Iasta is packing up our bags and heading out West! Okay – not all of us are heading to Arizona – just our CEO David Bush and our new Director of Marketing & Sales Enablement – Constantine Limberakis. Are you heading to ProcureCon Indirect West too? If so, we hope to see you there this year. Don’t forget to stop by Iasta’s booth (we are giving away some cool door prizes) and join David and Constantine’s session, “Uncovering Collaborative Ways to Build Consensus and Accelerate Procurement’s Impact.”
Whether you’re a Procurecon Veteran or a conference newbie, here are four tips on maximizing your time at this year’s ProcureCon Indirect West (or any conference in the future):
1 – Divide and Conquer. Are you traveling with some of your fellow procurement colleagues? If so – repeat after me: “I am a confident modern sourcing professional who will be comfortable attending sessions on my own.” Trust me, I’ve been there…you attend a conference with your coworkers and feel pressure (or comfort) to stick together. But when you separate, your company is gaining exposure to more content and you’ll be meeting different people. Hopefully you’ll make some valuable connections and new friends too!
2 – Take Notes. I’m not trying to sound like your college professor or boss, but taking notes is SO important. Conferences – as wonderful as they are – can be information overload at times. When you finally get back to your hotel or find a peaceful moment on the plane ride home, you could have a hard time remembering everything you learned.
How did that one company improve supplier relationships with only a 3 person procurement team?
What tool did my new friend say they were using to run strategic sourcing projects?
It’s easy to forget these details – so have your pen and paper handy! Or open up your phone or tablet to start jotting down tips, advice, key statistics, best practices, and interesting stories from people you meet at the conference. Even better? You’ll have documented inspiration to take back the office to share with those who didn’t attend the conference with you!
3 – Get Social. Be sure to connect with people both online via social media and in person. Before the conference, start following ProcureCon on Twitter browse the speaker list and see if you can find them on Twitter as well. To give you a head start, follow @iasta, @iasta_davidbush, and @climberakis. Send the speakers a tweet in advance or live tweet key stats and interesting points during their sessions. While you’re at the conference, make time to share coffee or a happy hour drink with some of the other attendees. Make it your mission to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with someone new each day. Remember – it’s not always WHAT you know, but WHO you know!
4 – Ask Questions. ProcureCon promises to answer your most burning questions…such as:
- How can I continue my company’s procurement transformation toward being fully strategic?
- What are best practices for improving supplier relationships?
- What are the most innovative tools to help me become a more efficient procurement practitioner?
But maybe you attend a session and a new question becomes top of mind!? I’ll bet you aren’t the only one with that same question, so don’t be afraid to speak up. If you are too nervous to ask your question in front of a crowd of people, wait until the session is over and approach the speaker to get your question answered. A lot of speakers love sticking around to meet new people and share ideas.
If you’re a ProcureCon Indirect West veteran, share your tips for the newbies! What advice and tips do you have for a new person attending this conference for the first time? Tweet us @iasta or comment below.