…So What is “Sage City”?
I was initially uncertain about this Sage City thing.
I saw claims that it would “change everything” about networking. The “unexpected is expected.” Frankly, my impression was that the capital-S Social Media were being combined with in-person chatting (gasp!), and we’d all be gathering in something called Villages…I was imagining something like a Model-UN tweet-up.
So here’s what I’ve gleaned, presented in the most basic and reductive way possible.
It’s An Event
Sage City is more of a when than a where: it’s a single-evening event on the first night of Customer Days—Tuesday, August 14th from 3:30pm to 6pm.
Where You Divide Into Groups
There will be nine “villages” set up for attendees to visit in two rotations, and it sounds like you can visit as many as you’d like in the time available. The event will be divided into two halves, with food (“City Bites”) in between. Villages are devoted to common business interests and fields, dividing attendees into large groups based on shared goals and backgrounds. You’ll even get a map and instructions in a Sage City Pocket Guide.
Within each village, attendees can divide into even smaller groups, ideally 5 – 8 people, based around hot topics chosen through previous surveys or created spontaneously on site.
And Write On Whiteboards
Each topic will be listed on a chat wall, a whiteboard-style sign erected in each village. Attendees can pose questions, write their ideas and solutions, and
graffiti share outcomes of their hot-topic conversations.
Customers, Partners, and Sage Employees
- In Sage’s words, “It’s all about the customer,” because they are the target attendees. Customers should see Sage City as their playground, where they can explore villages and hot topics to share their experiences and challenges with peers and group facilitators. Customers are also encouraged to share their interests before Summit by using registration surveys, social media, and Facewall – the new Sage Summit registrant directory/networking tool.
- Partners can visit villages and hot topics in the same manner as customers, or serve as a Village Host. Village Hosts facilitate discussions in hot topic areas and share their own experiences and perspectives. Village Hosts don’t even need to be experts, they just need to be friendly, engaging participants who will enjoy making introductions, encouraging conversations, and coalescing group ideas for the chat wall.
- Sage employees will be on hand to answer questions on just about anything, and Sage executives are planning to live-tweet the event. More information will be released in the coming months, including a more detailed agenda.
You Said Social Media?
Absolutely! It’s unclear how social media will tie into the in-person conversations at Sage City, but you can bet just as much action will be going on in the virtual world as in the physical one.
Hot topics will be selected through online interactions, village meet-ups can be coordinated through Twitter and Facebook, and attendees will find a myriad of ways to take advantage of the new social hub for Sage Summit, Facewall. Facewall promotes pre-event networking by offering attendees the ability to create online profiles, search for and message other registrants, and add links to their other social media sites. Facewall launches on April 19th to coincide with Early Bird registration for Summit.
The Sage Summit mobile app will also return (available for download in May), and Sage Summit 2012 will feature a Social Networking Lounge in the Delta Lobby near registration, where attendees can ask social media related questions and get help setting up accounts. Stay connected to social media news for Sage Summit by visiting their info page here.
But Most Importantly…Talking
The main thing to remember is that Sage is going the extra mile to make valuable conversations easier for customers and partners. By providing the support, structure, and real estate for Sage Summit attendees to have focused, engaging interactions, they are removing some of the mystery of that elusive conference buzzword, networking, and creating excitement and novelty around a well-worn concept.
By syncing with online interactions that are already creating communities around business interests and hot topics, Sage City will provide the time and space to make new connections and deepen pre-existing relationships face-to-face.
So start connecting now! We’d love to get to know you.
Note: The pictures above are renderings and are subject to change.
From → Sage Summit