I organized the very first BBC event in Canada. We did it as a countrywide event (Canada only) for a few years before corporate took the idea and made it a sales and marketing conference for partners.
We went to Banff Springs in March. All Canadian partners were invited. A couple US individuals showed up (Linda Rose, Allan Whiteside...). The conference was very much about building a community (which I've always strived for) - a Canadian team. We spent the morning planning for the future of the Canadian market with Great Plains, expressing ideas and requests. We also had key GP leaders share future direction on product, marketing, demo tips, etc. We hosted many Great Plains VPs, product marketing people and the Canadian sales team. We even had Doug Burgum come up.
We met in the morning, had lunch, and then went skiing - as you should in Banff! Then rounded back up in the evening in the bars and partied all night. I'm not kidding about that! It was one of the greatest activities I've been a part of. It really made the Canadian partners a family and many remain close friends today because we got to know each other as people.
I believe this all went on in the late 1980's and early 90s. I think we did 3 years at Banff Springs before it became a corporate conference. We had anywhere from 30 to 50 folks attend. As the territory manager, I did this with a budget of under $250! I charged just enough from the partners to cover my costs. No one in marketing and sales could say no to me! It was a beautiful thing. It also set us up well dreaming together in making Great Plains the product of choice in the market. Ideas were born into future traditions!
Chuck LaFleche (owner of consulting/development firm, later became Momentum Software) was not a "regular" skier. But he didn't want to miss out. He bought this BRIGHT yellow ski suit while in Banff. We had so much fun with that, you should see him a mile away - he was such a fun guy. He was called the bumble bee on the hill.
The internet was just becoming a thing. A phrase that Dave Coulombe would shout out all week was W W W DOT. You heard all week long... especially in the bars at night.
We enjoyed the beautiful Banff Springs hotel and I'll never forget one afternoon we were in the outdoor heated pool and a big moose came up and drank the water!
One year I broke my hip snowmobiling. It was around a month before BBC. Ray August and Dan Malmstrom picked me up from my hospital bed and took me by wheelchair. We drove to Winnipeg in a snowstorm, took a plane from Winnipeg and went. I remember around half of that one because of the pain meds. But we certainly lived on the edge and I can't believe we did it... but I was determined to go to the event and lead it. Even if it was from my wheelchair!
I think that events like these help all of us to build our skills, but more importantly, to build our community.
I am glad that the Channel Marketing Academy has decided to “Bring Back BBC” with their event on June 23, 2021.
By Kim Peterson, Semi Retired, loving all things Microsoft Dynamics GP since 1983