Post Summit reflections; what we learned and what we are still learning.
It has been three weeks since the Summit ended and life has been hectic. We always include a Board meeting at each Summit, and for the past year have held them at the end, when we could talk about what worked well and what didn’t, and “test” theories with them for the next Summit. Our last formal Summit event is always a team de-brief. The team debrief is meant to critically review every segment of the Summit, from beginning to end, starting with the months of preparation before and ending with the event itself. We evaluate what went well and what could have been better in every area…and we take the lessons learned and formulate committees to make sure they are improved upon for the next Summit. The one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the ability of our Board and my colleagues to rejoice in the great successes and yet be open to building upon them and making them even better. The SIG team has never-ending energy to continually reinvent SIG Summits. Resting on laurels only lasts for about 6 hours, just overnight from Thursday till Friday, when we then get so excited about how we can keep improving.
I thought I would share some of the highlights and the lowlights from the Summit with you. We had an increase of approximately 9.5% in attendance in breakout sessions. The clear winners were the Vantage Partners session on Stakeholder Engagement, BMO on Risk, Nationwide on Alignment Playbook and Google on Stakeholder Management.
The highest ranked breakout scores were Allegis and UBS on Strategies and Trends; Hiperos and Huntington on Navigating Third Party Regulatory Banking Requirements; Coupa with You Don’t Know Jack and Vantage Partners with Novartis with The Most Important Skill for Today’s Sourcing Professional.
The General Sessions ranged from 98% Satisfied and Extremely Satisfied to 75% Satisfied and Extremely Satisfied; with the buy-side members giving the highest rankings.
The overall Summit satisfaction came in at an astounding 98%! We consistently heard that while it was a larger event, if felt small, intimate and cozy…being large enough to meet new people, yet small enough to build relationships. We were told that the content was “generally solid,” based on building expertise and demonstrating capabilities. Other consistent comments were about the networking opportunities, variety of sourcing professionals and ability to meet sell side people without the overtly commercial overtones that are seen at other events. Of the 2% of attendees who were “Less Than Satisfied,” the comments were mainly focused on logistical items, such as having longer breaks, offering unstructured time to see the surrounding area, eating meals outside and improving food options (and to the last one, I say REALLY?! That is not what my scale said when I got back).
We had great feedback from the post Summit Survey recommending that we “go green” by not printing the Resource Guide; suggesting we use more recyclable water and coffee cups; and finding more creative ways to share content and be kinder to the environment. The suggestions we received from attendees were amazing and we will be sure to work them into the next Summit- stay tuned for the exciting changes.
On a sad note, we did have to ask a Provider Member to leave the Summit and revoke their membership due to an overt pitch to take members off-site to a cocktail event. However, we hope they rejoin us after a year-long break and come back as strong SIG supporters.
Okay, so now for the future, SIG is focused on increasing our reach, but not at the sacrifice of what makes us great. As you probably have noticed, I often quote/tweet/blog etc ideas from
Inc. Magazine; I have kept the March issue in print and on my iPad and reread it often to make sure the lessons learned from others aren’t forgotten. We are focused on scaling which is different from pure growth because it is also about getting better. It is about creating systems that pull the magic through the growth curve without systemizing the essence of SIG: that every person, associate, member and company needs to be treated uniquely; that as our members change in age/demographic/thoughts/beliefs and culture, so does SIG; that the future generation of sourcing and outsourcing professionals will be dramatically different from the current; and that we provide an embracing culture that appreciates that Gen X and Yers are going to be different in how they receive, consume and digest information.
With that in mind, stay tuned for some future changes in SIG coming your way!