It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog…I’ve been remiss. But in my defense, it has been a BUSY year. We officially opened SIG University with hundreds of students now matriculating through it…acquired Outsource, the leading digital content thought leader based in the UK…launched a division of SIG in EMEA…and absorbed the LatAm Alliance (formerly called Nearshore Executive Alliance) as a SIG Working Council…and that is all since January! Not to mention launching a new website, starting two Working Groups, hosting our first CPO Meet & Eat, conducting several events with our European team, planning our first-ever awards event, holding dozens of one-day forums all over North America and beyond and preparing for our second Global Summit of the year! My head is spinning…it’s been quite a year. But it’s the crazy ride we call the Summit that has me thinking it’s time to write another blog.
The Summit is a time that we at SIG always look forward to with (to be honest) mixed feelings. The event itself gives us a high like no other. It is the time when we get to see all of our members face-to-face. We hear the latest innovations and ideas from world class thought leaders. We meet new SIG members…and we reconnect with our work colleagues whom we know better by voice than face. But preparing for it is a LOT of work. I’m not sure I emphasized that enough. It is A LOT of work. There are literally thousands of little details that go into making this the world-class event you have all come to expect. From the speakers to the signage…from the cups to the cocktail napkins…from the app to the entertainment…the list is LONG. We put the effort into making it a flawless event so you can come prepared to just absorb, learn, network and enjoy. But if you want a few more tips for making the week the best it can possibly be, consider these three things:
- Plan in advance – the abstracts are already on the website, the app is ready for download and we have planners for you to create your schedule in advance of coming so you can spend more time mingling when you get here!
- On that note, put yourself out there – for some people, networking is uncomfortable. But we’ve made it easy by giving you an ice breaker. If this is your first time to a Summit, you’ll have a special sticker on your name
tag designating you as a first timer…if it’s not your first time at this rodeo, you’ll know who the first timers are. Why? Because it makes it easy to start a conversation. Don’t be afraid to walk up to someone and say, “I see that this is your first time here.” They’ll appreciate the gesture and it could be the connection that ends up justifying your entire trip.
- Show up for all the networking opportunities – let’s face it…one of the biggest bonuses to an event like this IS the networking. So don’t use those times as an opportunity to catch up on email or do a little local shopping. Be present! You never know…the next person you meet could have just the insight you need to overcome a major obstacle…or could have just the solution you’ve been looking for! We’ve put a lot of thought into these events and the variety is both fun and energizing. From golf on Monday to Speed Networking on Tuesday to surprise entertainment on Wednesday and pool-side fun Thursday, there are no shortage of ways for you to meet people…and don’t forget our afternoon snack breaks—they are world renowned! :)
Despite all the time and energy that goes into planning a Summit, the bottom line for the SIG team is that it is by far the week(s) we look most forward to every year. We can’t wait to welcome you to this event. In the meantime, read this previous blog for a few more tips or listen to it in the video below!
Sarah Holliman, Chief Marketing Officer, has more than 20 years of experience in the sourcing industry. Prior to joining SIG's leadership team, Sarah was with A.T. Kearney, leading the marketing efforts for the A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions unit. She also spent five years at A.T. Kearney consulting primarily to financial services companies on topics that ranged from strategic planning to procurement cost reduction to back-office operations. Before joining A.T. Kearney, Sarah was in business development at one of the largest commercial banks in the country.
Sarah has held numerous leadership positions on non-profit boards promoting children, women, and educational issues, and has specific expertise in membership development, fundraising, and strategic development. Sarah has a BA from Furman University and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.