Avner Schneur, Emptoris' founder and CEO, was noticeably absent from SIG's Global Sourcing Summit this year. Rumor has it that Dawn Evans, SIG's current President and CEO, banned him after "over-selling" during his presentation last year. Rumor has it that Dawn was also banned from SIG before she bought the organization (sometime during her tenure running Denali). Good to see SIG still has principles -- and applies them consistently. Which brings me to another point -- why can't other conferences vet their speakers and topics like SIG? Even though I was only able to attend a handful of breakout sessions at the event, all were great. Clearly, this is one organization that really cares about the content that the presenters put up on stage (even though in truth, they lowered their standards for me last year). Maybe it's not universal, but I've not been to a bad presentation in the two events I've gone to. I also like the fact SIG waits until late in the game to finalize topics -- unlike ISM who forces you to submit abstracts for approval almost a year in advance.
Think about it. A year ago, GM and Chrysler were somewhat healthy, you could still buy a plasma television at Circuit City and commodity and oil prices were higher than they had ever been -- and nut cases and dictators in and Venezuela thought they had an absolutely blank check book to pursue evil intentions. A lot changes in 12 months, doesn't it? Shouldn't conference material reflect current issues -- like they did at SIG? I have been impressed with the way ISM is turning around some aspects of their Board and overall approach (not to mention the CPSM certification, which is a big step in the right direction). Let's hope this spirit of reformation carries over to changing a conference speaking policy better suited for the Truman era than the modern world.