even got to yet) and so much more knowledge than when I arrived.

To make up for not seeing us at Sage Summit, Practical Software is having a fall one-day conference for their customers to bring us all together and I couldn’t be more excited! Hope to see you all soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Anti-Spam by WP-SpamShield