Finance & Insurance Summit Recaps

This week we completed two more fabulous events and I’d like to take a few moments to share the details of those events with you all.

We’ve been running both the Finance and Insurance programs for some time now – for those of you that didn’t know CIO Finance was our first ever summit and so the one this year was our seventh iteration. CIO Insurance hasn’t been around quite as long; this being “only” the fifth time through. So, two well-established programs with a big track record of success; quite something for the team to live up to. Well, I’m happy to report that, due the efforts of a not inconsiderable number of people, we’re looking at resounding success once again.

For the third year in a row we hosted the events at the Four Seasons Atlanta. For those of you lucky enough to have been to Finance or Insurance in the past, you know this is one of the best venues we attend and for those of you that haven’t, let me tell you you’re missing out on a good one. The event space itself is both attractive and well laid out, big enough in size to suit our purposes exactly, yet small enough that we get the whole place to ourselves. Glenn should definitely take note as he firms up the plans for our own space in our own building. On top of the space though are the food and the service, both of which are impeccable. Both were impressive for a jaded traveller such as myself, so just think of the impression left on our delegates and even our sponsors. You could tell that they knew they were in for a top-notch event the moment they walked in the door.

We hosted a great group of delegates at both events including notables such as Anil Cheriyan, EVP & CIO of Suntrust Banks and Kevin Rhein, Senior EVP (SEVP?) and CIO of Wells Fargo at Finance and Donna Peeples, Chief Customer Officer at AIG and Praveen Reddy, CIO at AON. Small titles from little companies… All told we hosted nearly 80 incredibly senior IT execs (the vast majority VP level and higher) from a nearly equivalent number of powerful and influential American and Global companies. Hats of to the RM team for delivering once again (and coming through in the clutch to do so) with a great delegation. Hats of also to both Bart Mack and Jen Clark (at her first ever CDM event no less), our onsite RM contingent, for their work in engaging with the crowd, in keeping them entertained, in helping them see the value inherent in our program, and in getting a ton to rebook while onsite.

Our BDM team was just a successful in making sure we had the right sponsors with the right messages at the Summits. Small companies that you might not have heard of like Cisco, IBM, EMC, Software AG, SAP, Ernst & Young, and PWC. The list just goes on and on. In fact on just these two events we took in more than $1.5M in sponsorships and that goes a long way to helping us meet and exceed those steep growth curves year after year. Heck, Cisco loved these events so much that not only did they take a keynote at each they took multiple additional sessions at both. When one of the world’s biggest and most successful companies invests so much mindshare (and dollars) in the forum we provide, I don’t think there could be a bigger endorsement. The onsite team of Mark Southam and Mina Chan was tireless with Mark re-upping a whole host of the onsite vendors while Mina took sales call after sales call from the hallway, iPhone in hand, laptop on her knee.

Of course, no write up of a CDM event is complete without a big round of applause to Rachel Tait and her CS/EM team. Rachel, Jen Rosa, Kristen Pandy, and even new-to-the-team Stephanie Nelson worked tirelessly, arriving before anyone else each day, and staying long after everyone else had retired. They managed the flow of the day, the constant change of individual meeting schedules, the flights, the rooms, the meals, and about a million other details with such poise that no-one even noticed all the work they were having to do to make things run so smoothly.

Some of the additional highlights of the events were the golf simulator sponsored by ISCS Software and the Scotch and Cigar night sponsored by Castlebay Consulting. Our own Mark Southam walked away with the longest drive competition thanks to a 356 yard drive that obliterated the field with nearly 50 yards on the next closest competitor (hey Mark, ever hear of “vendor golf”?). Mark was however “gracious” (no short game on that boy) enough to let Andy Scurto, President & CEO of ISCS win the closest to the pin contest. Andy’s victory was much tighter with his 14 foot distance only just standing up over a whole host of challengers. When it came to the extensive selection of single malt whiskeys and the hand-rolled Cuban cigars, Mark took it easy on us and made sure they were equally shared by all. George Grieve, CEO of Castlebay was gracious enough to not just host the night, but to help people find the right scotch for their palate and experience, ensuring everyone was a winner this night.

So that’s that – another two great events in the bag, another host of satisfied sponsors, and another crowd (two actually) of happy and engaged delegates. Keep up the great work CDM.

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