In the blink of an eye...

Each spring or fall as we approach the Summit, my creativity stops flowing and I go into "do" mode. My approach to everything becomes VERY tactical. My shoulders tense early in the day as I make a handwritten list with the various tasks I need to accomplish. If the item isn't: (a) going to print; (b) necessary for the Summit; or (c) required to keep one of my children alive, it probably won’t be addressed for a few more weeks. That's just the nature of working for a company that puts on large-scale events. We look at every detail from every angle and do everything in our power to execute as flawlessly as possible. That isn't to say that everything goes perfectly. It doesn't...but it's our job to shake it off, find a new solution and move forward like swans—looking peaceful and content above water, but paddling like all heck underneath. We arrive at the Summit location a full 4-5 days before our first guests arrive. In a sea of commotion, we unpack boxes, set up rooms, organize our registration desk, write last minute announcements, put together signs, meet with the hotel and check off the myriad things on our individual and collective "to do" lists (and yes, there really is a group "to do" list). It is a blur...and yet those days before the Summit starts are relaxing in an odd sort of way. We get the chance to reconnect with our colleagues whom we see only a few times a year. We are able to appreciate in person the amazing work our team members produce. And we laugh. A lot. As Saturday becomes Sunday becomes Monday, the anticipation of delegates arriving escalates palpably. The quiet buzz of excitement in the air becomes a cacophony of sound, not the least of which are the intermingled voices of delegates greeting old friends and making new connections. Although I look forward to our keynote speakers and hearing the latest trends and discoveries in the incredible breakouts, I secretly think that it's the sound of people connecting that I love the most. Personally, it feels like a reunion of sorts. I see people I've known for 18+ years through SIG and through my life prior to SIG. We have some delegates that have been coming to Summits since the early days, bringing every new company they join into the SIG family. (You know who you are, and we love you for it!) The fact that people come back to SIG again and again and again (and again) is what makes SIG so special. It is really not a transient audience. Sure, each Summit you will meet new faces, but you will see plenty of familiar ones...and when some of those friendly faces miss a Summit, you will notice! And as rapidly as the Summit descends upon us, it is over. Each day of the Summit lasts forever (thank goodness, as there is always much to be done!), but in the blink of an eye it is over. Thursday night is always met with mixed blessings. We are thankful to have another successful event behind us, but sorry to say goodbye to our colleagues and friends. In the next few weeks, we'll be summarizing some of the keynote and breakout sessions. If you attended one you'd like us to cover, please let us know! In the meantime, start making your plans to join us in Denver in October! We are well into the planning for that event and are already looking forward to welcoming you there! Can't wait that long? We have events planned in Seattle, Chicago and Toronto all before the beginning of summer, so mark your calendar and stay connected with SIG.

Sarah Holliman