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Published in Digital Marketing category on (05/13/2017)

SiriusDecisions Summit 2017: An Insider’s Guide

Spring Conferences Are a Smorgasbord but Sirius Is the Main Meal

The spring event season is here again, and with the longer days, flowers in bloom, and fresh asparagus in the markets, one can’t help but think of a fine meal. Some of these conferences are fizzy pre-meal cocktails — light and enjoyable, just enough to whet your appetite, but not really enough to satisfy.  These are the road-show type events.  Lots of people —short duration, just a taste of the technologies and solutions.

Then there are the vendor-specific shows. These user conferences can be a bit like a first course — really delicious, often fancy and flashy, but sometimes a bit mono-dimensional in flavor.

Then there is SiriusDecisions — now that’s the main course!  It’s got lots of flavors to satisfy several tastes. It really meaty (sorry my vegetarian friends!) with information-dense models you can sink your teeth into.  And it includes the embellishments of client stories that add color to the plate.

But how to get through all this without reaching for the Alka-Seltzer?  We’re here to help!

The Program (agenda) — What to Do

If you’ve never attended Summit before or are new to the Sirius experience, you’ll get more out of the conference if you attend the Tuesday 8 am Sirius Foundations session (coffee, please!)  This 2-hour primer covers already-established SiriusDecisions concepts, frameworks and terminology and lays the groundwork for additional content that will debut over the rest of the program.  You’ll be glad you did!

Tuesday features the opening Keynote, Case Studies and plenty of time for networking. This is one of the beauties of this particular conference. The first day and a half give the attendee plenty of time to get warmed up to the art of the possible with these case studies, before moving onto the Tracks and Sirius Labs on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday and Thursday feature both Sirius Labs and the Tracks. There are nine different tracks which provide a very focused role-based learning experience.  Attendees may choose sessions across tracks as well.  The Labs are sessions designed to help the attendee really roll up their sleeves workshop-style and use the Sirius models and tools.

The Sirius models are foundational to the value that Sirius brings to any organization, and learning how to apply them to your business is work.  So be prepared to really dig in at this conference.  It’s not fluffy content —  it’s definitely meat and potatoes. Because there are so many session options it does make sense to do your homework ahead of time and carefully plan your agenda so that you select the sessions that make the most sense for you and your colleagues.

Don’t try to pack every single minute.  This is one conference that is so full of content it’s easy to get overstuffed. It’s definitely better if you have multiple attendees from your company instead of going it alone.

Friday wraps up with keynotes and another opportunity to network with colleagues.  The keynote presentations on Tuesday and Friday will include honors for the Return on Integration (ROI) Award winners for outstanding achievements in sales, marketing and product alignment.  These usually include presentations by the Award winners as well. These are absolute “don’t miss” case studies and a real insider’s view on how some of the best have transformed their businesses.

The People — Who to Watch

Of course one of the greatest benefits of any event is the opportunity to network and to really advance relationships, whether that be with peers, prospects, customers, partners, or vendors.  Sirius Summit provides lots of opportunity for that through informal breaks and a couple of great parties, the Green Tie Gala and the Titanium Celebration, both sponsored by the partner community.  But the best of all will be the Taste of Italy Party with your MarTech partners including Certain, Engagio, Integrate, Mintigo, LookbookHQ and DemandGen at Lavo on the Terrace at the Venetian at 7 pm on the the 16th. This is a first-class soiree and you’ll want to be sure to attend.

For all marketers, Megan Heuer is not-to-be-missed, so be sure to catch her sessions.  Jay Gaines is another speaker you’ll want to watch for his great insights as he has worked with leading global CMO’s to drive change and organizational performance improvements.  Maria Pergolino, SVP Marketing @Apttus will be there, as will Brian Kardon, CMO @Fuze, so make sure to connect. And of course, John Neeson, founder of SiriusDecisions – catch him at the keynote.

Your peers are important too, so make the most of the Summit and pre-schedule meetings for those you know will be in attendance.

The Partners — Who to Work With

No conference is complete without an expo hall, and Sirius delivers nicely.  There is an interactive map here so you can plan your discussions with technology vendors, agencies and service providers. This year there should be over 100 sponsor companies represented so lots of swag-collecting, information-gathering and consideration can be accomplished on the show floor.

The Post-Game

The insights and experiences from the Summit are sure to be valuable to others in your organization, so be sure to share what you’ve learned. Lead a lunch-n-learn, present at a team meeting, write a summary email highlighting the most important takeaways. This bring a bit of the Summit back home and helps socialize the strategies that you’ll be implementing.

Hopefully this Insider’s Guide helped whet your appetite for the upcoming SiriusDecisions 2017 Summit. There’s no better way to internalize a concentration of program information, relationship building, state of technology, and industry best practices than a conference, so enjoy!

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