What is the Blueprint for BLUEPrint?

View From The Ridge: 74

September 16, 2016

Greg White

Greg White


It’s That Season Again

Temperatures are cooling, its football season, and you know what that means: yes, it’s the traditional time for our annual user conference - BLUEPrint. We’ve made several announcements that we have moved BLUEPrint from fall to spring for 2017, and I bet many of you are wondering why. Let me assure you, a lot of thought went into that decision.

So, to help you understand where we’re coming from, I’d like to share the blueprint for BLUEPrint. I believe you’ll agree with our reasoning, since the greatest driver of this change was feedback from our customer community. Most of your suggestions centered around:

  1. Event Timing
  2. Location
  3. Content
  4. Cost…we are retailers and distributors after all, right?

Over the years, we have asked for, listened and responded to the needs of our community to get to where we are, and because of that, BLUEPrint 2017 will be better than ever.

Connect with Industry Leaders and Peers

The New BLUEPrint Season

We moved BLUEPrint to April 30 through May 2 for 2017. Having BLUEPrint in the spring avoids conflicting holidays and conference events that occur in the September/October timeframe. Moving to 2017 allows everyone 8 months, and a budgeting cycle to accommodate the change.

The days of the week changed also. The opening reception is now on a Sunday evening, and BLUEPrint sessions will be on Monday and Tuesday. Now look, I know that Sunday is your day, and Monday is a tough day in the supply chain world…believe me, we all get it. That’s why we wanted everyone to have advance notice. Think of this as planning like you would for vacation, and with lots of time to be nice to someone who can cover you on Monday.

The benefit of a Sunday through Tuesday schedule is that it takes you out of the office for less of the week, making it easier catch up on work and giving the boss peace of mind since they don't have to survive a whole week without you. You can also make a weekend of it in Atlanta and take in some of the sights.

We wanted to make sure you get more out of every day of BLUEPrint, too. We’re making good use of Day 2 with a closing keynote that will be sure to send you home thinking. There will be plenty of time to make your flight too, thanks to our new location.

We’re Moving from the Boonies to the Big City

Speaking of location, we heard you…believe me, we heard you! Location has been the biggest concern of BLUEPrint attendees for some time now. Our new venue in downtown Atlanta improves things in so many ways; let me count them out to you:

  1. The Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, our conference venue, is a premier facility in downtown Atlanta. The hotel and its location are outstanding.
  2. The lodging is much less expensive than last year, and the Omni is applying the group rate for 3 days before and after the event, in case you want to take in more of the ATL culture.
  3. The Omni Hotel is within easy walking distance of:
    • The Georgia Aquarium – largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere
    • College Football Hall of Fame – M, Go Blue
    • World of Coca Cola – it’s the real thing
    • Centennial Olympic Park – the only Olympics not still being paid for by the host city
    • Atlanta SkyView – like the London Eye, with a Southern accent
  4. You are only 15 minutes from the Atlanta airport, with numerous transportation options (taxi, Uber, mass transit, etc..). Your transport time and cost will be cut by two-thirds.
  5. Because it is practical to get offsite, we will take advantage of multiple venues within short walking distance of the Omni for some fresh scenery and meals.

We’ll enjoy a fantastic view of Atlanta and the surrounding area at the SkyLounge, and a night of indoor/outdoor revelry at STATS, an upscale sports bar and the 1996 Olympic headquarters of Adidas.

atlanta skyline

So What’s the Meat on the Bones?

This is the most important gathering of supply chain brains of the year, and we know how important it is for you to share and gain knowledge at BLUEPrint. So we’re continuing to tune the content of the sessions to make them more valuable than ever.

Year after year, the most popular sessions are the customer presentations. This year, you will hear from 6 different Blue Ridge customers, 2 keynote presenters and numerous Blue Ridge professionals. You will also participate in Q&A sessions, roundtable discussions, and panels to hear from your peers and collaborate on the topics of your choosing.

By saving transportation time with the location of the new conference venue, we are able to add an additional keynote speaker. A smash hit from last year, Dr. Jennifer Priestley will return as our Day 2 keynote, so plan your travel accordingly.

By popular demand, we’re introducing Ask the Expert sessions where you can sign up for a 20 minute 1-on-1 session with a Blue Ridge expert. Just submit your product, education or technical topic and we’ll find the appropriate Blue Ridge expert to meet with you.

I’m Sold. So, What Does it Cost?

We want you here! And you know you need to be here. That’s why the cost of BLUEPrint remains virtually the same again this year, a total of $1,398 (plus tax) covers all conference fees, meals and lodging. We’ve simplified and re-aligned the conference and room fees to help with your budgeting and internal approvals.

  • The conference fee is $1,050 ($950 if you sign up before January 31st and covers all sessions, food, breaks, meals and hosted receptions
  • Room fees are a reasonable $174/night and available 3 nights prior to and after BLUEPrint

What if the Boss Wants to Come?

We always encourage customer executives to share and learn from one another, just like any other attendee. This year we’re streamlining the executive session to make it possible for more executives to attend. It is truly the most valuable time they will spend all year discussing supply chain. They will get ideas to help drive results…and we’ll keep them busy so you get a chance to learn!

The executive-only session is Sunday afternoon from 2 to 5pm. The Monday morning sessions are strategic presentations, allowing executives to get even more out of BLUEPrint before heading into a hectic workweek. We’re providing 8 months’ notice so that you and your executives can mark this on the calendar. More details and pricing on the executive session will come soon.

By the way, if the boss would like to come in on Saturday for a round of golf, I would be glad to host them.

Join in on the Most Important Event of Your Year

We’ve always said this is our favorite event of the year, because the best and brightest in the supply chain world get together. They share insights, ideas and inspirations that motivate the entire community (including us) and improve the performance of our group of supply chain leaders.

Join us next April. I guarantee you will gain more than ever from BLUEPrint!

For more information on BLUEPrint 2017, click here.