On October 17 th – 19 th 2017 at the Hotel Palace in Berlin three members of the Future Purchasing Leadership team, that is myself, Mark Webb and Anna Del Mar attended this annual event. The conference organisers promise to gather around 250+ of the ‘world’s most dynamic senior procurement executives’ across ‘3 value packed days’!
From our perspective there are a number of great conferences to attend but this particular conference retains a size that enables a more intimate and interactive conversation with speakers and fellow attendees, that is its real strength, whilst featuring content that is as good, if not better than other competing conferences. There is also a nice mix of exhibitors ranging from technology providers, to consultancies, trainers, community and recruitment providers which makes for an interesting conversation as you wander between the stalls but also there is a clear sense that not only have the conference organisers thought carefully about the sponsors they choose to ensure a high quality of offering, but also have sought to ensure that the conference is biased in numbers towards delegates and practioners, rather than ‘sellers’.
The agenda this year featured a varied range of topics from Big Data in Procurement and how you bring your team around to remove any perceived threat of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence to embrace change, through managing millennial talent, to how to add the ‘value-add’ element to your procurement function, to how to improve collaboration internally, including an interesting angle to use our strong negotiation skills to achieve such aims as well as covering some essential latest views on how suppliers can be helped to achieve your organisations’ aims in ethics and sustainability. It is interesting that the hot topics of 2017 are not, unsurprisingly, substantially different to the last couple of years and if I were to pick the main 3, from conversations I had with the conference organisers and attendees, I'd summarise the the 3 hottest topics are:
I highlight some key thoughts – some new, and some old, tried and tested ones that came out in discussions in the next 3 blogs in this series on the 3 hottest topics.
Meanwhile from our perspective, we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. We had an unmanned stand – unmanned because we personally want to attend the conference as attendees and learn too through conversations to support our own thought leadership in all things procurement – so our stand was designed to entice people to sit down and relax at our stand, and interact with the various activities and information we left there.
As a result we covered the sofa and chairs in all manner of soft furnishings (cushions
with useful procurement facts on them from our latest category management survey)
and we had mock iPads around the stand with a competition to win a real one for yourself
(competition now closed).
We also left some postcards, highlighting some of our key offers on Procurement Transformation strategy and delivery, Internal collaboration and stakeholder engagement, Negotiation, Supplier Relationship Management and Category Management training and coaching.
We also had lots of chocolate money bags for anyone out there with children – although there were a fair few who took them home for the Christmas tree!
Read our next blog in the series on Procurecon Hot Topic 1 2017: Internal Collaboration.
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