Procurious Announces the Big Ideas Summit – a New Look for Procurement Events

We’ve been curious about Procurious (sorry!) since the start, when pictures of unfeasibly good looking people started popping up in their marketing material. They can’t be real procurement professionals, we thought, then it turned out they were in the main Aussie buyers, so quite understandable (all that sea, sun and barbies).

That’s because Tania Seary built on her success in Australia with procurement training firm The Faculty to launch Procurious out of London. A “LinkedIn for procurement people” is still the shorthand description for the new social media platform, although arguably it has ambitions to be more than that.

The shape of those ambitions is becoming a little clearer with the announcement of the first Procurious event. And in the spirit of being innovators and a bit different, the Big Ideas Summit on April 30th in London is not your average procurement conference. For a start, rather than having the usual “get as many delegates and sponsors as possible” objective, this is a by invitation only event for both buyers and the few sponsor firms involved.  And the organisers describe it like this -

"The world’s first digitally led think-tank for Procurement and Supply Chain Professionals".

The aim is to create a forum for a relatively small but informed group to have real debate and create ideas / intellectual property, but to use social media tools to disseminate that content as widely as possible. So Procurious is talking about using different channels to communicate the output from the day rather than packing lots of folk into a physical room.

"That’s right, from the comfort of your office or lounge-room or even on the bus on your way to work, you can participate at as a Big Ideas Summit Digital Delegate, connecting and learning from the Summit’s invited guests and speakers, accessing thinking from the world’s best and brightest via Procurious. As a Digital Delegate, you (along with the other 4500+ members of Procurious) will be able to submit questions to online, access exclusive Summit content and participate in follow-up Q&A digital forums".  

The core topics are innovation, cost leadership, people and risk, which gives scope for pretty free discussion I suspect – if the format and delegates lead to some genuinely fresh thinking, then that will be a real positive. We will see how it works both in terms of the quality of material that emerges and whether procurement practitioners who aren’t there on the day will follow up and engage afterwards. But hats off to Procurious for at least trying a different and interesting model to the usual conference format!

The sessions are heavily discussion based rather than a whole succession of keynote speakers, although there are some individuals leading sessions, such as overall facilitator Jules Goddard from the London Business School. Our friend and Procurement Mojo author Sigi Osagie is participating, along with other familiar names like the excellent Giles Breault and some we don’t know, such as Chris Lynch who is CFO of Rio Tinto.

We’re going along and will also be reporting on events, but you can find out more here. And we plan to speak to a couple of the key participants this week and get their views on the event and what it might bring.

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