Well, well, well …. look what I got in my inbox yesterday afternoon:
Oh yeah! It’s that time of year again to start thinking about that time of year again!
Sage Summit 2015 in New Orleans may be almost six months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking and planning for it. It’s a big undertaking to attend, especially since it happens during the month-end time of July 27-30. (That didn’t stop people from coming out in droves last year when Sage Summit had its largest attendance ever in Las Vegas.)
We’ve learned from our customers (and from our own experience) that there’s a bunch of stuff involved in being away from the office for a week, especially if multiple people from the same company attend. And of course, there’s the money involved.
However, like in years past, Sage has several ways of making the trip more affordable — if you’re paying attention. For those who attended Sage Summit last year, you received an e-mail shortly after the event to register for the 2015 event for $99. Granted, unlike last year, there was a bit of a catch (you had to sign up someone else, too), but it was still an incredible savings over the regular cost.
I know a lot of our customers who attended last year were very appreciative of the opportunity to attend Sage Summit at such a savings, especially with the travel and hotel costs, too. When I asked the folks at Sage last year about that special price back then, they assured me it was because they want as many of their customers as possible to attend, and they know the cost of the entire week’s trip can be a burden. (They also had a special price for partners, too.)
When can I sign up for Sage Summit?
Sage Summit registration officially opens in March this year, but the e-mail that we received yesterday said that there’s going to be an Early Bird special in February before the actual Early Bird special begins. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be a $99 registration period again, but I still look for it to be a huge savings. Even the regular Early Bird period that begins in March will offer a great discount off the regular registration.
Obviously there aren’t a lot of details out yet, even in that e-mail. However, it did say to keep an eye out for another e-mail that will have the special promo code when the Early-Early Bird registration begins in February. There’s also a link to click if you want to receive updates about Sage Summit. That same link also appears on the Sage Summit website. (Or, you could just check back here. I’ll hook you up.) I also highly recommend following Sage Summit on social media, especially on Twitter, if you want to get the freshest updates.
Why attend Sage Summit?
I’m sure just like last year, since Sage Summit is going to be held in New Orleans, there will be some people (bosses, HR directors, etc.) who scoff at the idea of a business convention being held in a “party town.” I’m not the biggest party person in the world (I stayed up late, had a few drinks, and hit a few slots, but nothing more daring than that), but I never felt distracted from the task at hand: attending Sage Summit, my classes, and our events for our customers.
Of course, I did mention in a previous post that I did have some Billy-from-Family-Circus moments during Sage Summit, but that was because I was distracted by the cool things on the trade show floor, and not the bright lights of Sin City. There were others in our group (Practical employees and our customers) who had no interest in anything outside of the conference and our events, and they reported they were glad they attended.
Even though Sage hosts these conferences in great locations with lots of attractions before, during, and after the events, Sage Summit is a business conference first and foremost. Whether you fill up every single time slot on your agenda with sessions and keynotes or spend most of your time shopping vendors on the trade-show floor and networking with industry experts and peers, or even if you take in your fair share of entertainment along with the conference, there’s no denying that Sage Summit is worth every penny spent on attending.
Isn’t Sage Summit the same every year?
Sage Summit is not the same every year. Period. End of discussion. (Not really … I have to explain this one.)
In the almost four years I’ve been working at Practical Software Solutions, I did marketing for the first two Sage Summits and have attended the past two. Each one has been vastly different from the rest. I didn’t get a first-hand look at the ones in 2011 and 2012, but following them on social media and hearing stories from my co-workers and our customers gave me enough information to compare notes.
The reason why Sage Summit changes so much from year to year is because Sage actually listens to feedback from the attendees. When attendees said they didn’t want an awards banquet and wanted more time for networking, Sage dropped the banquet in 2012 and added Sage City. When attendees said that Sage City was OK, but it was missing some follow-up discussion, Sage added a morning of round-table discussions in 2013. When attendees said Sage City wasn’t really panning out they way they expected, Sage dropped the program and added round-table panels with industry experts in 2014.
And if this pattern is any indication, I’m sure there will be some more changes based on what attendees want for Sage 2015. Sage employees are already dropping hints:
Just wrapped a #SageSummit planning session and WOW! Wait til you see what we have planned for #accountants! http://t.co/OR104yuU4W
— Jennifer Warawa (@jenniferwarawa) January 13, 2015
I tried to get some more information from Jennifer:
@jenniferwarawa Oh go on … can't we have a little hint? #SageSummit
— Practical Software (@consultPSS) January 13, 2015
But the cat’s still in the bag:
@consultPSS Here's one hint – you definitely won't want to miss it! More hints to follow 🙂
— Jennifer Warawa (@jenniferwarawa) January 13, 2015
So keep an eye out if you’re interested in finding out what’s in store for Sage Summit 2015. Whether you sign up early and save a whole bunch or wait until it’s full price — that’s up to you.