The SIG Global Summit...an Olympic Experience?

I am a self-proclaimed Olympic junkie. It's true...summer or winter and ALMOST (but not quite) sport-agnostic. I LOVE the Olympics. For two weeks, I tape (an old-fashioned term similar to "DVR" for those who are too young to remember VHS) the Olympic coverage, and then watch it every night. I love the sappy side stories that tug at your heartstrings. I swell with pride when I hear the National Anthem being played, and I tear up when someone perseveres to win a medal or just has a personal best. And as much as I love the Opening Ceremony, it's really not that event which I'm most enamored by. It's all the little moments during the different sports that are so meaningful to me. I feel the same way about our Summits. Ok...maybe it's not QUITE the same. I don't have to wait two years between Summits (or four as the case may be). And it's not as if people are setting world records...but it's the anticipation of the event and the little moments that make it all worthwhile. When we start planning each event, it FEELS like we're planning the Olympics. We have a spreadsheet we start working through that has 231 line items on it. And EACH of those line items can represent 10-20+ individual projects, tasks, etc. (or even hundreds of phone calls as the case may be). For months we work to put together a world-class event—from finding the right speakers, to vetting presentations, to writing press releases, to picking meals—there are thousands upon thousands of "little" things that go into putting on a big event. In fairness, if one of our LCD projectors doesn't work quite right, we haven't disappointed millions of people...but regardless, much like the Olympics, we aim to execute a "flawless" event. We can't guarantee the performance of the athletes (read: speakers) or the spectators (read: delegates), but we can put together a compelling event with fantastic keynotes, thought-provoking content and incredible opportunities for networking. Actually, we HAVE put an event together with all of the above! The Nashville Summit is going to be truly special. We have no less than five general sessions on everything from the economy to talent management to benchmarking your procurement organization. Our 50 breakout sessions are organized by track, including: sourcing, outsourcing, performance management, risk management, organizational development and talent management. And no lie...the content is incredible. I have personally read through every single abstract and cannot wait to hear some of the presentations. I can't guarantee that I'll be moved to tears, but I will be just as proud of every little moment at our Summit...and I hope you'll be there cheering Team SIG on! P.S. Believe it or not, I've had multiple tickets to TWO different Olympic Games—the Atlanta Olympics and the Sydney Olympics—and have yet to actually make it to an event. Both times I ended up selling all of our tickets, much to my chagrin. One of these days, I'll make it there. It's probably a little too late for me to make it as an athlete, but I'll be the one on the sidelines tearing up. If you want the side story for why I've missed both Games I've had tickets for, come find me at the Nashville Summit!

Sarah Holliman