Eleven years after the first Summit, Sage came to GPJ to rebuild this conference to work harder for the brand and their customers.

After exhaustive stakeholder interviews and customer analysis, we crafted a strategic evolution of Sage Summit over three years. It would become the premiere conference for small-to-medium sized businesses and serve Sage’s marketing strategy year-round, reinforcing awareness, trust and further sales.

In 2014, we took the conversation up a level, from the pre-event strategy, through compelling keynote speakers and an onsite experience focused on SMB success. And people noticed a distinct difference, with a nearly 400% increase in registrations from 2013, a 508% boost in social impressions, and a 50% increase in sponsor revenue.

For the next phase of the evolution, we built on the successes of year one. The power of conversation drove the design of the experience, with spaces for exploring, education and deep learning. This included opportunities to learn about business success strategies from thought leaders, learn from peers, and get deep-dive training on Sage products. Along the way, attendees were encouraged to participate in an interactive social experience, “Sage Listens.” A digital wall projected social participation from attendees, with helpful notes about the user experience within Sage products.

Steps away from the demo and learning environment were the keynote halls, where we hosted another amazing speaker line-up. Deepak Chopra, Colin Powell, Trevor Noah and Tony Hawk were among the many notables to ensure that attendees were not only engaged but inspired. And that inspiration extended globally, with an an experience fit for Sage’s global customer base, whether or not they could physically join us in New Orleans.

With the tremendous success of Sage Summit 2014, we hoped to see increased, steady improvement. But the results were much, much better than that. Physical and digital participants increased by over 120% to more than 24,000 attendees from 82 different countries. And they broke records for engagement: a twenty-fold increase in social media participation. With these kinds of results, Sage Summit is primed to exceed every strategic business objective established ahead of schedule.