SIG Executive Summit: Partnerships, Pashmina Rebellions and Polish

Krystelle Bilodeau of the Bank of Canada leads a SIG discussion Tuesday with some pashmina-clad panelists, John Fafian of PwC (center) and Lawrence Kane of Boeing (right). Antonio Humphreys of Adobe is in the middle for the fall SIG Global Summit in Carlsbad, California. (Jason Busch photo / Spend Matters)

Three members of the Spend Matters crew came down to Carlsbad, California, for SIG’s Global Executive Summit. Pierre Mitchell, Sheena Smith and I have all enjoyed our time (and this gorgeous Southern California sunshine) so far. As the first day of the Summit kicked off Tuesday, I took the stage for a couple of minutes to announce Spend Matters’ partnership with SIG (later, I’ll share a bit more on the session that Pierre and I presented).

It was a true honor to announce the relationship to SIG members alongside my longtime friend and SIG Founder Dawn Tiura, but I had to ask why they only provided silky pashminas to delegates who get chilly vs. a slightly more masculine tweed scarf. Alas, this inspired a few of my fellow manly delegates to take the stage during a lunchtime panel in a pashmina rebellion, usurping the silky garments in a dapper manner (see photo).

In all seriousness, SIG thinks of EVERY detail for delegates and even intervenes to make connections with the goal of giving everyone the best possible experience. Need reading glasses? Check. Need a little boost? Take your pick of energy bars and sweets at the front desk. Want to connect with another delegate? They’ll find them for you — or proactively make a connection they think will be valuable.

I’ll share additional thoughts in the days to come, but here are some of my impressions from Day One (in no particular order):

  • The breakout sessions I attended (and that my colleagues attended) were all excellent. This included a session with Everest (that engaged the audience to share their own experience with specific practices and technologies), BP (on speeding up and improving contract management) and much more.
  • There are a lot of people here for the first time, 28 of them registered in just the past few days. SIG has done a great job of continuing to engage those who have worked with the organization for many years and put it at the center of their business network in the sector, while engaging new members and delegates to join the group.
  • The dynamic of the fireside chat between Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn and Dawn, SIG’s CEO, that kicked off the day was engaging. While Rob has become the celebratory CEO of the sector, he came across as unscripted, down to earth and spokesman for the power of community within procurement — a rallying cry for Coupa but actually a concept that is becoming incredibly important for organizations in terms of the value of both internal and external data (and dozens of technology upstarts with novel takes on community insights, including many in attendance).
  • Technology and digital is playing a greater and greater theme within SIG across the mainstage, sessions and side conversations — and delegates are keen to talk openly about their own experiences and to pose questions to others. We look forward to collaborating with SIG more closely in this area in the future!

Today’s experience reminded us how much SIG Global Summits are truly a class act. They show that the organization behind them cares deeply about ensuring the very best experience for everyone. Down to the smallest possible detail.

For this reason, I speak for our entire team when I say how excited we are to be working more closely together. This is one polished organization that knows that members and delegates come first.

Check back later for additional insights and missives from SIG’s fall Global Summit!

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