Twelve days. Not bad at all.
Just under two weeks ago, the first squeaky wheels were letting the Sage Summit staff know that they were worried that they hadn’t published the session agenda for this year’s conference in Las Vegas. What did this mean? Would there be fewer sessions? Were these celebrity-led classes be replacing them? How can I face my CEO when we signed up for a “better” Sage Summit and I have no proof?
We immediately received word from Danielle Cote at Sage that they were reconsidering their initial plan to not publish the session catalog. They did not have all the sessions finalized yet, nor did they have all the dates and times set in stone, so they didn’t want to publish an incomplete version. However, hearing the cries from their partners and customers, the Sage Summit crew decided to act.
Yesterday, the Sage Summit team published a preview version of the session catalog. Danielle gave a couple of us a heads-up, with this caveat: “The catalog is only a listing of session offerings to date. We will add more along the way and in May, when the session agenda builder goes live, they will actually show the day/time the sessions will be offered. Until then, we are releasing the full list only by track.”
I can imagine that there’s going to be people out there who say, “What took them so long?” To play a bit of devil’s advocate, publishing a session catalog like they did doesn’t just happen by pressing a button. (Now this I can truly speak from experience.) There has to be design work done, and all the text has to be typed up. Since they don’t have all the sessions included, it has to be designed to add more content to the document easily and effectively. Then it has to be proofread for typos, errors and omissions.
It was better to take their time when people were breathing down their necks. What if they had slapped something together that was full of errors? That would have caused even more worry.
But I can also see why there was so much nervousness when the catalog wasn’t originally published. I looked back through my e-mails from last year at this time, and it does seem that people could sign up for sessions as soon as Early Bird Registration opened last April. I’m not saying it was right or wrong of Sage to not have the session catalog ready. (They’re human and things happen. It may have been the plan all along. There may have been a hiccup, like an outbreak of the flu.) It’s just being done differently this year.
So there you have it. A good chunk of the session catalog has been published, and there will be more added as we go along. The full catalog with session details (descriptions, dates and times) will be published when the session agenda builder goes online in May. As a reminder, customers who registered during the $99 phase still need to finish registering to reserve their hotel. (Here’s a link to the overall agenda to help with your travel plans.) Also, partners who signed up during the $399 phase still have to actually register by May 16 to retain that price.
But I hope Sage has heard loud and clear the same thing we’ve been hearing from our customers all along: Sage Summit can have all the cool stuff in the world, but if the meat and potatoes aren’t there, neither is the return on investment. With the way they’ve greased the squeaky wheels, I think Sage is getting the message.