Happy New Year! This week I’m participating in a panel discussion with VP of Event marketing Danielle Cote at the Professional Management Convention Association’s (PCMA) Convening Leaders event in Boston. The PCMA event is attended by event planners from across the country, looking to obtain knowledge on how to better their events and how they can add value to their organization.

Danielle and I will be speaking on the importance of innovation, taking risks, and having an integrated team. I couldn’t be more excited about this discussion, because as the New Year starts, all three of these things should be a priority not just for event planners, but for anyone in any organization.  Here’s why: 

“Innovation” is a term typically heard when discussing technology, but it absolutely doesn’t stop there. Innovation should be part of everything we do, from our product and service creation, to marketing, to sales and support. There are always better ways to do things and it’s our job to find the opportunities to think differently and find new ways to achieve our goals. That’s what we’re doing with Sage Summit this year. We want to give attendees the experience and the transactions that they need, maybe that they didn’t even expect. Thinking out of the box keeps things fresh, and when you’re talking about events, keeps people coming back each year. But in any role, doing the same old thing time and time again is not the best answer.

It may be scary sometimes, but taking risks is not a bad thing. It’s not! We’re doing that all the time at Sage. We want to try new things to make our solutions and services more valuable to small and medium sized businesses. We’re doing that with Sage Summit this year, trying a new format and new activities to get our customers excited and engaged. I can’t wait to tell you more in the coming months!

How many times have you been so busy on a project, you didn’t bother to talk to your colleagues for their perspective, even though their perspective might help?  Much like risk-taking, collaboration can be tough sometimes, too.  It’s important to be in constant communication with your peers to find out what’s happening in different areas, and how you can help each other to amplify your messages and goals. You’d be amazed at the ideas your peers have, so start sharing and make great things happen!

We think there’s great power in innovation, risk taking, and collaborating with others, and I’m looking forward to hearing the feedback from event planners at the PCMA event. If you’d like to follow the conversation, the event hashtag is #pcmacl and you can always tweet me @GabieBoko.

Keep your eyes peeled for forthcoming Sage Summit 2014 information; I promise you it’s going to be amazing.