Social Media took Center Stage at Sage Summit


How Will Social Media And Sage Summit Continue Improving Your Experience?

Beyond product announcements and diving into new features at sessions, social media took center stage at Sage Summit.

Let’s examine how Sage Summit’s embrace of technology affected our conference this year and what we can look forward to in 2013.

The most visible format was Twitter. Sage encouraged all attendees to sign up for Twitter, if they weren’t already a member, and use the hash tag #SageSummit to broadcast the event’s happenings.

Thousands of tweets about Summit rolled in all week informing the Twittersphere of what’s happening here and giving attendees a heads up about events around the convention center. During the partner Keynote on Monday, attendee’s opinions and thoughts were live and visible on screens around the ballroom creating a true sense of inclusiveness to the Sage community. This was key to the success of the key-note and I think it’s safe to say all attendees would love to see it a second time.

The Social Networking Lounge kept the Twitter feeds airing publicly through the entire event. Several large monitors were set up for anybody passing by to take a quick look. YouTube videos uploaded from attendees and Sage played on separate monitors for those taking a break in the Lounge. It would be hard to believe  this doesn’t reappear in 2013 as it was one of the most popular meeting points, outside of the trade show floor.

An extremely practical highlight of the Lounge was the charging stations. Several stations were equipped with dozens of phone charging cords so anyone could get some juice back in their dying device. Waiting for you battery to power up was a perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation with others in the area and served as a more intimate meeting space away from crowds on the trade show floor. Due to its popularity, you can be sure it will resurface.

What new features will Sage add? What would you like to see?

Tweets-ups kept things alive after the trade show closed down. Several dozen partners and Sage representatives met up for the now annual Tweet-ups to share their thoughts and network with other Sage/Twitter fanatics.

Twitter helped keep sessions lively. Beyond many of the marketing and social media sessions available to customers and partners that educated attendees on how to integrate these platforms into their business, many session and panel hosts encouraged attendees to send feedback during the sessions for immediate response. More than a few sessions I attended had the hosts laughing and engaging from attendees live responses while keeping those who missed the session informed. This interaction was extremely helpful and I hope to see it continue.

The Sage Summit app is arguably one of the most useful tools you can have at Summit. A one stop shop for your Smartphone, this app keeps your schedule in the palm of your hands. Featuring maps of the enormous Gaylord Convention Center, your agenda of sessions for the week, a list of sessions to choose from if you hadn’t signed up yet and surveys for each session to fill out on the go. The Sage Summit app made it efficient to plan your conference days without fumbling through emails and Outlook calendars and easy to give feedback when you were running to your next session in another “town” of the hotel. What features would you like to see in the app next year?

Inside the Sage Summit app, the virtual totebag took a green approach to session notes. Instead of carrying around piles of handouts, Sage made it simple. The totebag gave you access to all session notes for review at anytime, even the ones you couldn’t make it to. The totebag also featured information from exhibitors and Sage that are still accessible after the show. Invaluable for the next conference, what features do you think will help improve it?

Is this the beginning of a social media-engaged Sage Summit? All signs point to yes with this year’s success. As 2012 comes to a close, it’s  exciting to see the next steps Sage takes to further integrate social media at Sage Summit 2013.

Do you have a great idea for a session at Sage Summit 2013? Sage is listening, submit your idea here.