VIVA Las Vegas: Kicking Off Coverage of the ‘VMSA Live 2015’ Contingent Workforce Management Conference

Nightfall at the Luxor Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 5.10.2013 Nightfall at the Luxor Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 5.10.2013

In keeping with Spend Matters’ growing coverage of the services and contingent workforce management procurement category, I am heading to Las Vegas today, where I’ll be attending and reporting on VMSA Live, a unique conference designed for practitioners in all parts of the rapidly changing contingent workforce (CW) supply chain/ecosystem. I am looking forward to having this opportunity to get an up-to-date, direct read on current CW supply chain and management issues, as they are being discussed and thought about by a cross-section of top practitioners and thought leaders in the field.

FREE Research: Is your procurement organization ready to adopt alternative models for contingent labor?

The VMSA Live conference – now in its third year, and growing fast in attendees and reputation ­– seems to have hit the mark in satisfying the rising demand of CW practitioners (of all kinds) to be able to come together in an educational and networking forum and communicate and collaborate across CW supply chain functional boundaries. The conference will bring together about 300 practitioners, from the US and other countries, representing principal areas of the supply chain: enterprise CW management, MSP, VMS, temporary staffing suppliers, IC services solutions and other service providers to the supply chain/ecosystem.

VMSA Live seems to distinguish itself by:

  • Striving for independence and transparency, eliminating traditional CW conference segregation barriers and fostering communication and collaboration across all players in the game
  • Serving up a tight, substantive agenda focused squarely on immediate issues/challenges that practitioners are grappling with as well as on innovative approaches to those issues/challenges
  • Offering a modestly scaled conference platform for networking, communications and working collaborations (a very big emphasis on round tables in addition to other kinds of sessions)

For interested readers who want to know more, the VMSA Live website provides a thorough overview of both the conference underwriters and speakers/moderators from the different types of CW players (noted above) as well as a comprehensive, detailed list of all the sessions and topics.

In doing my research for covering the conference, I came across an information sheet that summarized what attendees from different supply chain areas were interested to get out of or “take-away from” VMSA Live. Here is a small, somewhat random sample from the very long list:

Enterprise Managers

  • Managing all non-employee labor successfully
  • Best practices and new ideas around SOW Programs
  • Best practices regarding program (MSP-VMS) expansions
  • Analytics in this space


  • Clear picture of SOW adoption and strategies among client users; SOW thought leadership; SOW space within MSPs; what is important to suppliers in an SOW managed solution
  • Insight into buyer priorities and immediate plans; understanding where clients are looking to expand their MSP programs
  • What we the MSP can be doing better and/or differently to support our supplier partners; best practices for managing suppliers
  • Role of talent pools/cloud in industry

Staffing Suppliers

  • Learn how to improve recruiting delivery in an MSP-driven model, lower costs and increase innovation; how to build high-volume recruiting engine, best-in-class.
  • Insight into SOW business and VMS partners; learn more about the intricate details of how MSP'S look at our program
  • Understand whether clients embrace the philosophy of hiring contract labor or purchasing goods & services
  • Learn where the key players in the MSP see the industry evolving and how MSPs plan to deal with the saturation of suppliers
  • Future of MSP in the global marketplace

Just the appetizers, but lots of food for thought there already.

This is clearly a conference that was designed and organized as a “roll-up-the sleeves,” “let’s get down to business” gathering for serious professional practitioners who know that ­– in current, complex and dynamic CW supply chain environment – being practice-focused, scanning the horizon and crossing boundaries and communicating to solve problems are necessary to doing business together and making the whole process work.

With all that said, I can see I am in for several very intense, busy days of interaction and learning. Accordingly, I am looking forward to (a) gaining a better understanding what are current top-of-mind issues for a broad range of the CW supply chain professionals with different jobs to do and (b) sharing my observations, insights and color commentary in my posts over the next several days.

Stand by: In this case, what happens in Vegas, will not stay in Vegas.

Voices (2)

  1. Ben:

    Loved the way you finished the article what happens in Vegas, will not stay in Vegas..

    1. Andrew Karpie:

      Thanks, Ben. I’m now writing up the 6th post covering the conference. So not just a joke! :-))

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