Sage Summit 2016 – My virgin experience

It was just three months before Sage Summit 2016, and the hype in the office had already reached crazy-high levels. Everyone was talking about it. In almost every meeting and informal catch-up, the topic popped up and infiltrated the discussion. At that time, I had no idea that I would be attending the event, and so I would get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) every time I heard the phrase, “Sage Summit 2016 is going to be the best one ever!”

Best. News. Ever.

The event on everyone’s lips started getting closer and closer, yet still I heard no word about my inclusion in team Sage Intelligence. The FOMO monkey on my back started growing. It was only about a month before Summit that I arrived at work and finally heard the news I had been waiting for. Charles Teversham (my Director) called me over and said, “Jay, do you want some good news? You are going to summit my man!”


Smiling from ear to ear, I sat down, immediately took my phone out, and messaged my fiancé to share the exciting news. I couldn’t believe it! I was going to Sage Summit. I was going to Chicago. This was especially thrilling for me because it would be my first trip to the USA. I felt like I was a 5-year-old boy on Christmas eve, and Sage Summit was the present I had been eyeing under the tree for the last two weeks.

I’m in Chicago baby! But my luggage isn’t…

The day finally came and it was time for me to make my way to the airport and embark on the journey of a lifetime. The thought of demonstrating our super product to more than 15 000 Summit attendees and exploring the beautiful city of Chicago was just mind blowing!


After more than 40 hours of flying and rushing between flights, I arrived in Chicago. Unfortunately, my luggage had not. It had been left behind in London, and only caught up with me three days later. Luckily for me, my manager, Stephen Coull, managed to cart along an entire wardrobe of neatly-put-together outfits, and being a generous guy, loaned a few of them to me to wear in the interim.

Shjoe, that was a close call!

Getting down to business

Monday was Business Partner day. After completing registration, it was time to make my way to the Keynote address. “This is crazy…” I thought to myself, as I walked into the hall packed with excited Business Partners and many Sage colleagues from across the globe. My first day was spent setting up the Sage Intelligence booth, ensuring that everything was 100 percent ready for the next three days of non-stop product demonstrations.

Tuesday arrived like a spaceship coming into the Earth’s atmosphere, and suddenly the buzz from Monday seemed to multiply tenfold. More than 15 000 attendees, made up of business partners, customers and potential customers, filled up the venue, all keen to see what Sage had on the roadmap for the next year. At the Sage Intelligence booth, demonstrations were non-stop. I was on booth duty for most of Tuesday, and I remember only managing to find the time to check my watch at 2pm!

In the action-packed days that quickly flew by, I found myself meeting hundreds of people from many different parts of the world, and really enjoyed experiencing first-hand how our product had made their lives easier. Something else that stood out for me was hearing the inspiring success stories from influential entrepreneurs, such as; Richard Branson, Gwenyth Paltrow, Ashton Kutcher and many, many more.

It wasn’t all work and no play though. Our nights were jam-packed with colleague events. We were also treated to a world class concert by The Killers and other acts, and I spent some time touring the amazing city of Chicago—learning a lot about its heritage.

All in all, Sage Summit 2016 was everything I had expected it to be and more. A huge, heartfelt thank you to all who organised the event, my colleagues for affording me the opportunity to represent Sage Intelligence, and to the guys/ ladies in the engine room who deliver such a great product that I can proudly showcase.

And a special thank you to my manager, Steve, for lending me his clothes.


I can’t wait to see what Sage Summit 2017 has in store for us!