Memories of Customer Conferences Past

Note to readers: This post is focused on Sage Partners. If you are not a Sage Partner, you might want to sit this one out.

Having been with Sage over seven and a half years now, I am hesitant to begin a story with the phrase, "When I was a partner…" So much has changed in the almost ten years since I practiced that hearing myself say this makes me cringe. But against my better judgment, here goes.

Among my fondest memories of when I was a partner, was participating in the Great Plains customer conference which is still known as Convergence, albeit a Microsoft event now.

In the first year of its existence, my firm was fortunate enough to have a few customers who were interested in making the trek from New York to the Swalphin (my wife’s pet name for Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Convention Center in Orlando). In fact, one of our customers won the first ever software industry award for customer loyalty.

The most dominant memory though is the fact that all of us partners felt as if we were cohosts of the event. As examples:

  • We gave each of our customers tee-shirts with our logo and the old Great Plains logo on it and asked that they wear it on a certain day of the conference.
  • We made sure to eat breakfast as a group and invited our friends from the GP support department.
  • We arranged for special walkthroughs of the trade show area with our customers in attendance.
  • We were encouraged to organize dinners and invite GP executives who graciously came and spoke to each customer.
  • We met our customers and GP friends every night at the dueling piano bar, Jellyrolls at the Disney Boardwalk.

All this was fun to be sure, but there is one important business result, we never lost a customer who attended the event with us.

As someone who is working on the first combined (partners and customers) Sage Summit 2011 team, I can tell you we want our partners to feel like they are cohosts of this new event. I am sure many Sage partners have heard about some of the things we have planned, but I would like your feedback as well on how we could make you feel as if you are cohosting the event.

5 thoughts on “Memories of Customer Conferences Past

  1. Pingback:Tweets that mention Memories of Customer Conferences Past -- Topsy.com

  2. Ed, If Sage truly wanted their partners to feel like
    co-hosts, they would: 1) Provide us with a list of customers that
    are registered son that we can arrange to meet with them. 2) make
    it affordable and easy for partners to host their customers with
    specials breakout sessions and/or cocktail parties. I’ve asked for
    both for the past 3 years (and again this year) the response is
    still “can’t be done.” Really? You can’t run a list of registrants
    and compare them against the ROR? I think it is fair to say that
    YOU want us to feel like cohosts, but the people RUNNING the
    conference don’t want this.

  3. I’d love to see Sage do some type of Community Forum / LinkedIn gathering — someplace where people who commonly interact online can meet in real life.

    The Sage Community Forum (at least on the MAS 90 side) seems vibrant and active. I bet a lot of those people would love to meet the Sage folks who commonly reply online – as well as other regulars.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Clark. I wanted to let you know that we at Sage are working on a process to match back partners to customers, but that we highly recommend partners to inform their customers to be sure to input their business partner names as it will streamline the process for everyone.


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